15 Highest Paid Podcasters | 2021 Reviews

highest paid podcasters salary
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A podcast is a series of vocable digital audio files put together by a sequence of seemingly unconnected episodes that a user can download to a private device for straightforward listening.

Through streaming applications and podcasting services, users are provided with a convenient and integrated way to manage a personal consumption queue across many podcast sources and playback devices.

A podcast series usually features at least one recurring host engaged in a discussion about a specific topic or current event.

Several topics discussed and the contents featured in podcast shows can range from carefully scripted to completely improvised.

A Podcast can be a collection of elaborate and artistic sound production with concerns that relate to a topic on scientific research, journalism on naturalism in which a seemingly arbitrary sequence of events in a character’s life is presented.

For many podcast series, there is provided alongside, a website with links and show notes, guest biographies, additional resources, transcripts, commentary, and even a community forum dedicated to discussing the show’s content.

In the meanwhile, this article will bother on the highest paid podcasters.

Is starting a Podcast worth it?

This is one of the queries that individuals often seek to have answered before venturing into podcasting and it is of a surety of the very needful things to do.

Starting a podcast is worth it as it allows one to market content to a business audience and is powerful at that. This is obviously one of the ways to monetize a podcast.

There has been dramatic growth recorded in the podcasting industry.

According to reports from the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, 550,000 active podcasts were hosted and comprised 18.5 million episodes.

By 2019, there was a 36% increase in the number of podcasts that were broadcasted in a single year as the number increased from 550,000 active podcasts to over 750,000 active podcasts, and 30 million episodes.

Why start a Podcast?

There are a number of reasons why people are motivated to create a podcast.

The podcast producer, who often doubles as the podcast host as well, may wish to do the following using his/her podcast:

  • express a personal passion,
  • increase professional visibility,
  • connect with a social network of influencers or influential ideas,
  • nurture a group of people of like-minded viewership, or
  • put forward profession of teaching or issues pertaining to an ideology (possibly under philanthropic support).

Podcast content is often free or, at the very least, affordable for the average podcast consumer. This being the case, podcasting is often classified as a disruptive medium, which is averse to the maintenance of traditional revenue models.

Long-running podcasts with a significant back index are manageable to binge consumption.

Read: 15 Best Free Podcasting Software, Platforms, And Applications In 2021

How do podcasters make money?

Podcasters make money through the following:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Sponsors and Advertising
  • Online Courses
  • Coaching and Consulting
  • Crowdfunding and Donations
  • Physical Products
  • Book sales
  • Public Speaking

How much can you make from Podcasting?

Podcasters are known for earning quite a lot from their podcasts aside from the financial returns their podcasts earn them.

The more grounds a podcast earns, the more the audience it attracts and the larger amounts of ad revenue they make in return.

AdvertiseCast has it that average 30-second CPM (cost per 1K listeners) rates are $18, while 60-second CPMs are $25.

In 2018, the Ringer had about 420 million downloads which earned it $15 million in ad revenue (paywall).

Amy Schumer got a $1 million payday just to create a show for Spotify.

Later on in the post, we will discuss the Highest Paid Podcasters.

How much do the top podcasters make?

For podcasts that have about 10,000 downloads per episode, the owners can expect to make between $500 – $900 per episode in affiliate sales.

A top podcaster can earn him an annual net worth of between 5-30 million US Dollars.

How do I start a successful podcast in 2021?

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to start your podcast and launch your show.

Beyond it, these steps will guide you on how to plan for the success of your podcast, purchase/use top-quality equipment, recording, editing, publishing, and growth.

To start a successful podcast, you are to do the following:

  • Define why you are doing a podcast
  • Discover/outline who your podcast is for
  • Map out reasons to the question of why your listeners should listen
  • Give your podcast a catchy name
  • Decide how long (duration) an episode should take and stick to it.
  • Decide how often to release an episode
  • Choose good episode titles and prepare ahead of time.
  • Choose a format for your podcast and stick to it.
  • Purchase/ have good recording equipment in place
  • Make available recording and editing software
  • Prepare on how to script shows
  • Practice how to talk into a microphone.
  • Record remote guests or co-hosts
  • Edit your podcast.
  • Select and add music to your podcast.
  • Create podcast Coverart
  • Choose your podcast hosting
  • Submit to directories
  • Make plans on where to publish your shownotes
  • Launch your show.

Podcast Costing

It doesn’t take a consumer much, cost-wise, to access podcasts.

A number of podcasts are free to download but while this is the case, there’s a restriction to free downloads for some others that are underwritten by corporations or sponsored, with the inclusion of commercial advertisements.

A podcast could also be a business venture run with the support of some combination of a paid subscription model, advertising, or product delivered after sale.

However, you can still become one of the Highest Paid Podcasters even with producing free podcasts.

Read: How Much Does it Cost to Start a Podcast in 2021 | Full Guide

Why create a Podcast?

There are a number of reasons why people are motivated to create a podcast.

The podcast producer, who often doubles as the podcast host as well, may wish to do the following using his/her podcast:

  • express a personal passion,
  • increase professional visibility,
  • connect with a social network of influencers or influential ideas,
  • nurture a group of people of like-minded viewership, or
  • put forward profession of teaching or issues pertaining to an ideology(possibly under philanthropic support).

Podcast content is often free or, at the very least, affordable for the average podcast consumer. This being the case, podcasting is often classified as a disruptive medium, which is adverse to the maintenance of traditional revenue models.

Long-running podcasts with a significant back index are manageable to binge consumption.

Since the start of podcasting, 2021 has been one of the most successful years.

With many individuals working from home, and others abiding by the continual safer-at-home orders being issued, podcast hosts have become close friends with a diverse and growing audience of listeners.

This has resulted in the top 20 list of podcasters making millions of dollars annually.

Considerations for the Highest Paid Podcasters

In the podcast industry, there has been a recent transition of podcast hosts finding platforms that have content specificity and this has also helped in bringing about a successful year.

Considered in putting up this list include the following:

  • sponsorships, 
  • affiliate marketing, and 
  • the sales of accompanying products and services.

These determine the revenue of podcasters.

Some famous and distinct programs have maintained their positions on the list of highest-paid podcasters in 2021 due to the sustainability of their production models.

In addition to the aforementioned are several new additions featuring up-and-coming hosts, comedians, and journalists that have made their way onto the list, showing how malleable the modern medium is.

Highest Paid Podcasters

The Wealth Circle (TWC) brings to you the highest paid podcasters in 2021 which include:

  1. Joe Rogan
  2. Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark
  3. Dave Ramsey ($10 million)
  4. Dax Randall Shepard
  5. Bill Simmons
  6. Will Menaker, Matt Christman, Felix Biederman, Amber A’Lee Frost & Virgil Texas: Chapo Trap House
  7. Tim Dillon
  8. Patrick Hinds & Gillian Pensavalle
  9. Pat Flynn: Smart Passive Income, $1.2 Million
  10.  Andrew Schulz & Akaash Singh: Flagrant 2, $1.2 Million
  11.  Nick Mullen and Stavros Halkias
  12.  Cody Ko and Noel Miller
  13.  Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski
  14.  Will Menaker, Matt Christman, Felix Biederman, Amber A’Lee Frost, and Virgil Texas.
  15.  Adam Carolla

1. Joe Rogan (30 million US Dollars)

Bearing the full name, Joseph James Rogan. This podcast lord was born on August 11, 1967, and is an American comedian, podcaster, and UFC color commentator. Joe Rogan was also formerly an actor and television presenter.

In August 1988, Rogan kicked his comedy career up a notch in the Boston area.

He signed an exclusive developmental deal with Disney after relocating to Los Angeles in 1994. He appeared as an actor on several television shows including Hardball and NewsRadio. 

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) had him as an interviewer and color commentator in 1997 after which he released his first comedy special in 2000.

From 2001 to 2006, he was the host of Fear Factor before launching his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience on December 24, 2009. His podcast led him to increased success and podcast superstardom

The Joe Rogan Experience was launched by Rogan and the comedian who was its host and producer, Brian Redban by name. They were running the podcast together until 2013 when he was replaced by Jamie Vernon.

By the year 2015, Joe Rogan’s podcast was one of the world’s most popular podcasts, with a regular receipt of millions of views per episode, also hosting a wide collection of guests.

Since December 2020, the Joe Rogan Experience podcast has been exclusively available on Spotify, with highlights uploaded onto YouTube.

2. Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark (15 million US Dollars)

Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark are co-hosts of the hit true crime comedy podcast known as My Favorite Murder (MFM).

My Favorite Murder podcast show started in early 2016 and since then, has broken download records and sparked an enthusiastic, interactive “Murderino” fan base who come out in droves for their sold-out worldwide tours.

They are known for the tagline “Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered” and this has been a rallying cry for “Murderinos” and a cash cow for their network, Exactly Right. 

With five off-shoot podcasts, a bestseller, and booming tour business, everyone is keen to see what their future holds.

3. Dave Ramsey ($10 million)

Dave Ramsey is among the highest-paid podcasters in 2021. His podcast is known as The Dave Ramsey Show.

Dave Ramsey is a veteran radio jock from Nashville and an outlier. 

His call-in advice show is in a defying manner old-school and is broadcast on beyond 600 radio stations from Kalamazoo to San Antonio.

Dave Ramsey through his Ramsey Solutions dispenses no-nonsense personal finance lessons and budgeting tools to 13 million listeners weekly.

According to Forbes estimates, on an annual basis, The Dave Ramsey Show podcast alone earns him $10million.

4. Dax Randall (Shepard Armchair Expert | $9 million)

Born on January 2, 1975, Dax Randall Shepard is an American actor, comedian, writer, director, and podcast host.

Shepard’s podcast is known as armchair Expert and is a podcast that interviews celebrities, journalists, and academics about their lives.

This podcast has been in operation since 2018 and has recorded an estimated monthly audience of 20 million

Shepard is best known for his work in feature films which include: 

  • Without a Paddle (2004), 
  • Zathura: A SpaceAdventure (2005), 
  • Employee of the Month (2006), 
  • Idiocracy (2006), 
  • Let’s Go to Prison (2006), 
  • Hit and Run (2012), and CHiPs (2017),

Shepard wrote and directed the last pair.

From 2010 to 2015, he played the character, Crosby Braverman, in the NBC comedy-drama series Parenthood alongside other movies he acted in.

His talk-show podcast features chats with his celebrity friends, like Claire Danes, and experts like neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta and has attracted advertisers that include The Mindbody fitness app and oatmeal maker Bob’s Redmill.

His live shows usually have an average audience of nearly 4,000 and this is proof of the fact that they are a hit!

5. Bill Simmons The Bill Simmons Podcast | $7 million

Born on September 25, 1969, William John Simmons III is an American sports analyst, author, podcaster, and former sportswriter.

He is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Ringer, a sports and pop culture website in 2016.

This brand of his struggled to catch on which is responsible for its languishing position on Amazon’s Alexa web ranking as it was ranked No. 5,638.

It is to be noted that the audio side of the podcast business is succeeding though. 

Simmons’ website gained him his first attention as “The Boston Sports Guy”.

In 2001, Bill Simmons was hired for the position of commentator with ESPN. At ESPN, he operated the website Grantland where he worked until 2015.

Before leaving ESPN,

Simmons was a writer for ESPN.com, a host of his personal podcast on the same website too titled The B.S. Report. He also analyzed on NBA Countdown for two years.

For the past two years, The Bill Simmons Podcast has been in Apple’s top 25. It’s now joined by 35 shows on the network. 

The flagship program of Simmons Podcast brought in some $7 million last year, but there’s the tendency that others would soon have an even bigger payoff: it’s been reported that Spotify is looking to acquire the network.

6. Will Menaker, Matt Christman, Felix Biederman, Amber A’Lee Frost & Virgil Texas: Chapo Trapnetwork | $2 Million

This is one of the most provocative podcasts on the list of highest-paid podcasters in 2021.  

Chapo Trap House gained popular support when they were banned from Reddit and Twitch in 2020, citing hate speech and infringement on copyright laws.

In her 2016, co-host of the program, Frost, coined the term “dirtbag left” article ‘The Necessity of Political Vulgarity’ which is presently used to define several podcasts within their genre including Red Scare and Cum Town.

This podcast runs bi-weekly and has made headlines again in 2020 when they called out political candidates of the election like Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, and Joe Biden.

The podcast’s empire underwent an expansion in August of 2018 when they released a book that went on to become a New York Times Best Seller titled The Chapo Guide to Revolution.

Read: 20 Best Investing Podcasts For Beginners In 2021

7. Tim Dillon: The Tim Dillon Show, $1.3 Million

Tim Dillon is among the highest paid podcasters in 2021 and was known for the sales of the subprime mortgages before the 2008 financial crisis which he rose from its ashes to become a stand-up comedian.

He had his way to the top of the podcast industry through the consistent production of funny content that attempts to tackle some of the most ambitious and complicated mysteries of the day.

Dillon’s area of specialty is a practical conspiracy. He has carried out an exploration on some of the darker themes of humanity ranging from human trafficking inspired by the 2014 documentary Who Took Johnny to the recent mystery behind the demise of financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Dillon was initially hosting the show solo now alongside his confidante, Ray Kump. This was accompanied by improperly coordinated giggle accentuations from producer Ben Avery.

Tim Dillon release shows through YouTube weekly and regular appearances on the Joe Rogan Experience and with this, he demonstrates the benefits and capabilities of subscriber-based sites like Patreon.

The Tim Dillon Show podcaster has forged a new path within the entertainment industry, bypassing the gatekeepers of a bygone era.

8. Patrick Hinds & Gillian Pensavalle | $1.2 Million

Patrick Hinds & Gillian Pensavalle are among the highest paid podcasters in 2021 and are known for the podcast known as True Crime Obsessed.

Becoming the most successful in the field of crime podcasts takes unique personalities and engaging stories especially when there is an abundance of true crime podcasts available.

Patrick Hinds is a legacy podcaster and is famous for his shows Theater People and Broadway Backstory. He joined forces with fellow podcaster and actor Gillian Pensavalle, the host of The Hamilcar.

Joining forces together, the team of energetic hosts has created a viral podcast available on several platforms with its focus on true crime, contemporary conspiracies, and celebrity mysteries.

With famous and distinct episodes dedicated to Ted Bundy and Jonestown, the group has become one of the outstandingly successful true crime podcasts to date, earning $1.2 million annually.

9. Pat Flynn: Smart Passive Income, $1.2 Million

Pat Flynn is the host of Smart Passive Income a podcast featuring weekly interviews focused on outlining strategies and providing advice for people building their own online business

The podcast is available on a variety of platforms including YouTube and Apple Podcasts.

Initially, Flynn started out with a contract with a firm as a Job Captain as its architect.

The financial crisis that loomed in 2008 was a blow on him as he was laid off from the firm and forced to create his own online business.

It is his first-hand experiences that he shares with his weekly viewers and includes interviews with several business owners and start-ups who share their wealth of knowledge about the business world.

10. Andrew Schulz & Akaash Singh: Flagrant 2, $1.2 Million

Andrew Schulz and Akaash Singhare among the highest paid podcasters in 2021 and they are the host of Flagrant 2, a Patreon-specific podcast that makes available its content to the three tiers of accessible content for its subscribers.

The pride of the podcast itself is on “unapologetic” and “unfiltered” discussions.

Within the context of cancel culture, Flagrant 2 makes available a short interval of relief for fans and followers looking to keep clear of the many pandering podcasts.

Familiar with his recent Netflix mini-series Schulz Saves America, Andrew Schulz teams up with fellow stand-up comedian Akaash Singh, where they share thoughts on a variety of hot button topics with guests like Alex Jones known for controversies.

Andrew Schulz and Akaash Singh are known for a nature-given to struggling with others out of jealousy or discord. This provided content for a niche audience, making them two of the richest podcasters of 2021 at $1.2 million in yearly revenue.

11. Nick Mullen and Stavros Halkias, Comedians

NickMullen and Stavros Halkias, Comedians are hosts of the podcast known as Cum Town.

With 10,822 patrons, NickMullen and Stavros Halkias are New York-based comedians and have made room for a more vulgar and juvenile podcast that promotes banter and humor.

The podcast has faced some backlash due to controversy buy through this, it was reported that it made $250,000 in revenue in 2017.

12. Cody Ko and Noel Miller, Social Media Influencers 

Cody Ko and Noel Miller are among the highest paid podcasters in 2021 and host the podcast, Tiny Meat Gang.

First of all, Cody Ko and Noel Miller made a name for themselves on the now-dead app Vine, before they decided to bring their comedy to audio, which brought about the creation of Tiny Meat Gang. 

In 2019, Cody Ko and Noel Miller earned a monthly income of $51,199. They had this breakthrough because the duo took their podcast on a live tour. This breakthrough brought them, 10,638 patrons.

13. Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski

Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski are the co-hosts of The Last Podcast on the Left.

The Last Podcast on the Left is a horror-based podcast that reviews both fiction and non-fiction horror stories, keeping their 11,346 patrons on Patreon entertained and thrilled.

Reportedly, the show made $55,898 monthly in 2019.

14. Will Menaker, Felix Biederman, Matt Christman, Amber A’Lee Frost, and Virgil Texas

Will Menaker, Felix Biederman, Matt Christman, Amber A’Lee Frost, and Virgil Texas are the co-hosts of The Chapo Trap House podcast and are among the highest paid podcasters in 2021.

The Chapo Trap House is a political podcast that ties in the elements of humor for its audience of more than 30,681 patrons.

As of 2019, the show that these young podcasters hosted brought in returns of $137,094 monthly.

15. Adam Carolla

Adam Carolla is a Comedian, the host of The Adam Carolla Show, and is among the highest paid podcasters in 2021.

The Adam Carolla Show podcast was launched in 2009 and ever since then, has recorded more than 1.6 billion downloads. This record positioned the podcast as one of the most popular in the podcast world.

As of 2014, the hit show of Adam Carolla’s podcast had estimated revenue of $5 million while he had a net worth of $16 million

Read: How to Make Money from Podcast in 2021 | A Step by Step Guide

Conclusion

Podcasting has come to stay and promises huge returns to podcasters that would stand out among others.

Some of the avenues through which you can earn as a podcaster include:

  • sponsorships, 
  • affiliate marketing, and 
  • the sales of accompanying products and services.

Do you have the communication skills and other skills necessary to be a successful podcaster, you can kick podcasting up a notch today.

Lastly, these will incorporate your name in the hall of fame of Highest Paid Podcasters.

References

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