How Much Does It Cost to Produce A Podcast?

Dear future/ up and coming podcasters, with audio content growing more popular and more powerful, many businesses and entrepreneurs are looking into starting podcasts as a way of diversifying and increasing their content’s outlets. But is podcasting something that the new entrepreneurs, the start-up businesses and big established companies afford?

This makes us ask the question of how much does it cost to produce a podcast?

When it comes to how much it costs to produce a podcast, two different costs should be considered. The first is something that you only pay for once ( like buying the equipment you need), and the other is monthly ( like paying for your podcast’s hosting site).

We live in the digital age, which allows people and companies with different budgets to create and publish their work online. This includes podcasts as well. If you want to learn about all of the things you need to start a podcast and how much all of that is going to cost you, then continue reading this post.

How much does it cost to produce a podcast?

I will divide the production cost of podcasts into two different categories. The first one is a list of all of the things that you only have pay for once ( unless you want to upgrade them or if they get damaged).

The second list includes all of the reoccurring costs that you have to pay for on a monthly/ yearly/ per episode bases.

Generally speaking, the one-time charge list includes the following:

  1. Your smartphone, a laptop, or a PC ( You probably have one of thee things already.)
  2. A microphone
  3. An audio recording software
  4. An audio editing software
  5. Headphones
  6. Shock Mount
  7. Boom Arm
  8. Cable
  9. Wind Screen or a Pop Filter
  10. Music ( this could be on both lists)
  11. Cover art for your podcast
  12. Hiring someone to record your podcast’s intro and outro 

The list of reoccurring services list includes the following:

  1. A podcast hosting site plan
  2. Music ( this could be on both lists)

Not all of what is mentioned in those lists are essential when you are starting up your podcast, so continue reading to understand the purpose of each item and service, and how much are they going to cost you on average.

As you can see from what I have listed, I am assuming that only one person, a couple of people, or a small team is running the podcast.

Big cooperations often have bigger budgets and sometimes hire people to do some of these things as well as other stuff like marketing the podcast and having writers to research and help with writing the script of the podcast’s episodes.

Without any further ado, let us dive into exploring and understanding the items and services listed under each of those two lists.

The one-time charge list

This list includes:

  1. Your smartphone, a laptop, or a PC ( You probably have one of thee things already.)
  2. A microphone
  3. Audio Recording Application
  4. An audio editing software
  5. Headphones
  6. Shock Mount
  7. Boom Arm
  8. Cable
  9. Wind Screen or a Pop Filter
  10. Music ( this could be on both lists.)
  11. Cover art for your podcast
  12. Hiring someone to record your podcast’s intro and outro 

1) Your smartphone, a laptop, or a PC

Luckily, you probably already have a smartphone and a laptop or a PC. If you do not have a smartphone, that is okay because you could do all of your work on your laptop or PC.

Luckily, the vice versa is also correct. You can produce a podcast using your smartphone. Of course, editing your audio files on a laptop or a PC is much better, but it is not impossible.

I even have two blog posts on how you can produce a podcast on your iPhone and how you can create your podcast on Android.

How Much Does It Cost to Produce A Podcast?

Can I make a podcast with my iPhone?

Yes, creating and launching your podcast using your iPhone is possible. You can do all of the recording, editing, and uploading using some applications that you can get on your iPhone.

Using an iPhone to produce your podcast is very convenient and is a great way for podcasting newbies to explore the wondrous world of podcasting.

To learn all about the apps that you are going to need while producing your podcast on your iPhone and about the entire podcasting process, then make sure you check out my Can I Make A Podcast with My iPhone blog post.

How Much Does It Cost to Produce A Podcast?

How to Create A Podcast on Android?

Yes, there are many ways for people to create a podcast using their Android phones. People can record, edit, and upload their podcast using only their phone, or they can record the audio on their phone then edit and upload the podcast using their laptops.

To learn all about the apps that you are going to need while producing your podcast on your android phone and about the entire podcasting process, then read my How to Create A Podcast on Android blog post.

2) A microphone

Although you can use your phone’s built-in microphone to record the audio for your podcast, it is better to invest in a microphone ( it does not have to be expensive) to improve the quality of the audio and reduce the noise.

Microphone costs range between fifty dollar and four hundred dollars.

Before you pick a microphone for your podcast, know how you are going to record your audio. Is it going to be by using your laptop/ PC, or by using your phone? If you are using a smartphone, is it an iOS or an Android. If you are using an iPhone, does it still a headphone jack or not.

All of these questions are important because by knowing which device you are going to use, you will able to figure out which microphones and phone accessories you are going to need.

If you are using an Android, you could use a condenser microphone and a headset splitter accessory if you want to record your episode while wearing your headphones.

What is a headset splitter?

The headset splitter is an accessory that you plug where your headphone’s jack should be inserted. We use it to have two instead of one insertion for jacks.

This way, you can either connect two microphones, two headphones, or one microphone and one headphone to your phone according to your need.

Just make sure that you purchase the correct headset splitter because like I have mentioned, there are different types that you can buy, and it all depends on what your needs are. Typically, people go for the one that has a headphone port and a microphone port.

If you want a cheap option that can work on any device, then I recommend you get a lavalier microphone. If you have one of newer iPhones that don’t have a headphone jack, then you are going to need an Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter.

Another microphone that you can use for your laptop, Android, and iOS devices is the USB microphone. Of course, you will certain accessories depending on which smartphone you are using to record the audio.

I will be posting an entire blog post on microphones sometime in the near future, and in it, I will explain exactly which mic you should use for which device with the accessories that you should get for it as well.

3) Audio recording Application/ software

All of the recording applications and software that I am going to discuss today are available for free.

How Much Does It Cost to Produce A Podcast- Audacity

If you are using your laptop or PC, you can download and use Audacity. Audacity is a recording software and an open-source digital audio editor that is available for Mac, Windows and Unix-like operating systems.

There is also the Spreaker Studio is a virtual studio user interface that has an editable soundboard function. You can download this Studio for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android!

If you have a Mac or an iPhone, you can record your podcast using GarageBand.

If you have an Android phone, then you can use the BandLab application. If you want to learn how you can record and even edit your podcast using the BandLab app, then watch this video.

Vanessa uses this app to record her song covers; however, but the BandLab application can also be used to record and edit podcasts.

4) An audio editing software

To edit your episodes, just use the same applications and software that I mentioned in the audio recording applications and software section.

5) Headphones

Using a headphone while recording your podcast’s episodes reduces the amount of mistakes you make.

How?

By hearing what the episode sounds like, you will be able to make sure that your setup is actually working properly. It also enables you to monitor the quality of the audio. Both earbuds and headphones will get the job done, but headphones are better.

Headphone prices can range between thirty and two hundred dollars. Do not worry, though; you will be able to get a headphone that is good in quality for about fifty dollars.

6) Shock Mount ( not essential)

What is it? 

This is used for shock and vibration isolation. It aids in preventing the unwanted sounds like microphone movements, vibrations, and typing from your audio.

Make sure you read the shock mount’s product description because the one you purchase must be compatible with your microphone.

By the way, some microphones come with their own shock mount so read the product description of the mic you are considering to purchase as well.

The price of a good shock mount ranges between forty and sixty dollars.

7) Boom Arm ( not essential )

A boom arm or its cheaper alternative, a mic stand, allows you to move and adjust your microphone the way you want it to be. It also aids in allowing you to utilize your podcast’s set up space in a better way.

Most professional podcasters use a microphone boom arm. Because they tend to be a bit expensive, you can get a mic stand instead if you are on a small budget. By the the way, this is not an essential thing to have; you can produce your podcast without it.

Some boom arms and mic stands need microphone clamps or clips, but sometimes they are not included with them. So read the product’s description first to know what exactly you are going to receive.

A good boom arm could cost you between sixty and ninety dollars, but you can find cheaper one for less than twenty dollars.

A microphone stand could cost you about twenty dollars.

8) Cable

You might need to purchase a few different cables to be able to connect your set up according to how complex your set up is.

9) Windscreen or a Pop Filter ( not essential )

Using a windscreen/ pop filter is reduces the amount of harsh noises that your microphone records. For example, it aids in removing the popping sounds (sounds of bursting air) that are created when you say certain letters like B and P.

This is not a piece of essential equipment for your podcast but is you can afford it, then get one because it is going to aid in controlling your podcast’s audio levels.

Prices for a windscreen or a pop filter range between twenty and sixty dollars.

10) Music

Music is something that belongs to both lists because it all depends on what kind of license the music you are using is under.

How Much Does It Cost to Produce A Podcast - A doodle of a person listening to music

If you do not want to pay for the music you are using, then it must withe be public domain or under a creative commons license.

In case it is under creative commons license, you must check if attribution is required. If it is, then you must say the title track and the artist’s name at the end of your podcast. Make sure you to read what you are allowed to do with the track and what you are not allowed to do with it.

You can get public domain music from the following sites:

Public Domain Music
  1. Free Public Domain site ( freepd.com)
  2. Free Music Archive ( freemusicarchive.com ) 

You can get music that is under the creative commons license from the following sites:

Creative Commons License
  1. Audio Nautix ( audionautix.com)
  2. Silverman Sounds Studio ( silvermansound.com)
  3. Tim Beak ( timbeek.com)

11) Cover art for your podcast

If you do not want to spend any money on your podcast’s cover art, but you do not have any graphic designing experiences, then you can use Canva.com.

Search for images that are public domai, which means that they are free to download. Next, upload it to Canva.com and make a simple cover Art for your podcast that includes its title.

If you want to pay someone to do it for you, you can hire someone on fiverr.com to do it for you. You will find people offering their services for different price ranges, so pick one that suits your budget.

It could cost you anywhere between fifteen dollars and four hundred dollars.

12) Hiring someone to vocally record your podcast’s intro and outro ( not essential )

If you do not want to record your podcast’s intro and outro yourself, you can hire someone to do that for you. Before you do that, you first have to write the intro and the outro.

I have an entire post dedicated to that, so make sure you read my How to Write An Effective Podcast Intro blog post.

After you write your podcast’s intro and outro, you can go on fiverr.com and search for “record podcast intro and outro”. The prices range between fifteen and one hundred dollars.

So the one-time podcasting costs ( without the nonessential items) is going to range between ninety-five and one thousand dollars( $95 – $1000).

The one-time podcasting costs ( including the nonessential items) is going to range between two hundred and thirty dollars and one thousand and three hundred dollars( $230 – $1300).

The list of reoccurring costs 

This list includes the following:

  1. A podcast hosting site plan
  2. Music ( this could be on both lists)

A podcast hosting site plan

Every podcast needs a hosting site. No, you can not just upload it to Apple Podcasts because it is a podcast directory and not a storage site. You need a home for your podcast that gives you the storage and bandwidth you need.

How Much Does It Cost to Produce A Podcast - Libsyn and buzzsprout

Bandwidth= the traffic your episodes receive every month 

When you use a podcast hosting site, you get an RSS Feed URL. This RSS feed is going to help you distribute your podcast to many podcasting platforms like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify efficiently.

But, what is an RSS Feed?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. An RSS Feed is a file format that contains all of your podcast’s information that can be read by many programs. This makes the process of sharing and distributing the podcast onto different podcasting platforms very easy.

Depending on what your podcast needs, you will be able to figure which hosting site is the best for you and which plan should you subscribe to.

Today, I will be talking about two of my favorite podcast hosting sites. However, I highly encourage you to read my How to Choose the Best Podcast Hosting Site to know which podcast hosting sites is the best for your podcast because I go into details about each hosting site I mention.

Now, let us take about two of my favorite podcast hosting sites.

Libsyn

How Much Does It Cost to Produce A Podcast - Libsyn
  • The Libsyn Classic 50 plan costs $5 per month. You get monthly audio storage of 50 MB, an HTML5 player, and a podcast page. If you pay an extra fee of $2 every month, you will have access to basic statistics.
  • The Libsyn Classic 250 plan costs $15 per month. You get monthly audio storage of 250 MB, an HTML5 player, a podcast page, and basic statistics.
  • The Libsyn Advanced 400 Plan costs $20 per month. You get monthly storage of 400 MB, an HTML5 player, a podcast page, and advanced statistics. If you pay an extra fee of $10 every month, you will get an additional 200 MB in storage space; as well as, the custom app.
  • The Libsyn Advanced 800 Plan costs $40 per month. You get monthly storage of 800 MB, an HTML5 player, a podcast page, advanced statistics, and audio transcoding features.
  • The Libsyn Advanced 1500 plan costs $75 per month. You get monthly storage of 1500 MB, an HTML5 player, a podcast page, advanced statistics, audio transcoding features, advanced tools, and monetization perks.
  • The Libsyn Advanced 3000 plan costs $150. You get monthly storage of 300 MB, an HTML5 player, a podcast page, advanced statistics, audio transcoding features, advanced tools, and monetization perks.

Buzzsprout

How Much Does It Cost to Produce A Podcast - Buzzsprout
  • Thee Free plan gives you two hours (2 hrs) of audio. Ads might be placed on your podcast, and your uploaded episodes will be deleted after ninety (90) days.
  • The $12 per month plan gives you three hours (3 hours) of audio per month. You also get unlimited storage and a bandwidth of two hundred and fifty (250) GB. For an extra fee of four dollars (4$), you can upload one more hour of content.
  • The $18 per month plan gives you six hours (6 hrs) of audio per month. You also get unlimited storage and a bandwidth of two hundred and fifty (250) GB. For an extra fee of four three (3$), you can upload one more hour of content.
  • The $24 per month plan gives you twelve hours (12 hrs) of audio per month. You also get unlimited storage and a bandwidth of two hundred and fifty (250) GB. For an extra fee of two dollars (2$), you can upload one more hour of content.

To dive deep into the work of podcast hosting sites, make sure you read my How to Choose the Best Podcast Hosting Site blog post

Music

Royalty-free music

If you want to have to access to a more significant variety of music, you have to pay for it. Depending on the site you are using and the track that you are choosing, you might end up paying a subscription fee (a month or yearly) or paying one time for a single track.

Royalty Free Music for Podcasts

You can get royalty-free music from the following sites:

  1. Jamendo ( jamendo.com)
  2. Foximusic ( foximusic.com)
  3. Tim Beak ( timbeek.com) 
  4. Machinima Sound ( machinimasound.com)
  5. Audio Jungle (audiojungle.net)

If you are interested in learning more about copyright law and music, or if you want to understand which types of music you are allowed to use in details, then read my Where to Legally Get Music for Your Podcast blog post.

So the reoccurring podcasting costs are going to range between twenty and three hundred dollars( $20- $300).

Other questions related to how much does it cost to produce a podcast

How to Choose the Best Podcast Hosting Site?

If you want to pick a podcast hosting platform that suits your podcast and business best, you should know the answers to the following questions.

  1. What’s your budget?
  2. How much storage space do you need?
  3. How much bandwidth does your podcast needs?
  4. Are you interested in easy monetization options?
  5. Do you want to integrate your podcast in blog posts or have a WordPress site for it?
  6. Do you want to view your podcast’s analytics?
  7. Do you want to have multiple admins for your podcast’s hosting site?

To learn about this in details, read my How to Choose the Best Podcast Hosting Siteblog post.

What is the difference between a podcast hosting’s Bandwidth and Monthly Space?

The term “Bandwidth” refers to the amount of traffic your podcasts and page receives on a monthly bases. The term “Monthly Space” refers to the number of files and their size that you can upload on a monthly bases.

What is an RSS Feed?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. An RSS Feed is a file format that contains all of your podcast’s information that can be read by many programs. This makes the process of sharing and distributing the podcast onto different podcasting platforms very easy.

Does A Podcast Need An RSS Feed?

A podcast needs an RSS Feed because it is a file format that holds all of your podcast’s important information. You usually get your podcast’s RSS Feed from your podcast’s hosting site. With it, you can efficiently distribute your podcast to many different podcasting platforms like Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.

To learn more about why your podcast needs an RSS Feed, read my Does A Podcast Need An RSS Feed blog post.

Can my podcast appear in Google’s search results?

Because Google is striving towards creating audio content a first-class citizen on Google’s firsts reach results page, podcasts can now appear on the first page of Google’s search results. Go ahead and type a podcast’s name on Google, and you will see a banner on Google’s search results page called “Podcasts” that has some episodes that you can listen to thanks to Google Podcasts.

To learn why and how your podcast can be featured on the first page of Google’s search results, then check out my Can My Podcast Appear in Google’s Search Results blog post.

Can I use music from the billboard top 100 in my podcast?

You might have heard that you can use small clips from another creator’s content in your own content for free and be able to monetize it thanks to something that is known as Fair Use. However, copyright law is complicated and you can not actually do that. So no, you can not use even ten seconds of a song that is on billboard top 100.

That’s it for today’s post. You should know now how much it is going to cost you to produce a podcast. You also understand that you can create a podcast on a low budget, even if you can not afford to spend much on many equipment and services.

Be aware though, cause there are monthly fees that you have to keep in mind while coming up with your podcast’s budget.

What’s your podcast’s budget? I can make a series where each post I write is dedicated to a specific budget. If that is something that you are interested in seeing, then feel free to email me at podcastingdiaries@gmail.com.

My Sources

Till next time,

Ayah

Ayah Assem

I am a creator and a consumer of many forms of artistic content. With podcasting leaving its mark and declaring its significance in the current content world, I have decided to learn everything related to how to create a podcast. Who knows, maybe in the near future I will start uploading and sharing my creative work in the audio format. Join me on my journey of understanding the podcasting world, as I will be sharing with you all of the information that I am going to learn. Feel free to share with me your podcasting journey at podcastingdiaries@gmail.com and keep an eye on all of the music, books, podcasts, movies, tv shows, and YouTube channels that I always reference.

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