Podhero is a new take on monetising podcasts.

By downloading the app and setting up a $4.99/month subscription, you can start sending money to your favourite podcasts.

How does it work?

Each show you support gets a percentage of your monthly payment. By default, your payment is split equally between your supported podcasts. But if you use the Podhero app to listen to shows, your money gets distributed based on how much you listen to each show (though I'm not sure if it's minutes or episodes that count).

You can easily get started by importing your podcasts from an existing player (I use Pocket Casts, for example), or you can search for and subscribe to shows in the app.

I haven't personally switched to listening in Podhero, as I love Pocket Casts and don't wish to switch. I'm happy to set up subscriptions and have my money sent out evenly.

In order to receive a payout, podcasters have to sign up to Podhero and claim their show. Obviously, they can't send money to people who haven't set up a Podhero account. But therein lies one of the main problems: podcasters need to be aware of Podhero and make an account for the whole platform to make any sense. There's no point in me paying $4.99/month if my money goes nowhere.

This is one of the main things Podhero has to figure out and be able to rectify if no shows actually sign up to receive payouts.

Podhero economics

Podhero asks for $4.99/month to support shows. I currently support 40, which means just $0.12 goes to each show per month (or $1.50 per year). This is tiny and insignificant.

We will have to see massive adoption of Podhero for smaller shows to see any meaningful revenue. If everyone sent $0.12 like me, each show would need thousands of listeners paying through Podhero to make hundreds of dollars per month.

Podhero itself is making money by requesting an optional $1 on top of the monthly payments to shows. I'm happy to pay $5.99, but I wonder how many other supporters will pay that $1 fee. Again, the platform will need to be adopted widely for Podhero to make any decent revenue from $1/month donations.

I don't know if passive support (like a mass Patreon payment every month) will help the industry, and in particular, smaller shows with smaller audiences. At the moment, Podhero doesn't make much of a dent. Only large-scale adoption of the platform—both by podcasters and listeners—will allow Podhero to become a reliable revenue tool.

Overall, I'm excited about Podhero. I really hope they can pull it off.