This is Part 2 of my conversation with podcaster extraordinaire Adam Carolla.
Yesterday we covered Part 1 – The Fame. Today we have part of the story that turns fifty million downloads into cold hard cash.
The full podcast audio of our conversation is available here. Check it out.
And now, Part 2…
Now, you are heavily involved in the monetization of your assets. You actually are able to derive real revenue for what it is that you do. How did you pull that off?
We went into this thing with no real set expectations.
We just went in and thought look, let’s try to get an audience. Let’s keep an audience; let’s build an audience.
And whether you’re a band or DJ or TV show or yourself or you sell cigarettes or a douche, it doesn’t really matter; if you can get an audience, there’ll be some money that will follow that audience.
And for us, we just wanted to see how many people we could gather, and so we offered the product for free and we tried to build our audience. And we assumed that in the not too distant future we would be selling advertising and following sort of a model that is much like traditional radio and television.
What we found is that we used this as a tool to take our audience and sell them things, namely tickets to live shows and t-shirts and hats and hoodies, and that kind of stuff.
There was a whole live element of this that we really had no idea about when we got started.
I would say to the audience “hey, we’re going to be at the Irvine Improv this weekend” and we’d sell out two shows. And I never thought of it as a tool to motivate people to get them somewhere. I thought it was more about “hey audience, sit back and enjoy this 30-second ad for Pepsi,” and we’ll see if we can make money that way.
But as it turns out, at least in the early goings, we’ve been doing touring essentially, doing a lot of live shows and getting people out to those live shows and making some pretty good coin doing that.
Also there is that monetization part where we’re selling commercial time and that sort of thing, but this whole idea of using it as a vehicle or tool to sell out a comedy club is something I never counted on.
What you’re talking about is something that I’ve heard from other people who create a lot of online media, whether it’s podcasting, video, or whatever. They say that the media may be free to the viewer or listener, but they use it to communicate other things which are purchased. So in a sense, things are sold on what’s called the “second level.”
Yeah, for example, I have a book coming out in November, and this thing will be a very powerful tool to do that second level type of sale. So you have 100,000, 150,000 people tuning in and listening to your podcasts for free, how do you make money doing that? Well, you try to sell 20,000 of them a book, that’s how you make your money.
It’s great for me because we don’t have to have tons of commercials in our podcasts, and it’s great for the people who are listening because if you want to buy the book, buy the book and if you don’t, continue to listen for free, you sons of bitches.
This book, is it self-help?
It’s really just the first book I’ve ever written where someone said to me “here’s some money, write a book.” It’s just all my opinions and thoughts and all the jags and all this stuff you’ve heard on the radio and on the podcasts and whatnot just sort of distilled down to 300 or 400 pages.
Adam Carolla, one of the most popular podcasts in the universe. No longer Dr. Drew’s better half.
Host of the podcast at adamcarolla.com. Adam, thanks so much for taking the time.
Thanks, Mark. Thanks for having me.