Girl recording a podcast.

The Rise of Podcast Merch: Revenue and Engagement Opportunities

Girl recording a podcast.

Every single person we know has a go-to podcast for entertainment or information. Creators are uploading constant content, and podcasting has become increasingly profitable. Here, we look at the rise of podcast merch and how selling merchandise can benefit you.

If you’re a podcast listener, lover or creator, you’ve likely noticed your favourite hosts promoting their podcast merch; maybe you have even bought some. Advertising, sponsorships, and crowdfunding are the main monetization strategies but don’t overlook podcast merch. It is a rapidly growing market and a great way for you to make additional revenue, deepen your relationship with your audience and build strong brand recognition. Here’s more information about the rise of podcast merch.

What are the benefits of podcast merch?

Podcast merchandise isn’t likely your main income source, especially for a new show. However, offering it has many benefits. Here, we outline a few.

You are what you listen too sign.

Offering podcast merch is a way to diverse your monetization

Deloitte has predicted that the global number of monthly average podcast listeners will surpass 1.7 billion by 2024, indicating an increasing engagement with audio entertainment. A 2023 report by Digital Content Next highlights the importance of media companies, including podcasters, diversifying their revenue streams.

Many podcast networks and digital publishers now offer merchandise such as T-shirts, hoodies, tote bags, water bottles, and more. Selling merchandise reduces your reliance on sponsorship and advertising, helping to diversify your revenue streams.

It can help you to engage with your audience

Podcast merchandise may not be as lucrative as other revenue streams, such as advertising or sponsorships, but the benefits of selling merchandise go way beyond just making money. Studies like one by Castos point out that merchandise strengthens the connection between podcast and listener.

It’s a great way to connect and engage with your audience. When done right, it can foster a sense of community and build strong brand loyalty. Fans buy merch to represent their love for the show and feel part of a community.

Girls making a podcast.

Podcast merch can enhance your brand recognition

When your listeners start to wear your merch, they become walking advertisements for your podcast. This promotes your merchandise and spreads the word about your podcast, potentially attracting new listeners. Think of it as a massive opportunity for greater brand visibility.

Think about how your merchandise can encourage interaction and growth. What would look great in a selfie? What could be easily identified from across a room, spark conversation or evoke fond memories?

Remember, you have creative control!

When creating merchandise, you have full creative control and flexibility over the design, production, and pricing. This enables you to better align your merchandise with your podcast’s content or audience’s preferences. You can also take advantage of emerging trends and listener feedback. Consider even using the popularity of a particular episode or series to boost sales and engagement through your merchandise.

Podcast merch T-shirts.

You can print on demand

Many services now feature no minimum order volume, eliminating the need for large upfront inventory investments. This makes it easier for podcasters to test the waters of merchandise sales.

We recommend using our Online Shop if you want to print on demand for your business because you only have ad-hoc orders or are just testing out products. You can quickly and easily access our product designer to place single-unit orders, from custom-printed Organic T-shirts to Recycled Cotton Tote Bags. This service is ideal if you are trialling merch.

With our platform, you can create unique products while our print on demand factory handles printing, packing, and shipping.

Our research shows potential for growth in the podcasting space for those who have not yet tapped into using merchandise

Based on SE ranking search data, the global search volume for “podcaster merchandise” is relatively low, with only 590 searches per month globally, 480 in the US, 70 in the UK, and 40 in Canada.

Of course, there are likely searches in other countries, but the volumes are not high enough to be shown in SE Ranking’s data. In comparison, “YouTuber merchandise” sees 2000 monthly searches, with 590 in the US and 590 in Germany.

Am Data

This indicates that YouTubers are taking more of an advantage of merchandise as a revenue stream and marketing channel than podcasters, despite both being content creators.

Google Trends data also reveals substantial growth in interest for “podcast merch” over the past few years, with the highest search interest in the US, followed closely by Canada, aligning with the SE Ranking search data.

For those not yet using merchandise as a revenue stream and marketing channel, this may be a missed opportunity in the podcasting space. 

Our tips for creating podcast merchandise

Unique T-shirt logo design.

Think beyond your logo/artwork

Your podcast artwork may be familiar to your audience, but it might not be something they would want on their T-shirts, mugs, and stickers. What they want to display is the essence of your podcast – the aspect that fosters a sense of community and belonging.

Keep your audience in mind

Consider what your audience loves about your show, what they find interesting or innovative, and what they would want to instantly post on Instagram. If you’re unsure about their preferences, don’t be afraid to ask them directly through your podcast newsletter, social media, or private community.

Don’t cut corners on quality

Whether it’s your logo or your T-shirt’s design, it’s important to prioritise quality. Opting for a cheaper option may result in a poor-quality product and unhappy customers/listeners. Your podcast merchandise reflects your brand, so it’s a good idea to make sure the quality aligns with how you want people to perceive your brand.

Promote, promote, promote!

Of course, promotion is everything! You’ve invested time and effort into designing your products, but nothing will happen if your audience isn’t aware of them. Mention your products in your episodes, post on social media regularly, wear your designs, send out email newsletters when you have a sale, email your audience whenever you create something new, and include a menu or shop link on your podcast website.

If you understand your brand identity through and through, create appealing designs, have a reliable supplier, and promote your merch, you’re well on your way to success. As the podcast industry continues to grow, the potential for monetization through merchandising is a really promising avenue for content creation! Offering podcast merch not only generates additional income but also strengthens connections with your listeners; we can’t wait to see how our customers use this opportunity.

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We hope you have found this article helpful. For more inspiration, join our newsletter today. And if you need T-shirts printing for podcast merchandise, you know where to find us!