Are you researching podcast hosts, to start your first podcast? Or are you looking at different one, because you’re thinking of switching hosts? Either way, this post will give you a firm overview of what RedCircle is about, to help you decide. When we talk about hosting platforms, it’s important to remember that the terms good and bad usually don’t apply. It’s more a matter of what fits your podcasting needs, workflow and stretch goals. Having said that, helping independent podcasters like you monetize your podcasts is the main drive for RedCircle, so this post will focus on that aspect heavily.
Quick Facts About RedCircle Hosting:
- it’s FREE
- it’s made for independent podcasters
- there are many monetization options
- podcasters rave about their customer service
- the platform is easy to use
Most of RedCircle’s platform can be understood by a quick look into their backstory. Mike Kadin and Jeremy Lermitte are the Co-Founders of the company. They also used to lead Uber’s Marketing Technology Team. You know Uber, right? The company that started with a ride-hailing service that completely changed how we maneuvered through our cities? You can see traces of that innovation throughout the RedCircle ecosystem, including (but not limited to) their monetization options.
How to Monetize Your Podcast With RedCircle
RedCircle launched in April of 2019 with 1.5 million dollars in seed funding. In these two short years they’ve built up a wide selection of monetization options. And, they’re rolling out new features all the time. One thing you need to know is that although RedCircle is free, these monetization features aren’t. But, unlike other podcast hosts, with RedCircle you pay only when you get paid. RedCircle doesn’t charge a fee for these features. Instead, they take a cut of what you earn.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the percentage they keep when you use certain monetization features:
Run Advertisements To Monetize Your Podcast On The RedCircle Ad Platform (RAP):
As if the name RAP isn’t enough to get you interested in this program, there’s the RedCircle Sales Team, as your built in advertising support network to sweeten the deal.
Podcaster Extraordinaire Ned Donovan shared that he, “built an entire monetization model for fiction podcasts around the dynamic insertion tool. RedCircle lets you negotiate your own ads or they can provide ads: it’s all built into the same platform.”
You can join Ned in RAP once your podcast gets 500 downloads per week. At that point you can apply to be part of the program. This helps you to monetize your podcast in their Automated Advertising Marketplace, where you set up all your ads. Dani Kaminski from RedCircle explained the process further: “you add your socials to RAP (Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Facebook) and our sales team manually works on integrated sponsorships.”
You read that right, they incorporate YouTube into their advertising channels. While parts of the podcasting industry are still debating IF putting a podcast on YouTube is worth it, RedCircle is making it worth it.
Dutch podcaster Wouter Monden of the Elektra Podcast was using a fee-based podcast host that offered dynamic ad insertions (DAI), before the pandemic last year. But once the pandemic started, he just wasn’t producing many new episodes. So, their fee felt excessive. That’s when he decided to try RedCircle. Recently, he joined a network that was already on yet another platform, so he had to leave RedCircle. But, he said that he would still be using them, if it weren’t for the network switch and he would definitely recommend them to others.
Here’s a demo account (NOT a real podcaster’s account) showing the listener information on the left side and the advertising information at the bottom.
Monetize Your Podcast With Exclusive Content & Donations:
If you’re an existing podcaster, then you know how much of a hassle it is juggling multiple platforms for monetization purposes. Using services like Patreon, Podcorn or any membership platform can really complicate your podcast workflow. But, you don’t have to switch platforms with RedCircle. Podcasters can manage all of these services and more on the RedCircle platform.
Podcasters can take advantage of these features when they start hosting with RedCircle, even if you don’t have the 500 downloads per week requirement for the RAP program.
Exclusive content (also known as subscriptions) can be a one-time episode or a recurring subscription. You’ve got many options on this platform to create and monetize at the same time. And that freedom extends to donations as well, which also has a one-time and recurring option. Once you opt into this feature, RedCircle generates a link that you can add to your show notes.
RedCircle podcasters Jeri & Ciara from Ladies and Tangents adore this option, “We LOVE that we are able to offer exclusive content through RedCircle. It is one less platform we have to upload on and again makes the process of connecting with our audience so much simpler.”
Note: There’s also a cross-promotion marketplace to help podcasters find each other and, well, cross-promote their podcasts. This is NOT part of the monetization ecosystem. But, it’s another helpful way to grow your podcast from the beginning, that’s worth a mention.
No platform is perfect. So, it’s important that in addition to the amazing monetization options on RedCircle, I also mention one sticky wicket. You may hear people mention this as a reason to NOT try RedCircle out, so it’s good to be prepared.
They’re not IAB certified.
IAB is the current industry standard for what a “download” is. There is a difference between being IAB certified and IAB compliant, but that’s a discussion for another post.
What you need to know is that when comparing RedCircle download statistics to those from an IAB certified host, they may differ. May.
Even so, Shawn Gumataotao from That’s It, That’s All said that he really appreciates the RedCircle analytics because “Many may not realize that podcasts are being listened beyond where we live. Living in Micronesia, and sharing stories about our part of the world is done by a few. I expected many listening on my island. The RedCircle interface tracks who listens from what Country and City. I know Americans consume more podcasts. I have seen downloads from unfamiliar cities in 12 Countries-7 I had never even visited before.“
There’s a lot to like about what RedCircle is offering independent podcasters with their monetization options. Is it the right fit for your podcasting needs? As with most things in podcasting, it depends. I hope this post has given some insights into how RedCircle can help you if monetization is a goal for your podcast.
Need More Help With Your Podcast Goals?
If you’d like more guidance and support about any other aspect of podcasting, then take a look at The Podcast Host Academy.
You’ll find all of our courses, downloadable resources, community forum, and weekly live Q&A sessions. It’s the one-stop-shop place for building and growing a great podcast! Finding a podcast host to fit your needs is the beginning but the Podcast Host Academy can help you with the middle bits too!