Megaphone is a popular podcast production software, but it’s not quite what you’d expect it to be. It’s now owned by Spotify, which means it’s in the hands of one of the biggest podcasting platforms to ever exist.
Does that make it beginner-friendly? You’d think so.
In fact, Megaphone has a requirement before you can even use it. It has features (and pricing) that isn’t designed for small, independent podcast productions.
Let’s talk about why they’re actually not good for beginners, and when it becomes a viable platform for your podcast production.
What is Megaphone?
Megaphone is a pocasting app and platform that was bought by Spotify in 2018. As such, it’s under the management of one of the largest podcasting platforms online today, but they didn’t exactly do what we expected with it.
Megaphone is an exclusive platform for higher-production podcasts that gives you access to a wide range of advertisers, integrated directory distribution, in-depth statistics and analytics, and puts you in the driver’s seat.
It’s a world-class app and service, but it’s not for everyone. Let’s take a look at the benefits and the setbacks you get with Megaphone.
- Integrated Monetization: One of the best reasons to get started with Megaphone is the integrated ad platform. You don’t have to sign up with a bunchh of ad networks and make your own deals; you can simply monetize with Megaphone. The exclusivity makes sense now, right? These ad networks only want access to podcasts with the highest levels of success, which means higher ad rates than you would expect with other ad networks. It’s a win-win for the podcaster and the advertisers, so the money’s usually always good.
- Unlimited Bandwidth: You don’t have to worry about restrictions on your bandwidth. All users on Megaphone get access to unlimited bandwidth to prevent issues with your user base. They won’t have any restrictions on how much they can download, and it won’t blow back on you in terms of data like some WordPress plugins have been known to do in the past.
- Great Statistic Tracking: One of the biggest reasons that you should consider Megaphone if you have a podcast with moderate levels of success is because you have access to in-depth statistics. Everything is compliant with the IABv2 policies, and you can even export your metrics to a third-party app or service if you’d prefer it that way. You get better insight into your customer and listener base, while also havihng access to download tracking so you know who’s downloading your podcasts, what city and region they’re in, and which apps they’re using to download your podcast. It’s a truly magnificent insight into your listeners and their behaviors.
- Phenomenal Distribution Methods: Megaphone has its own way to integrate your podcast into podcast directories such as Google Podcasts, Spotify (obviously), Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts and more. You can determine which ones you’d like your podcast to be distributed to in your advanced settings.
- Poor Availability: Spotify took over Megaphone and turned the platform into an exlusive space strictly for high-production value podcasts. At the very least, they want you to have around 20,000 active listeners (this can be averaged out and doesn’t need to be on every individual espisode, or so we’ve heard). It’s exclusive, which means you get access to a team that isn’t overworked to the bone or anything like that, but it isn’t easy to get started with them. That’s the bummer.
- Requires Previous Knowledge: While it shouldn’t be an issue since you won’t have access to Megaphone until you have a successful podcast, it’s not the most beginner-friendly interface. There are tons of reviews out there that cite the ease of use the platform offers, but it’s very clearly designed with the expectation that you’ve already used a fair few podcasting apps in the past and know your way around. While the interface change in 2021 certainly made it more user-friendly, it can still be a hassle to navigate from time to time.
- No Plugins: Megaphone is its own service; it’s not a customizable set of puzzle pieces that you can move around on your own. This is where it falters a bit compared to other platforms, but as the platform has improved over time and the number of benefits have increased, the need for a plugin has dwindled. You can do just about anything that you would need for your podcast through Megaphone, including distribution, so it’s just a little less friendly if you used to host your podcast on a WordPress site.
How Does it Work?
Megaphone is the platform that you upload your podcast to. From there, they do a lot of the additional work to put it into directories, help you get set up with ads, and more.
You still have to manually submit your podcast to iTunes and Google Podcasts through your dashboard, but they do the back-end work for you so it’s not a super long process.
You upload your podcast through Megaphone and then utilize the integrated features as you see fit, allowing you to customize your entire experience at the drop of a hat.
How to Make a Podcast on Megaphone
Now that we know how awesome Megaphone can be, even if it’s not ideal for beginners, let’s talk about actually setting up a podcast on the Megaphone platofmr.
- In the Megaphone app, tap on “Podcasts” in the top-left corner. This may move around based on UI changes, but so far, it’s always been in this corner.
- Once you’re there, you’ll see a “Create a Podcast” button. Tap on that to get started.
- Now you’ll be brought to the “Create a Podcast” menu. This is where you have to input all of your information for the new podcast and submit it. This step has a lot of pieces to it, so you’ll have to put in your podcast name, the subtitle, summary, ad network information, podcast type/category, custom URL slug, rating, language, ad tags, and more. Be prepared to devote some time to this step.
- You’ll see a button that says “Save” in the top-right corner. Tap on that, and you’re good to go. Megaphone puts most of the process on a single page, but that’s all you need to create a podcast.
How Much Does it Cost?
Megaphoen is strictly an enterprise-level planning structure. So everything is completely customized.
Generally, Megaphone publishers (podcast owners) don’t discuss their specific details about their contract with Megaphone, although it’s reported that they charge based on every 1,000 podcast downloads (hence why they want to work with individuals that have 20,000 downloads per episode).
Every price starts as a customized quote, so while there’s no definitive answer, don’t assume it’s going tto be on the cheap end. They’re targeting high-volume podcasts specifically because they know the earning potential from these high-ticket publishers.
Pro Tips for Using Megaphone
If you’re able to get started with Megaphone, first of all, congratulations. This is what you need to know to get the most out of the platform.
- Being part of an ad network may actually get you into Megaphone without reaching the 20,000 download threshold. It all depends on which network you’re in and how much leverage they have.
- You can customize your ad insertion and ad points with ease, with or without the help of an advertising agency or network that you use to get your foot in the door. You’re in control of your monetization.
- Audio ads yield more income than on-screen ads since they can be integrated into the podcast. This will work for downloads as well as streamed episodes.
- Don’t overthink the setup process. Megaphone is designed to make it easy to start a new podcast, so while it may take 10-15 minutes
Megaphone is easy to use and not easy to get started with. So is it for beginners? Absolutely not.
Even if you were able to get your foot in the door, you won’t be able to cover the cost of your subscription/service to Megaphone without proper income through their ad networks and distribution.
New podcasts may have to stick to the likes of YouTube and other plTforms if they want to see growth before moving to a more premium network like Megaphone. While the platforms are different, Megaphone is worth it once you have the option.
Become a Megaphone Master
Megaphone is great if you have the ability to use it, and while it takes a little getting used to, the features greatly outweigh other platforms and softwares.
Megaphone isn’t for small and independent podcasters, so it might be something that newcomers will strive to use in the future, but at the early stages of a new podcast it’s not advised to use Megaphone just yet.