Spotify Podcasters Are Making $18,000 a Month With Nothing But White Noise

Spotify Podcasters Are Making $18,000 a Month With Nothing But White Noise

Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg People on the prowl for a new podcast to consume often go for a stimulating option like a political debate or a true crime mystery to quicken the pulse. But when the din of the world becomes too much, listeners often need the opposite vibe: something soothing and sedating, maybe with the sound of static or falling rain. Perhaps a touch of crickets.

Enter — quietly, on tippy-toes — the white noise podcasters.

While the top of the podcast charts on Spotify and Apple are still dominated by garrulous, jawboning hosts, these days you can also reliably find a smattering of white noise shows appearing in the mix. Relatively new to the podcast scene, the tranquil programs haves names like “Calming White Noise,” “Best Noise Labs,” “Relaxing White Noise” and “Deep Sleep Sounds.”

Who is behind the popular offerings is a bit of a mystery.

To date, the major podcast networks have yet to pile into the field, leaving independent creators to serve the growing market. Curiously, at time when most podcasters clamor for public attention, the white noise podcast creators remain a relatively tight-lipped group. Requests to speak with multiple shows, even those with a contact form, were declined or went unanswered. In one case, the name of a website’s owner was hidden— its host was listed , improbably, as “Earth.”

Those who did respond to interview requests say they are making good money, winning over fans and marveling at the power of podcast distribution. Collectively, the shows represent a burgeoning and lucrative podcast genre.

Todd Moore, a Florida Keys resident, quit his cybersecurity job in 2009 to focus full-time on an app, which he named White Noise. In 2019, he launched a podcast named “ Tmsoft’s White Noise Sleep Sounds ,” using Anchor, Spotify’s free podcast-hosting software. Moore says that his white noise show now gets around 50,000 listens per day — a figure that would rank in the top 25 percent of all podcasts, according to Marshall Williams, partner and chairman of the podcast ad agency Ad Results Media.

Moore and his white noise team — yes, he has five employees and contractors — offer a subscription plan. But most people listen to the free, ad-supported version. Because Moore doesn’t want to interrupt the calming aura of his show, he opts to include only pre-roll ads. Anchor manages the commercial load and pays Moore $12.25 per thousand listens, which adds up to about $612.50 per day, or around $18,375 per month.

“I never thought writing a little app on a weekend would turn into my full-time life,” Moore said. “You just never know.”

Though Moore primarily built his business through his app, he says streaming content now provides the majority of his revenue. In addition to the podcast, he also releases his lulling sounds as music tracks, which generate income from royalties, and as videos on YouTube.

“Tmsoft’s White Noise Sleep Sounds,” success appears to be tied to various factors: Moore buys ads on Spotify and places house ads around his website and app, which might prompt people to check it out. Spotify’s algorithm also can steer listeners toward such podcasts based on their search queries or previous selections. The automated process has already minted at least one accidental white-noise star. WATCH: The Attention Economy: Podcasts In 2019, Brandon Reed, a Walt Disney Co. employee who lives in Florida, started using Anchor to host some white noise programming that he hoped would help his baby son fall asleep. Reed wasn’t aiming to build a successful podcast, he said, but soon the Spotify algorithm started pushing people to his show, “ 12 Hour Sound Machines (no loops or fades) .” That year, he created three, free episodes filled with hours of static noises.

Now, three years later, around 100,000 listeners play his show daily. What began as essentially a cozy sound blanket for his baby, now regularly pops up around the world on Spotify’s charts of the most popular podcast episodes. Last year, Reed’s show made the top charts in four different countries.

“I didn’t even intend for people to listen to this,” he said.

At one point last year, it climbed to number 15 on the top podcast chart, putting him in the company of programs like Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” and the New York Times’ “The Daily.”

“The amount of production that goes into some of these podcasts, the production value, and then for this silly noise that plays for 12 hours to be in the top 100 feels crazy,” Reed said. “People are absolutely devouring […]

source Spotify Podcasters Are Making $18,000 a Month With Nothing But White Noise

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