Stories

Podcast events are making a killing

Data: Vivid Seats; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The number of events that have sold based on podcasts has increased by over 2000% in the past six years, according to ticket sales data from Vivid Seats, one of the largest independent ticket vendors in North America.

Why it matters: Live events offer podcasts the opportunity to monetize outside of audio ad revenue, which is growing but still pretty small compared to radio ad revenue.

The big picture: Many of the most expensive tickets sell to shows that are personality-driven.

  • "What’s even more interesting is what we’re not seeing: narrative podcasts, which tends to more of the critical attention," says Nicholas Quah, the founder and writer of Hot Pod, a leading industry newsletter about podcasts.
  • "This probably has to do with adaptation — seems like the way you’d build good live podcast shows isn’t too far from the way you’d think about booking bands," Quah notes.

The bottom line: Live events are often very community-driven, and podcasts, due to the more personalized nature of speaking to an audience versus writing to one, have been able develop very strong personal relationships with readers.

"At Vivid Seats, we've seen the enormous growth of fans looking to see their favorite podcast hosts in person. Certainly, huge summer concerts, traditional sporting events and theater shows remain popular, but fans are clearly enjoying more tailored forms of live entertainment that hardly even existed a decade ago."
— Michael O'Neil, Head of Public Policy and Community Engagement at Vivid Seats

Go deeper: Spotify's podcasting dreams