During the past decade, “content was king”. Today, “community is king”.

The web has become saturated with content and the average consumer is overwhelmed with newsletters, blogs, and podcasts. There is simply not enough time to sort through and digest the information, however valuable it might be.

Unlike written content, podcasting cannot be skimmed and requires more time to consume. The north-star KPI for almost all podcasters is “downloads”. But if you do the math, there’s no possible way for 95% of podcasters to find success.

  1. A podcast must have a large audience to monetize (10k+/episode).
  2. Listeners have a limited…


Monetization in podcasting depends almost entirely on a sponsorship/ad-supported model. The reason is simple to understand; the limited 1-way broadcast offers no access to the listeners.

You can’t build an email list, you can’t ask questions, you don’t even know who the listeners are. All you can do is read ads (or have them dynamically inserted). This creates a host of complications for large advertisers who are still watching on the sidelines.

Ad-monetization is not fun:

  • You have to dance around advertiser sensitivities.
  • You’re vulnerable during economic challenges when advertisers stop renewing their contracts.
  • You’re constantly under pressure to increase revenue by increasing ad-inventory…


As the golden age of podcasting blossoms, capitalistic free markets inevitably unleash large corporations to conquer the new frontiers and establish their kingdoms. Like the historic empires discovering new lands, the rumors of untapped gold always usher an era of conquest.

But podcasting, like it’s older brother blogging, is an open ecosystem and highly resistant to centralization. Those good at patterns will notice that Spotify is currently attempting to do with podcasting what Google tried with blogging 15 years earlier.

What will be the result? Ben Thompson writing for Stratechery concluded, “if we are to maintain a thriving podcast ecosystem…


Starting a podcast is similar to building a startup.

After launching two podcasts and three startups of my own, I’ve come to realize that there are fundamental rules that define the success of a podcast. Here are the 3 most important laws when creating a podcast today:

  1. Start with a group of people, not a topic.
  2. Start with a distribution strategy, not a monetization strategy.
  3. Start with an MVP, not a polished product.

Let’s break them down.

1. Start with a group of people, not a topic.

Nearly everyone who decides to start a podcast begins with a topic which…


The term, podcasting, is in a time of confusion.

It used to mean something specific (like independent, open RSS, open distribution), but the times have changed and podcasters today can either resist or embrace the inevitable and look for opportunities in the new world.

Podcasting attention has shifted to high-production content (episodes that cost thousands of $$$ do product), but to complicate matters further, major distributors are now playing the content game (podcast players own/license their own content). This major landscape shift suffocates all optimism of equal playing ground for independent creators.

When Spotify, Apple, and other apps, play the…


I believe the future will be voice-centered. Audio interfaces will replace digital screens and we will prefer listening over reading.

In other words, I believe Airpods are the new iPhone, or “smart-earbuds” are the new smart-phone.

My prediction is that Airpod wearing time will increase (AWT), Apple will innovate with every model, and we will soon be using our Airpods to browse the internet, manage our health, daily tasks, shopping, ordering an Uber, and even finding meaningful human connections.

The iPhone introduced a new mobile interface and defined an era of human interactivity. Every year we waited patiently for the…


Get this: over a lifetime, the average person will have spent thirteen years listening to music. That’s a heck of a lot of Mozart (or Boyz II Men).

It makes sense when you consider that the average person listens to music 25 hours a week. It’s a startling number that only promises to increase here in the 21st century. Today, music, like many other digitalized experiences, is readily available at every turn. While we drive. While we jog. In the shower. …


Some people who do their best work accompanied only by the sound of a refrigerator’s hum and the ticking of a clock. Others flourish amidst the incessant clacking of keyboards and squeaking of office furniture. But for most of us, a more consciously crafted soundtrack is the ticket to sustaining concentration for long periods. Although scientists continue to debate the nature and extent of the benefits derived from listening to music while working, there is a growing consensus that well chosen “study music” does improve focus and reduce mental fatigue.

But of course, there’s the rub. What exactly constitutes “well…


Is the Mozart Effect real? Does Classical music actually help you concentrate? Is there real science behind the kind of music you should listen to while studying?

Based on an array of experiments conducted over the last several decades, we know that listening to music while working or studying can improve focus and productivity. Odds are that if you are reading this article, you are listening to music in the background. But not all “study playlists” are created equal. Here, we will look at some of the most important dontss when selecting “brain food” you consume with your ears. …

Paul Mikhaylenko

Founder & CEO @ Listen App | The most advanced podcast community platform. Go deep when everyone is going broad.

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