Vanity Fair’s Joe Pompeo published a juicy profile on the New York Times’ flagship news podcast yesterday, and it’s dripping with inside-baseball details. The narrative framing of the piece largely revolves around the seemingly unexpected nature of The Daily’s rise to stardom — which, interestingly enough, feels of a piece with the lead piece in this past Tuesday’s newsletter: the role of luck in the success of Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness.
It almost seems that the best you can plan for is profitable sustainability. Anything on top of that… is largely a function of hitting something you can’t possible plan for.
Anyway, I mentioned numbers. Some specs:
- “The Daily was the most-downloaded new show on Apple Podcasts last year, with 5 million listeners a month at the latest count, more than 1 million of whom tune in every day for the show’s narrative hard-news breakdowns, tear-jerking human-interest stories, and inside accounts of Times’s reporting.”
- “Chief Operating Officer Meredith Kopit Levien wouldn’t discuss how much money The Daily is making so far, but a sales proposal for June sought $290,000-per-month to be part of the show’s monthly sponsorship rotation, which generally includes several advertisers. A person with knowledge of The Daily’s finances told me the show will book ad revenue in the low eight figures this year.”
- One broader: “The big bucks, as one talent agent in the space suggested to me, could be in events and touring. It’s a formula that’s been doing gangbusters for the year-old podcast factory Crooked Media, home of the wildly popular Pod Save America, which sold out Radio City Music hall this spring. (Crooked Media’s 10 podcasts comfortably book eight-figure annual revenue, according to someone with knowledge of the matter.) “
Here’s the full write-up, once again.