Podcasts are an easy way to pass the time whether you’re exercising or have a boring office job. The popularity of podcasts has risen sharply over the past five years as 420 million people now listen to them regularly. The industry continues to prosper, and podcasting is a lucrative career if you can build a loyal fanbase. Here we put together a list of the top 10 highest paid podcast hosts today.
Top 10 Wealthiest Podcasters
1. Joe Rogan – $30 Million
Even if you’re not a podcast person, you’ve likely heard of Joe Rogan somewhere on the internet. He is the host of The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast, where he invites high-profile guests to talk about a range of topics including MMA, philosophy, politics and technology.
Prior to this, Joe was a TV presenter, UFC commentator, actor, and stand-up comedian. Rogan has interviewed some of the biggest names in the world, such as Mike Tyson, Kevin Hart, Elon Musk, Edward Snowden, and more.
The Joe Rogan Experience has close to ten million followers on Spotify, making it the most popular podcast on the planet. Joe’s earnings are proportional to the popularity of the show. He has a slew of sponsors that help him earn a whopping $30 million per year.
2. Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark – $15 Million
True crime is a genre that thrives in the podcast space and My Favorite Murder, hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, dominates the category. The investigative pair have millions of loyal listeners known as “Murderinos” that support their crime-solving endeavors.
Kilgariff and Hardstark first met in 2015 at a Halloween party, where they immediately bonded after discovering their mutual interest. Kilgariff was most recognized for her stand-up comedy before the podcast and Hardstark worked as a show host with her previous business partner Alie Ward.
Since its inception in 2016, the bi-weekly program has shown no signs of slowing down. Now, they are getting more than 35 million downloads every month. The duo has also started a new venture called Exactly Right Podcast Network. All of this earns them $15 million annually.
3. Dave Ramsey – $10 Million
The Ramsey Show, which began as a radio program, focuses on helping listeners get out of debt and make better financial decisions. Dave Ramsey combines the elements of a podcast and a traditional radio show, letting listeners call in to give them financial advice.
Fans trust in Dave’s advice as he has a strong track record in the finance industry. He has a degree in finance and real estate, which he used to found a financial counseling firm, write a bestselling financial literacy book, and become a host for Fox Business.
The Ramsey Show first aired as a radio program in 1992 in Nashville, Tennessee. It adapted to the technological shift and is now bigger than ever. With his 18 million weekly listeners and a yearly salary of $10 million, Dave Ramsey is the third richest podcaster right now.
4. Dax Shepard – $9 Million
Dax Shepard hosts the podcast titled Armchair Expert, where he conducts life interviews with artists, journalists, and intellectuals. What makes it unique from other interview-type podcasts is, Dax asks questions that spark vulnerable and touching moments.
Shepard’s style of discussion may be from studying Anthropology. He also has a lot of experience dealing with people as an actor and director. Dax is connected to many big-screen artists, even being married to one in Kristen Bell, who was the first guest on his show.
His meticulously prepared discourse and thought-provoking topics have propelled him to the top of the podcasting world with 20 million regular listeners. His most moving episodes are with his wife Kristen, Emilia Clarke, Ashton Kutcher. With this, Dax earns $9 million every year.
5. Bill Simmons – $7 Million
The Bill Simmons Podcast delves into the world of sports and entertainment. Here, Bill invites fellow commentators and other well-known sports enthusiasts to discuss recent events. Sal Iacono and Nathan Fielder are some of his most popular guests.
His show is now being dubbed as the new ESPN, a sports-focused cable company that Bill worked with in the past. Before parting ways with the corporation, he had his first podcasting job in The B.S. Report of ESPN.com. After some controversies, Bill left and started his own podcast network.
State Farm sponsors The Bill Simmons Podcast that has between 400,000 to 800,000 listeners per episode. The success of the podcast drew the attention of Spotify, which negotiated a $200 million agreement for exclusive rights. As a result, Simmons makes $7 million in annual income from podcasting.
6. Tim Dillon – $2.4 Million
Tim Dillon has climbed into mainstream media by constantly delivering hilarious content that aims to solve some of the world’s most difficult and perplexing issues. He specializes in practical conspiracies and has dug into some of humanity’s darker concepts with humor.
At first, Dillon was not planning to be in the entertainment business. Tim was a subprime mortgage salesman. But after the Great Recession in 2008, Tim had to improvise. He became a stand-up comedian and went viral. Eventually, he started his first podcast Tim Dillon is Going to Hell.
Now, he is actively hosting the Tim Dillon Show and is also a regular guest on the Joe Rogan Experience. He is on several sites, but his primary platform is Patreon, where he has over 37,2000 paying subscribers. As one of the leading creators on Patreon, Dillon earns $2.4 million annually.
7. Chapo Trap House – $2 Million
Five guys co-host the Chapo Trap House: Will Menaker, Felix Biederman, Amber A’Lee Frost, Matt Christman, and Virgil Texas. The podcast is associated with the dirtbag left, a style of left-wing political discussion that avoids politeness to be more casual and vulgar.
Menaker, Christman, and Biederman are the founding members and they first met on Twitter. Because of their speaking manner, the groups’ content is considered provocative by many. They were banned from Twitch and Reddit after they criticized the 2020 election’s political candidates.
The group releases free episodes weekly on Spotify, SoundCloud, and iTunes, among other platforms. They also have premium material on Patreon. They became Patreon’s highest-earning user in February 2020, making about $160,000 per month. Overall, they make around $2 million per year.
8. Patrick Hinds and Gillian Pensavalle – $1.8 Million
Patrick Hinds and Gillian Pensavalle are the two hosts of another popular true crime podcast titled True Crime Obsessed. The program covers frightful and disturbing crime stories. What makes them different is their style of bringing humor to scary tales.
Hinds is a long-running podcaster whose series Theater People and Broadway Backstory are well-known. Gillian Pensavalle is known as the co-creator and lead of the comedy show The Residuals, as well as the host of The Hamilcast: A Hamilton Podcast. They make a lively combo together.
Patrick and Gillian have made close ties with their followers, amassing a total of over 46,000 followers on Patreon. Their conspiracy and mystery videos are also available on other websites. The True Crime Obsessed podcast earns them roughly $1.8 million every year.
9. Pat Flynn – $1.2 Million
The Smart Passive Income podcast is hosted by Pat Flynn. The show is exactly as it sounds. Flynn invites successful entrepreneurs onto his show to discuss how they made their fortune.
Like Tim Dillon, Pat’s success story started with him losing his job during the 2008 financial crisis. He started a blog related to his architectural studies and it attracted 10,000 daily visitors. Pat then put the content from that website into an ebook, making it his first passive income idea.
He informs his viewers about his firsthand experiences as an entrepreneur and hosts some of the smartest minds in business such as Tim Ferriss, Ramit Sethi and Gary Vaynerchuk. The podcast makes him over $1.2 million per year.
10. Andrew Schulz and Akaash Singh – $1.2 Million
Flagrant 2 is a podcast hosted by Andrew Schulz and Akaash Singh. The program prides itself on having honest and unapologetic banter. In the era of cancel culture, Flagrant 2 offers a welcome break for fans who want to escape the fake patronizing shows.
Before podcasting, Singh and Schulz made their names in stand-up comedy. The two have been featured in the MTV show Wild ‘n Out. Schulz is also known for his roles in Guy Code of MTV2 and Schulz Saves America on Netflix.
They have joined forces to create a Patreon exclusive podcast. With intriguing guests, they tackle a variety of hot topics to their subscribers. They make $1.2 million in annual revenue which is just enough to snag the last spot on this list.