It's pretty difficult to find accurate up-to-date figures on the highest earning podcasts. For the most part, the information isn’t publically available. It’s only podcasters themselves who truly know how much money they’re bringing in. And they probably won’t be revealing that anytime soon.
So rather than simply guessing who earns what, the best available approximation is Patreon. Not all podcasters use Patreon, but a lot do. So it's safe to assume that the podcasts with the most patrons are among the highest earners out there.
When this article was first published in 2018, the Patreon Top 10 list looked quite different (see the video below). The fact the list has changed so much in just one year highlights the rapid growth period podcasting is currently going through.
At the time of writing (Aug 2019) here are the highest earning podcasts on Patreon:
10. Tell 'Em Steve-Dave
Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave is a comedy podcast with a long history and loyal audience. Some previous listening experience is essential to make sense of all the insider references in each episode. But that’s why long-term listeners love it so much. Hosted by Walt Flanagan, Bryan Johnson, and Brian Quinn, the show originally began as a spinoff of filmmaker Kevin Smith’s “Smodcast” podcast empire. A whole lot of nonsense, and a whole lot of fun.
9. Meuller, She Wrote
The clue is in the name. Hosted by three San Diego based comedians, Jordan Coburn, A.G. and Jaleesa Johnson, Mueller, She Wrote followed the recent Meuller investigation in minute detail, with a weekly breakdown of investigations. Despite the somewhat anticlimactic findings of the report, the podcast has only grown in popularity and authority. The show is continuing to separate facts from conjecture with a healthy dose of snark.
Doughboys is a comedy based podcast that sees comedians, Mike Mitchell and Nick Wiger, review different fast food chains. The reviews are honest but filled with a lot of comedy so each episode is definitely an entertaining listen. They also sometimes pit different chains against each other in humour filled battles, such as, who does the best pizza?
7. Not Another D&D Podcast
For the uninitiated, D&D stands for Dungeons & Dragons. Not Another D&D Podcast brings listeners weekly tales from the realm of Bahumia, where three unlikely adventurers attempt to right the wrongs caused by a party of legendary heroes who screwed up the world while trying to save it. Dungeon Master and host Brian Murphy is joined Emily Axford, Jake Hurwitz, and Caldwell Tanner for fantasy-fuelled collaborative storytelling.
6. Cum Town
It’s important to give your podcast a memorable name… and artwork. Cum Town is hosted by New York comedians Nick Mullen and Stavros Halkias. Their dark but juvenile banter has struck a chord with thousands of listeners who enjoy hearing normal social convention get thrown out the window. Not one for the easily offended (if you hadn’t already guessed from the name or artwork).
Earnings: $48,394 per month
5. Tiny Meat Gang
Ex-Viners, YouTubers, podcasters, and bonafide “social media influencers” Cody Ko and Noel Miller started the weekly Tiny Meat Gang Podcast in 2017. The pair know a thing or two about creating great comedic content - Ko first became famous by racking up 3.2 million followers on Vine. They’ve also started taking their podcast on the road, recently selling out a theatre tour in the US.
Earnings: $51,199 per month
4. The Last Podcast on the Left
Last Podcast on the Left publishes a new episode every week and looks at different horror stories, both fictional and non-fictional. Hosted by Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski, they’ve toured multiple times, recording live podcasts to add to their extensive collection. To date, the group has recorded 416 episodes, ranging in subject matter from theories on sex dungeons to Satanism in the government.
Earnings: $55,898 per month
3. Second Captains World Service
Based in Dublin, this group of friends run six podcasts posting every day, Monday to Friday, with two shows on Monday. Second Captains cover a variety of topics including, football, politics and the latest news. Another interesting one for funding as you have to donate €5 per month to get access to all the podcasts they publish.
2. True Crime Obsessed
True Crime has long been a dominant genre in podcasting. So it’s unsurprising to see the success of True Crime Obsessed, which focuses mainly on reviewing and recapping true crime entertainment as a whole. Hosted by Patrick Hinds and Gillian Pensavalle, the show brings the right balance of entertainment, analysis, and humour needed to properly dissect a true crime story.
1. Chapo Trap House
Chapo Trap House is a political podcast with a humorous outlook, this podcast is hosted by a group of people who are well-known on the internet for their left wing views. Will Menaker, Felix Biederman and Matt Christman, with regular guest hosts, provide comedic commentary on the political issues of today. They post twice weekly, one episode being free to listen and the other being available to $5 per month Patreon donors.
Earnings: $137,094 per month