Izzy Video: Making Money from Podcasting

by David Spark on September 24, 2009

This interview is part of my series “Making Money from Podcasting” (read summary “9 Successful Techniques for Making Money from Podcasting”) where I interview podcasters who are actually generating revenue from their podcasts. There are many techniques, and here’s one person’s tale of how he’s making money from podcasting.

Israel Hyman, host of Izzy Video

Israel Hyman, host of Izzy Video

Give away every other episode. Make them pay for the rest.

Israel Hyman is the host of Izzy Video, a video podcast about shooting and producing great video. I discovered Izzy Video a few years ago and I became quite a fan learning a little about video production as that’s part of the work that I do for my business, Spark Media Solutions. When Hyman first started Izzy Video, he was working in sales for a Fortune 500 company and it had absolutely nothing to do with his passion, video production. For two years Hyman produced his video podcast when he had free time. At night, on the weekends, and he gave it all away for free.

Interview (Time: 12:50)

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All the work was completely exhausting. He had produced about 45 episodes and he realized he had gotten to a point where he had to make a decision about the future of his podcast. Was he going to invest all his time and make a business of it, or just completely quit? It was a difficult decision as Hyman had a steady sales job and a wife with three children. Obviously with support from his family he slowly shifted into going full time with Izzy Video, making it the main source of income. I remember Hyman making the announcement on his podcast to all his viewers that he was going to need their support.

Izzy Video - Learn to Shoot and Edit Video

Hyman didn’t know how he was going to make money from his podcast until he attended the Portable Media Expo and talked with Don McCallister about how he’s making money with his podcast, ScreenCasts Online. (Read and listen to my interview with Don McAllister for the “Making Money from Podcasting” series.) Since his content was also educational, and his back catalog of videos were evergreen and still had value, he realized he could copy McCallister’s model for monetization – give away every other episode for free, and make people pay for the rest. Similar to McCallister, a six month subscription to Izzy Video costs $69 and then for the six months following users pay $19. Hyman is definitely committed to the long term as he even has a lifetime membership option for $150 that many subscribers have chosen. Hyman recommends and uses the membership management software program, aMember Professional.

It’s a model that works

Hyman has gone on to repeat the Izzy Video podcast model two more times, launching the shows Paperclipping (a scrapbooking show) and Rolling R’s (a show to learn Spanish), both of which have made money. They haven’t made nearly as much money as Izzy Video which constitutes 85% of all his revenue, estimates Hyman. His goal is to launch a total of ten shows. To launch a show, he looks for a market by browsing the magazine racks at the bookstore. If there’s a successful magazine in a possible “How To” field, Hyman sees potential success with launching a premium video podcast.

Listen to my interview with Hyman as he tells his tale and discusses a few other ways he’s generating revenue from his video podcasts.

More episodes of “Making Money from Podcasting”

  • Never Not Funny (Technique: “Partial show for free – full show paid”)
  • Personal Life Media (Technique: “Build your own media network of programming and sell advertising against it”)
  • Pregtastic (Technique: “Get your own sponsors”)
  • Elsie’s Yoga Class (Technique: “Sell an iPhone application along with your podcast”)
  • Mac OS Ken (Technique: “Give away five shows for free, make them pay for the sixth”)
  • Alaska HDTV (Technique: “Get your own sponsors”)
  • Duct Tape Marketing (Technique: “Build your brand to sell your services”)
  • ScreenCastsOnline (Technique: “Give away every other episode. Make them pay for the rest.”)
  • Slate Gabfests (Technique: “Integrating sponsorship with the show’s editorial”)
  • Wizzard Media (Technique: “Got audience? We’ll get you sponsors. Or, get sponsors on your own and we’ll insert the ads” PLUS “Sell an iPhone application along with your podcast”)
  • Premiumcast.com (Technique: “Build an audience and sell premium podcasts”)
  • Manager Tools (Technique: “Build your brand to sell your services”)
  • ESPN (“Build your own media network of programming and sell advertising against it”)
  • Mevio (Technique: “Motivate your audience”)

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Melanie A.No Gravatar December 15, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Hi David!

I am actually a student at CSUN and I just recently shot a podcast for a class. In the podcast, a friend of mine explains why she went into screenwriting.

I didn’t make this particular podcast for money, but I was wondering if you could check out my vid and tell me (in your perspective) how far I am from a successful money making podcast.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNEwNiNB8lk

Thank you!
Melanie

David SparkNo Gravatar December 16, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Melanie:

You’ve got a good start on producing video. Whether something is a money-making podcast, you have to think of your audience. Are you going to draw a huge audience with this? Are people willing to pay for something like this? Do they want to see more of something like this? I have an idea of the answers, but I think you know better than me.

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