He Makes $1m+ Per Podcast, Has Launched 5, and Raised $6m+. Here’s How He Did It with Alex Blumberg of Gimlet

Alex Blumberg The Top Podcast Episode 164

In Episode #164, Nathan speaks with Alex Blumberg, the host of StartUp and CEO and co-founder of Gimlet Media. Listen as Nathan and Alex talk about the Freedom Journal, a notebook designed for users to set and accomplish their goals effectively.

Famous 5

  • Favorite Book?— Creativity Inc. – by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace
  • What CEO do you follow?— Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg
  • What is your favorite online tool?— Google Docs
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?—Be more patient.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:00 – Nathan’s introduction to today’s show
  • 01:37 – Alex joins the show
  • 01:49 – Gimlet is a digital media company that focuses primarily on audio.
  • 02:27 – Alex and his team at Gimlet has raised 6 million for the business.
  • 04:08 – His podcast StartUp generates revenue through ads.
  • 06:05 – Alex estimates that his CPM on this podcast is higher than the average radio station.
  • 06:28 – As podcasts as a medium mature, Alex expects them to grow in production value.
  • 07:05 – Alex describes his 6-month process when creating a new podcast.
  • 07:55 – It takes roughly 100K from start to finish when making the first episode.
  • 09:18 – Alex’s old colleagues from his career in public radio have come to work at Gimlet.
  • 10:40 – Each individual show produced by Gimlet Media generally has its own team.
  • 13:22 – Alex uses SoundCloud to keep track of listeners for a particular audio.
  • 14:39 – Advertising on podcasts is very straightforward and works well for Alex’s sponsors.
  • 15:49 – Sponsors advertise in accordance to a contract with Alex’s podcasts.
  • 17:09 – Alex makes over 1 million dollars per podcast.
  • 19:16 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. As podcasts grow as a medium, expect to see an increase in production value and overall quality.
  2. Advertising on podcasts is extremely straightforward because sponsors can clearly evaluate how many people they’re reaching.
  3. For even seasoned veterans like Alex, creating a quality podcast can take a lot of time, money, and manpower (6 months, 100K, varied staff).

Resources Mentioned:



Alex Blumberg is the host of StartUp and CEO/co-founder of Gimlet Media. He’s also an award winning radio journalist. Prior to Gimlet, he was the producer of This American Life and the co-founder of planet money.



Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives



  • Great episode! Really liked the idea of swapping out advertisements in old episodes to continue monetizing the podcast.