Expected Outcomes & Timeframe

In this module, we discuss:

  • Industry standard projections for various revenue streams associated with The Business of Media


  • RPM - a commonly used number in advertising programs that represents the estimated earnings a publisher accrues for every 1,000 impressions received
  • Native Advertising - online content that it is created for paid promotion of a business on a media site, which doesn't use a traditional ad format such as a banner ad, but includes editorial content such as a blog post or infographic

The timeframe in which your business can start recuperating its investment in the execution of The Business of Media depends on:

  • The revenue streams you plan to leverage
  • The size of your audience when you start executing The Business of Media
  • The level of brand awareness, trust and credibility that you have already established with the audience of your identity feed

Assuming you already have a substantial, engaged, relevant audience, you can implement some of the revenue streams right off the bat, such as affiliate marketing and revenue sharing programs. (The number of people in a substantial audience varies per business, but generally we are talking about somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 people.)

However, the other revenue streams should be rolled out after you have diligently established and cultivated widespread brand awareness, trust and credibility (all based on engagement) with your identity feed and its core audience ("1,000 True Fans").

For a business that is just entering into The Business of Media without a substantial, engaged, relevant audience, it may take at least one year to build such an audience, while simultaneously cultivating widespread brand awareness, trust and credibility — depending on how aggressive you are in building an audience (investing in paid social media advertising, retargeting website visitors and email addresses on social media, etc).

Industry Standard Projections

While not all of the revenue streams that we detailed in the module "The Business of Media" Business Model have industry standard projections, we will take a look at those within traditional advertising and revenue sharing programs.

For industry standards about other revenue streams, we recommend researching the media kits of niche media companies that are similar to your business' identity feed.


Revenue per 1,000 impressions (RPM) is a commonly used number in advertising programs, representing the estimated earnings a publisher accrues for every 1,000 impressions received. The formula is:

RPM = (estimated earnings / number of page views) x 1,000

For example, if you earned an estimated $0.15 from 25 page views, then your page RPM would equal ($0.15 / 25) x 1,000, or $6.00. If you earned an estimated $180 from 45,000 ad impressions, your ad RPM would equal ($180 / 45,000) x 1,000, or $4.00.

You can use this calculator to estimate your potential earnings with regard to Google AdSense. In general, a website or blog that generates 10,000 visits each month can generate between $200 and $300 per month, or about $20 for every 1,000 impressions.

For podcasting, industry standards include:

  • A 15-second pre-roll ad* commands $18.00 per 1,000 CPMs (listens)
  • A 60-second mid-roll ad* commands $25.00 per 1,000 CPMs (listens)

A pre-roll ad appears before the start of a program, whereas a mid-roll ad appears during the program.

For a podcast that averages 10,000 listens per episode:

  • $18.00 x 10 (for the 10,000 listens) = $180 is the cost to the sponsor for a pre-roll ad
  • $25.00 x 10 (for the 10,000 listens) = $250 is the cost to the sponsor for a mid-roll ad

Therefore, this podcast would cost a sponsor $430 for a pre-roll/mid-roll ad combo. With two sponsors per episode, this podcast can generate $860 per episode, or $44,720 per year if it is a weekly podcast (52 total episodes).


The typical RPM range in YouTube's Partner Program is $1.36 to $3.40. Using this calculator, we can conservatively estimate that a video which commands 10,000 views will generate $13.60 in earnings, after Google takes its 45 percent cut. Therefore, if your business can average 100,000 views per month across multiple videos, you can generate more than $1,600 over the course of one year.

As of May 2016, projections from Facebook's revenue sharing programs are not publicly available.

Running the Numbers

If your business can build an identity feed that features a website which averages 10,000 monthly visitors, 10,000 listens on a weekly podcast and 100,000 monthly YouTube video views — all relatively modest numbers in the grand scheme of niche media companies — your business could recuperate more than $48,000 every year, nearly a third of what we charge our clients at yarn.

Of course, this annual number does not include potential revenues generated from:

  • Other types of traditional advertising, such as those within mobile apps, events and email marketing
  • Native advertising / sponsored content
  • Product placement
  • Affiliate marketing programs
  • Facebook's revenue sharing programs
  • Ecommerce
  • In-person experiences
  • Subscriptions
  • Production and distribution partnerships

The Business of Media is presented by yarn, a collective of talent across media, journalism, marketing and design that helps brands create, distribute and monetize memorable content experiences.

For more insights and observations about the future of marketing, check out our publication and podcast.