Episode 5

Published on:

20th Nov 2020

S1E05 - Mikel Ellcessor: How We Got Radiolab Listeners to Pay for $80,000 Episodes

In this episode, we talked with Mikel Ellcessor, an independent producer who has an incredible track record of helping teams form their original podcast strategy.

As Co-Founder of the critically acclaimed Radiolab podcast, a two-time Peabody award winner that focuses on the investigation of big ideas told through sounds and stories, he was in charge of monetization and helped raise over $6M direct from listeners.

He now helps teams build their content, communication and monetization strategies through his company Limina House. He can be found on Twitter @mikelellcessor.

We talked about:

  • The difficulty of attracting advertisers for creators
  • The birth of Radiolab, the critically acclaimed podcast
  • Why the future is paying for podcasts according to Mikel
  • Tips to raise money through fundraising, events and more from Radiolab
  • Radiolab's tribe and the power of a podcast community

Subscribe to our FREE premium feed to hear bonus content instantly, including Mikel talking specifics about raising $6 million from listeners, how to figure out what they want and how to create a compelling ask.



  • 2:00 Into the world of radio from 14 years old: Mikel's background
  • 4:45 The slow uptake of radio to podcasting
  • 7:10 Creators find it difficult to attract advertising
  • 8:41 How Radiolab started post 9/11
  • 12:46 Radiolab's slow, organic growth
  • 14:21 Finding your true self through podcasting
  • 17:17 Being in the lives of incredibly talented people and how to share that excitement
  • 20:12 The future is paying for podcasts, Mikel Ellcessor explains why
  • 22:57 Be clear and specific about what you're fundraising for
  • 27:21 Interrogate your own relationship with money
  • 29:38 Don't waste your listener's time
  • 31:23 The reason why people give you money
  • 36:16 Trying out events to monetize Radiolab
  • 38:06 Radiolab's tribe and the power of a podcast community


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Jason Sew Hoy