The podcaster-comedian has extended his exclusive deal with PodcastOne through 2023, covering joint production, distribution, marketing and sales for his entire collection of podcasts. Carolla currently produces more than 15 hours of original podcast programming weekly for PodcastOne, anchored by flagship talk show “The Adam Carolla Show.”
To date, “The Adam Carolla Show” podcasts have more than 1.6 billion downloads, according to PodcastOne — making him one of the industry’s most popular podcasters. Part of the reason: He started the podcast way back in 2009, before a business model had emerged. He first joined up with PodcastOne in 2013 as one of the network’s charter personalities.
Couldn’t Carolla go solo? Sure, but he prefers to get a reliable paycheck. “There’s definitely something to be said for a contract,” he said. “It sounds brash and daring to go out on your own, but when you have a mortgage and kids having a contract is pretty good.”
Asked if he was getting more money under the PodcastOne renewal, Carolla said he gets “a couple percentage-point bump every year” but otherwise said it is “an extension of what we already have in place.”
Carolla has a long history with Norm Pattiz, PodcastOne’s chairman and CEO. More than two decades ago, Pattiz signed him for syndicated radio call-in program “Loveline,” co-hosted with Dr. Drew Pinsky, from 1995 to 2005 when Pattiz ran radio network Westwood One.
“I knew Adam would become a cornerstone of our business, and it’s just built and grown since then. He’s still the biggest deal in podcasting,” Pattiz said.
On a per-episode basis, Carolla’s podcasts garner “six-figure” audiences and sometimes over 1 million listeners, according to Pattiz. Carolla still had two years left on his previous deal with PodcastOne. “Renewing somebody before their contract is up is not a bad thing to do when you have a property like Adam Corolla,” said Pattiz, who noted the extended deal also covers future projects in video.
Carolla said that when he started “The Adam Carolla Show,” it was the “Wild West of podcasting… 10 years ago there was no model for monetizing podcasting at all.” Originally, the podcast was focused on comedy, but Carolla, who is 54, has since branched into broader topics.
“As I get a little older, I think more about prosperity and making hay when the sun shines,” he said. “I’m interested in things like mental wellness and happiness.”
Carolla has been blasted for sexist and anti-LGBTQ comments in the past, including saying he believes men are funnier than women and that on balance straight parents are better for kids than gay parents. Carolla, who has a libertarian political bent, said he pays attention to listener feedback but tunes out people who attack him on social media. “I’m not interested in what the ‘woke police’ have decided is correct to say,” he said. “They’re the opposite of comedy. I don’t give a shit about that.”
In addition to “The Adam Carolla Show,” described as home to the host’s “rantings and ravings,” his podcast lineup on PodcastOne includes “Adam & Drew,” with Pinsky; “Reasonable Doubt,” co-hosted with criminal defense lawyer Mark Geragos; “CarCast,” an automotive podcast with Carolla, Bill Goldberg and Matt “The Motorator” D’Andria; and “Ace on the House,” a home-improvement show. In addition, the deal covers “For Crying Out Loud,” a parenting podcast co-hosted by Lynette Carolla, Adam’s wife.
PodcastOne’s network currently hosts more than 200 podcasts, including those from Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Austin, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Dan Patrick, Spencer and Heidi Pratt, Penn Jillette, Rich Eisen, Barbara Boxer and Laura Ingraham.
The privately held company’s revenue has grown 25%-30% annually for the last five years, according to Pattiz. After investing in back-end technology infrastructure and programming for the past three years, PodcastOne in 2019 will be “solidly in the black,” he claimed. Broadcasting company Hubbard Radio owns a 30% stake in PodcastOne, with the remainder primarily owned by Pattiz.