The Business Spending $2M/Month on Podcast Ads

Good morning! It's Thursday, March 21st. Today, we’re breaking down the nutrition company spending a whopping $2.2M on podcast marketing each month!

Read time: 5 minutes

Good morning! It's Thursday, March 21st. Today, we’re breaking down the nutrition company spending a whopping $2.2M on podcast marketing each month!


This Business Spends $2M/Month on Podcast Ads

If you listen to top podcasts like the Joe Rogan Experience or The Huberman Lab, you’ve likely heard of Athletic Greens (AG1).

No brand has spurred growth through podcast sponsorships quite like AG1. Their podcast marketing strategy costs an eye-popping $2.2M per month and is the primary driver behind the company’s $1.2B valuation— let’s dive in!

So, What's the Business?

Chris Ashenden’s inspiration for AG1 came from trying to solve a problem for himself. 

In 2008, his real estate losses resulted in $5M in debt, endless stress, a bad drinking habit, and constantly being sick. Tests showed his body wasn’t absorbing nutrients properly, and he was prescribed a 50-pill/day regimen that cost a hundred bucks a day… not an ideal solution.

With a background in sports nutrition, Ashenden set out to solve his nutrition problem himself. The end product was Athletic Greens, a powdered mix of 8 different multivitamins and probiotics that fixed his nutrition issues and could help countless others. 

When launching the brand in 2010, Ashenden’s advisors told him that he had overengineered the product, suggesting he should eliminate some of its high-quality ingredients to lower its price. However, Ashenden viewed his competitors in the vegetable category as grifters selling “powdered grass” and refused to lower his standards. 

That set the bar early on for Ashenden’s company. He didn’t want to boost his company with one-time sales; he wanted to be in the re-order business and acquire one great customer at a time. 

His customer satisfaction focus worked, growing his bootstrapped company to $160M in annual revenue by 2022!

What’s interesting about AG1 is that it has seen exponential growth without expanding its product line, relying solely on its foundational nutrition powder. But that one product has been constantly tweaked to maximize efficacy through 52 different iterations. 

The perfect nutrition powder doesn’t come cheap— a 30-day supply costs $79. That high price point is precisely why AG1 spends so much on top-tier podcasters to convince consumers of their product’s value proposition. 

How They Win: The Podcast Marketing Machine

Last June, AG1 spent $2.2M in advertising on 529 separate podcasts

Each of those podcasts is part of a strategy to recruit thought leaders associated with the health and wellness industry. The result is promotions that make consumers feel like they’re getting an inside look into how athletes and health gurus stay in peak shape rather than a generic ad. 

Ashenden classifies his business model as direct-with-consumer (DWC). Unlike DTC models, in which brands forge a direct relationship with customers, AG1 relies on its podcast partners to put their reputation on the line and promote the product as a part of their daily routine. 

To Ashenden, the primary benefit of this strategy is it lets him meet consumers where they are and through the influencers they trust. These close partnerships help consumers forge a personal connection to a one-size-fits-all product— e.g., “I’m using the same supplement as legendary F1 Driver Lewis Hamilton!”

The Trust Playbook

AG1 is on a fast growth track, with the most recent figures showing ~200% YoY revenue growth and 100% customer growth.

They only pulled this off by providing a legitimately valuable product. If AG1 wasn’t the effective nutrition brand it claims to be, it wouldn’t be able to recruit top-tier podcast partners willing to vouch for it. 

By providing a trusted product and promoting it through trusted mediums, AG1 acquired millions of loyal customers willing to pay $79/month to invest in their health. 

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