Acast+: podcasting, plus so much more

Acast+: podcasting, plus so much more

Turning listeners into fans

Written by Johan BillgrenCo-founder and Chief Innovation Officer2021.04.01

The vision, when I co-founded Acast in 2014, was that our approach to podcasting would be successful enough to pay creators back for all their hours of hard work.

We wanted to reward podcasters for the highly engaged audiences they’d so tirelessly nurtured, with a sustainable model that would fairly reimburse them for their craft.

Fast forward to today (I can’t believe it’s Acast’s seventh birthday this month) and the whole podcasting industry is booming — all built on an open, widely accessible model.

Listeners fall in love with shows because it’s so easy to pick up a device and start listening, while at the same time anyone with a microphone and a story to tell can start their own podcast for free.

There’s no single podcast app you have to download to listen, no expensive studio to set up to record, and no other serious barrier to entry that might have stopped the industry’s growth in its tracks.

Whether you’re a listener or a creator, you can do things your way.

This industry — and especially the bigger podcasts that have grown large audiences — has thrived through an ad-funded model. Content is free to consume, with creators paid depending on the number of listens the ads within their show receive.

But, at Acast, we believe every single podcaster should be empowered to make money however works best for their individual show. Whether you’re an established podcaster getting thousands of listens every week, or a nano-influencer with 50 diehard fans devouring your every word, you should be rewarded financially for nurturing the vital creator-listener relationship.

A couple of years ago, most podcast monetization companies — including Acast — would have said that, if you’re not getting around 10,000 weekly listens or more, you’re going to struggle to attract advertisers and generate revenue.

But, just as the industry has opened up even wider to shows of all shapes and sizes, we’re here to help every creator make money in the ways that suit them best.

Start making money today

The quality of podcasts has reached such a level that listeners are more engaged and more dedicated to their favourite shows and hosts than ever before. And that means they’re willing to pay a premium for exclusive benefits.

Of course, they still want your regular free show — that’s the content they fell in love with, and putting every word behind a paywall is no way to build or maintain an audience. But they’re also hungry for more.

They value your creativity so much that they want to actively support it. They feel such a deep connection that they want to actively support you.

That’s why we’ve just announced Acast+.

More traditional podcast advertising has been, and continues to be, the backbone of Acast’s success and that of the whole industry — and now we’re diversifying our tools for creators, adapting to meet their many and varied needs. We are, and always have been, a creator-first business.

Acast+ is an incredibly easy, hassle-free way to set up new revenue streams for your podcast. You can mix and match your offering and create different membership tiers at different price points, depending on how much time and effort you want to put in — ad-free is a relatively simple option to set up, while bonus episodes and exclusive content need a little more love and attention.

You can quite literally spend five minutes setting up a compelling new ad-free proposition for your listeners, and start making money from it today.

Turn fans into paying subscribers

Acast+ also opens up monetization for creators that have had a difficult time banking ad dollars due to the nature of their podcast, such as those for children or covering sensitive topics.

It’s built on the same Acast Access technology we’ve been using to serve the biggest enterprise customers, including the Financial Times and The Economist, with advanced algorithms in place to immediately detect and combat suspicious listening behavior — such as a private feed being consumed in Los Angeles then in New York an hour later — so you know your content is protected and only available to paying subscribers.

One of my favourite things about Acast+ is the dynamic promos we’re introducing. You can record different messages for different listeners, whether they’re a subscriber or not, and even depending on which tier they’re signed up to — so you can promote your paid-for benefits in the right way, to the right people, at the right time.

Nobody is going to be needlessly hearing messages asking them to “sign up now” when they’re already a member.

It’s the perfect way to reach your fans when they’ve already chosen to listen to your show and are more receptive to signing up. Better yet, we automatically insert these promos across your entire back catalog, and add sign-up links to your episode and show notes — so listeners are only ever a couple of clicks or taps away from activating their subscription.

And you can see exactly how your listeners are consuming and interacting with both your public and your private content, via a single Insights dashboard that displays everything side by side when you log into your Acast account.

So, if you have a story to tell, all you need to do is record it and you can start making money straight away. Acast gives you the infrastructure to quickly and easily get it into the ears of paying fans, and we take care of all the important things like security and financial transactions without you needing to lift a finger.

Join the waitlist now, and help us shape the future of podcast monetization.