Memberships planning guide
Acast+ makes it easy to start a paid membership program for your podcast. Launching a membership program is an exciting opportunity, but may feel daunting at first. Before you get started it’s important to take some time to understand your audience and how you can create the most value for them. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help set you up for success.
You and the listener
Your audience is your most valuable asset:
- Why do people listen to your show?
- How or why would this translate to support via a membership?
- For example, if you have a meditation podcast that people listen to feel less stressed after, ad-free may be a benefit of interest so ads don’t disturb the meditation
Develop a proof of concept
Some ideas to consider include:
- Conduct a survey through your podcast or a social media post to find out how many listeners would be interested in a membership
- Look at how active your social media presence is: How many followers do you have? What is the engagement rate (likes, reposts, etc.)? If high, it’s likely that memberships would take off. If it’s low, why might that be?
- What are your unique listening trends over the past 6/12/24 months? How might this correlate to a membership’s success? Tip: Your unique listening trends can be found under the ‘Reach’ tab in Insights
Document a six-month plan
Plan out your Acast+ membership
- What tiers will you offer and at which prices? (For example, ad-free for $3 and ad-free + weekly bonus content for $7)
- How often will you be publishing bonus content? Who will be responsible for creating and publishing the content?
- When will it launch?
- How will you market the membership?
- What are some goals or measures of success you’d like to achieve?
How many tiers should I offer?
We recommend starting with one or two tiers. The most common approach is to offer a cheaper first tier that’s ad-free, and a second tier that adds bonus episodes at a slightly higher cost. Be very clear on what’s included in each tier, and make sure to only offer perks you know you can deliver on.
How much would listeners pay to support a podcast?
In a recent listener survey, we found:
- 50% of listeners would pay $3-5 USD
- 25% of listeners would pay $1-3 USD
- 15% would pay $5-10 USD
Spend time researching similar shows to see what tiers they offer, and their pricing structure.
Beyond ad-free listening and bonus content, what else can I do to generate buzz?
There are lots of ways to enhance your membership. Some ideas that have engaged and retained listeners include Facebook or Slack communities where listeners can interact with each other, member-only Q&A episodes, listener surveys to let your members suggest future topics or guests, giveaways, and much more.
Think of this as an experimental tool. Maybe you record a new promo message each quarter, or offer a special Zoom happy hour. See what works, try new things, and have fun growing your fan base.
What % of my audience will become members?
Typically this ranges from 1-3%, with those who put a lot of effort into marketing and promos seeing something more into the 3-5% range.
Acast+ launch checklist
❏ Confirm which team members need access to Acast+ tooling (names, emails)
❏ Accept the Acast+ terms and conditions under the Memberships tab (click the “Learn More” button)
❏ Select your membership currency
❏ Add a header image, description, and thank-you note for members
❏ Record and upload a public intro/outro to act as a ‘call to action’ for your listeners. This will play at the beginning and/or end of your public episodes
Tip: Include a line that tells listeners to “click the link in the episode description to join…”
❏ Create at least one tier for members (though we recommend two: an ad-free only, and an ad-free + bonus content tier). Name your tiers so you can give shout-outs to specific supporters, and to improve engagement
❏ Be sure to include a monthly price, tier name, benefits, description, and artwork
❏ Record and upload a private intro/outro to thank listeners for signing up to your membership program. You can create a separate intro and outro for each tier offered — for example, if your first tier is called “Happy Fans Tier”, you might say “Thanks for being a Happy Fan”
❏ Finalize a go-live date with your team
❏ Start airing promos or talking about the membership in upcoming episodes — you can easily do this using dynamic intros/outros, which will apply to your back catalog as well
❏ Post about your membership across social media channels
To access Acast+, your podcast must be hosted on Acast. Moving your show to Acast is free, quick, and easy. Join today for access to some of the best podcast growth and monetization tools.