How to use podcast subscriptions to boost revenue this holiday season

How to use podcast subscriptions to boost revenue this holiday season

Your guide to using Acast+ to offer perks like premium content, ad-free episodes and promotional codes.


The holiday season is upon us, and savvy podcast creators should be thinking about how they can give the gift of podcasting to their listeners. Paid subscriptions and one-off payments are the perfect way to build a stronger relationship with your podcast audience, while also giving yourself an opportunity to earn additional subscription revenue and take a well-deserved festive break.

In this guide, we’ll outline different ways and ideas for using Acast+ to offer paid-for podcast content.

What are the benefits of a podcast subscription?

Before we snowball into holiday-themed strategies, it’s worth quickly recapping why you should launch a subscription plan for your show. Creating and offering exclusive content that sits behind a paywall is an excellent way for the most dedicated fans of your podcast to get even more from you, their favorite creator. It's also great for podcast monetization, helping you earn money for your hard work making the show. With 30% of frequent listeners already paying subscribers and 27% saying they’re likely to do so, it’s a growing trend you should capitalize on.

Acast+ was built for podcasters to take their next step in monetization and help give more to their listeners. Unlike Supercast, Acast+ brings paid podcast subscriptions and one-off payments to the same place where you are already hosting your podcast, and your content downloads and streams across most major podcast players including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, etc.

With Acast+ you’re in control of the subscription model, choosing your own perks, and subscription pricing — where you can offer benefits including ad-free podcast episodes, early access, extra content, merch discounts, private communities on social media, and much more.

How to use podcast subscription promo codes with Acast+

Holiday sales are one of the big attractions of the season, with people searching high and low for the best deals for gifting, and for themselves of course. Acast+ gives podcasters a chance to get in on the action too, with the ability to create customized promotional codes giving your listeners money off paid subscriptions and bonus content, and even free trials. 

Acast+ users with a Stripe Connect account can get started today, and we’ve created a step-by-step guide to creating Acast+ promo codes here.

You can create promo codes for all types of promotional campaigns, including partnerships, listener rewards, and holiday sales. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Free Acast+ subscription trial

Offering listeners a teaser of your podcast subscription plan is a smart way to give something back to your audience over the holiday period, and it also gives them a taster which they’ll hopefully keep coming back for once the free trial ends. 

You can set the expiration date of the trial, so it’s totally up to you how generous you are. Free trials for subscriptions are a tried-and-tested format for generating sales, and tying it into the holiday season when people have a little extra time to spend with your show is a winning formula.

Discount Acast+ subscriptions and bonus content

A timely discount can be just the incentive a listener needs to become a paid subscriber for their favorite show or to gift a subscription for a friend or family’s favorite. 

Again, with Acast+ you’re in the driver's seat for deciding what type of discount and which plans you’d like to offer. You can choose between % off (ie 50% off) or a fixed amount (ie $10 USD off), so if your audience is interested in a podcast listening experience without podcast ads, subscriber-only bonus episodes, and extended interviews or Q&As — an Acast+ holiday sale would be a dream gift.

It also works with one-time payments too, so you can offer a discount for bundled shows or specials.

Discount archive shows

Archiving older episodes and putting them behind a paywall is a low-effort monetization strategy for engaged listeners, especially if they’ve only discovered your show recently and want to jump in the way-back machine to hear you in your podcasting salad days. You also don’t risk upsetting listeners as your new episodes will still be available to listen to for free.

For shows with a big back catalog, the holidays is a perfect time to offer a limited-time discount for a one-time payment to get access to the archive.

Offer a holiday bonus episode using one-time payments

We think you might like this one, as not only is it a nicely wrapped podcast gift for your listeners, it also can put a little extra money in your pocket and give you a well-deserved break over the holidays. 

Holiday specials aren’t just for television, the podcasting world has fully embraced the tradition of recording or releasing bonus content in the spirit of Christmas. A clever strategy to do this is putting the episode behind a paywall using Acast+ and encouraging fans to purchase it using one-time payments. You can set the amount you charge for the episode, and it could even be a nice way to raise money for any causes that mean a lot to you and your listeners.

We also like this approach because you can release this special episode during the holiday season and take a break to spend time with your friends and family and get recharged for another year of podcasting. You can either do this by pre-recording your special episode, or producing an episode that contains ‘best of’ moments, unheard clips, or just a different format like a behind-the-scenes or Q&A — get creative with it.

For inspiration, here are a few examples of successful podcasts that release festive-themed episodes.

The Adam Buxton Podcast

For fans of Adam Buxton, his Christmas special is a staple over the holidays. He’s always joined by film director Joe Cornish for a vaguely festive waffle with his old friend, including the always hilarious gifting segment they include.

Dungeons and Daddies

Everyone’s favorite D&D podcast ‘Dungeons and Daddies’ go down the ‘unheard clips’ route by releasing a bonus episode of scenes that never made it to the main feed. A nice extra to keep listeners entertained while they take a break.

My Dad Wrote a Porno

Imagine if your Dad wrote a dirty book. Most people would try to ignore it and pretend it had never happened - but not Jamie Morton. Instead, he's decided to read it to the world in this award-winning comedy podcast along with his friends Alice Levine and James Cooper. Every year they release the “My Dad Wrote A Christmas Porno” festive special which is always a fan favorite. With MDWAP now announcing its finishing, this year will be the last-ever Christmas special.

If you’re interested in setting up subscriptions via Acast+, sign up to Acast now for access. If you’re an existing Acast podcaster, simply head to the “monetize” tab on your Acast dashboard.