New insights from beta partners reveal important takeaways for podcast creators
Acast+ is a powerful suite of podcast subscription tools that work across nearly every podcast platform. We announced its launch in March and, in just six months, podcasters of all sizes, all around the world, have launched Acast+ memberships as part of our beta program.
They’re offering listeners paid-for, exclusive benefits like ad-free streaming, bonus content, and early access to new episodes — giving them a way to connect more deeply with their fans, while also opening up a new revenue stream.
If you’re a podcaster thinking about launching an Acast+ subscription of your own when we launch in full later this year, here are five things you need to know.
1. Listeners simply want to support their favorite shows
We asked more than 400 Acast+ subscribers what was most important to them in a podcast subscription, and why they signed up in the first place.
74% of respondents said the primary reason they subscribed to a podcast membership was to support that podcaster and their work. Despite also getting access to benefits like ad-free listens and exclusive episodes, the biggest driver for members was to give back.
Respondents said this time and time again, writing about how they’re “excited for a way to financially contribute”, want to support their “favorite podcast”, are interested to show they “acknowledge” and “appreciate” the work that goes into the show, want to “encourage” the podcast host and team, and much more.
2. Offering paid subscriptions doesn’t have to mean extra work
In fact, there’s a huge benefit to offering your listeners an Acast+ membership even if you’re not yet ready to commit to making extra content.
For instance, podcasters can start by offering their audience an Acast+ membership that allows them to stream the show ad-free, which requires no extra work.
A membership tier with ad-free streaming can also be used as a proof-of-concept for a few months to see how listeners respond. Once you have a dedicated membership base, you can decide whether to add other benefits such as exclusive content, early access to your regular episodes, and more.
3. Members enjoy knowing where their money is going
Whether it’s helping you keep the lights on or allowing you to invest in new resources for the podcast, members want to know how they’re helping out.
It’s important for creators to accurately convey this sort of information in the description for their Acast+ membership tiers. And the language you use matters — it impacts how many listeners click through and decide to become paying subscribers.
4. Even before you launch a membership option, there are things you can do to get yourself (and your audience) ready
Generally speaking, it’s best to work on building a loyal listener base from your podcast before you begin to monetize it.
You can do this in a variety of ways: steadily publishing content that resonates, developing a connection with your audience through social media, starting a companion newsletter, finding ways to hear from and interact with your listeners, and more.
5. Ad-free listens and bonus episodes aren’t the only benefits you can offer
While those might be the most common benefits creators offer, there are tons of other unique perks you can offer paying subscribers.
Some examples include behind-the-scenes bonus content, access to Q&As based on members’ questions, a private Facebook or Slack group for paying listeners to meet each other, digital prints of podcast art, and much more.
Ready to start a membership program for your show? Register here to be among the first to access Acast+.