⚡⚡ Could you #monetize your #podcast audience with a membership?
Many are doing it and there’s no reason you shouldn’t consider it.
But there are BEST-PRACTICE principles you should follow if you want to make the most out of the monetization opportunity that memberships offer.
But let’s start with this… what IS a podcast membership?
Imagine that you have a successful podcast with 1000 listeners per episode, after 30 days (a round number to keep the math simple… I HATE math).
If you were to offer BONUS content to those willing to pay you for a MEMBERSHIP (using some sort of subscription audio service), then you’d be setting up a PODCAST MEMBERSHIP.
How well does it work? Let’s return to those 1000 listeners we daydreamed about earlier…
On average, 1% to 5% of your existing audience (1000 listens per episode) will take the plunge and pay you for bonus content. That equals 10 people (1%) to 50 people (5%).
If your subscription price for bonus content is $10 per month, then you’re making $100 to $500 per month.
As you can see… as audience numbers go up, the membership revenue from your podcast goes up (typically… but no guarantees).
What makes the percentages go up?
If you have a SUPER engaged audience, then you may have more people willing to sign up for the monthly expense.
If you offer PHENOMENALLY GOOD content they can’t get anyplace else, your numbers might go up.
If you offer MORE bonus content than JUST another podcast episode, you may nudge the number even higher.
But MOST of the time, it’s the number in your audience that will determine the number of people who are willing to sign up for your podcast subscription (bonus content).
So naturally, getting more regular and committed listeners to your show is a MUST-DO thing if you’re going to go this route.
Suggestions from MY experience (things that worked for me)
I’ve had a “Partners” program connected to my Daily Devotional podcast for just over a year (as of July 2021). It’s run through Supercast (more on that amazing platform in a moment) and my audience is able to subscribe and get bonus content in their player-of-choice with just a few clicks.
In providing this content, I’ve followed a model that I began on Patreon and then moved over to Supercast.
I call the monthly “fee” for the membership a “donation” to help me keep things rolling. Since my content is “ministry” oriented (it IS a Christian Daily Devotional podcast) it’s terminology my audience is used to hearing.
And I’m up front about what the donation supports – me and my family, to allow me the time to step away from business and work on the podcast and related resources.
MULTIPLE MEMBERSHIP LEVELS
I allow my partners to sign up at whatever level they desire, beginning for as little as $5.
Because different people are able to support at different levels.
Because different people WANT to support at different levels.
If you look at my landing page, I have WAY more support levels than most memberships (and more than I typically recommend). You can see the landing page here.
But I do it because I had one potential partner say to me, “Why do you limit me to $45 a month? What if I want to give more than that?” (at the time, that was my highest level of support).
Lesson learned. You can see my response… I added more, higher-dollar levels.
Does it work?
Yep. I have members at EVERY level except the highest one (as of July 2021).
And IN my multiple membership levels, I have varied “bonuses” that go along with the bonus podcast episode (see my landing page for examples).
If you have OTHER digital content available to give to higher memberships, this is a great way to sweeten up the offering.
CONSTANT (but not irritating) PROMOTION OF THE MEMBERSHIP
My primary podcast goes out DAILY, so I have plenty of opportunities to mention the membership for those who don’t know about it.
But I don’t do it every day. In fact, I’ve chosen once a week as my frequency, and I vary the day of the week I mention it so I hit people on different days.
Because I don’t want to sound like a “gimme, gimme, gimme” sort of guy (because I’m not). And because I trust that those who really want to support what I’m doing will hear about it and join the membership in time.
So far, it’s working pretty well. I have over 80 partners with double-four figures coming in each month.
I NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT MY PLATFORM: SUPERCAST
Full disclosure, I do have an affiliate relationship with Supercast, which means if you sign up for their service through any of the links on this page, they send me some “thank you” money for sending you to them as a customer.
But I set up the affiliate relationship with them AFTER I began using the platform. It’s so good, I wanted to promote it.
And the image above is appropriate – Supercast is a fairly new platform in the podcasting space, but it’s head and shoulders above everyone else (in my humble opinion).
1 ) SUPERCAST IS MADE FOR PODCASTING
It delivers your membership / “bonus content” episodes to your membership EASILY.
NO clicking 5 links and copying and pasting RSS feed URLs into podcast players (that was my experience with Patreon).
NO confusion in the process. Really.
Your members choose their level of support by clicking a button > enter their credit card info > then get to use the app of their choice to subscribe to your members-only feed.
It’s that simple.
2 ) PRIVATE FEEDS FOR EVERY MEMBER
Your subscription content is safe because Supercast provides one URL to every member, so when they copy and paste it to someone else (also known as ILLEGAL SHARING OF PURCHASED CONTENT – yours), Supercast knows and locks down that feed.
This feature also makes it easy to manage every member’s subscription.
If their credit card fails for any reason, the feed stops working — but ONLY for them.
They get plenty of opportunity to correct things and get the feed back, but there’s no such thing as “non-paying members” who still get your bonus content.
3 ) CUSTOM “EVENT” COMMUNICATIONS
One of the brilliant things the Supercast team has done is to allow you the ability to pre-record special “event” messages that go out to members when certain things happen.
* CREDIT CARD FAILURE? – Supercast sends a message, in your voice, to tell them how to take care of the problem
* NEW MEMBER/SUBSCRIBER? – Supercast sends a message, in your voice, welcoming them to the membership (and includes their NAME in the episode title in their podcast player)
I’m sure you can think of all kinds of ways this would be useful.
4 ) AMAZING STATS ON EVERY MEMBER
You can track the payments, listening habits, and interaction of every one of your podcast subscription members.
You can see how many have signed up for the bonus podcast content and how many are simply donating without consuming.
You can set goals, watch your income grow, and easily crunch the numbers to see your “per member” value.
5 ) MULTIPLE, CUSTOM LEVELS OF MEMBERSHIP
I include different membership perks for the different levels of membership I offer.
That enables me to include links to other digital resources (on Google Drive storage, etc.).
It enables me to offer one or more perks per level.
And it allows me to customize the description of every level so potential subscribers know EXACTLY what they will receive at each level.
Supercast even allows me to create custom artwork for each level to set it apart from the others.
If you are interested in Supercast, I’d appreciate you using my affiliate link here: https://mm-partners.supercast.tech/sign_up/r/fc68d1fb811416123ee3
Reach out to us if you have questions or would like help thinking through your show concept, membership strategy, anything!