How to Earn Reliable Income From Your Podcast Using Subscriptions

What’s one of the simplest ways to monetize my podcast? That’s the everlasting million-dollar query. 

Or at the very least the full-time revenue query.

I’m positive I don’t have to inform you there are many choices for creating wealth out of your podcast, from advert sponsorship to online marketing. But one monetization choice that’s hovering in reputation with each listeners and podcasters is podcast subscriptions.

In this text, I’ll stroll you thru why podcast subscription is taking off proper now, methods to assess what subscription might do to your present, and methods to get began with constructing your individual podcast subscription program.

What Is a Podcast Subscription Program?

A podcast subscription program takes premium audio content material and places it behind a paywall. To entry that content material, listeners pay a charge—often a month-to-month recurring charge.

When you have already finished the onerous work of increase a present that folks worth, subscription means that you can monetize your true followers and provides them extra of what they love.

Your free present continues to be your advertising and marketing engine, serving to new listeners uncover you.

The variety of individuals listening to podcasts continues to develop, together with the variety of people who find themselves prepared to pay for further content material. 

Close to twenty million Americans pay for podcasts proper now, and 25 p.c of those that have by no means subscribed stated they’re seemingly to take action within the subsequent yr. 

We see the proof of subscription’s reputation every single day at Supercast, with podcasts starting from information exhibits and well being podcasts, to popular culture critiques and children tales, all constructing thriving companies on promoting further content material to their listeners.

What Are the Advantages of a Podcast Subscription Program?

Out of all of the methods you may make cash out of your podcast, subscription has numerous important benefits.

You don’t want an enormous viewers to get began. We’ll dig into viable numbers within the subsequent two sections, however in comparison with promoting, you may undoubtedly get began with subscription sooner.You don’t want a gross sales staff or to be always pounding the pavement for advertisers. “I really like my [subscription] income. It’s a lot much less of a trouble,” says Michael Brandon, creator of the Get Sleepy podcast. “Dealing with advert gross sales is an actual slog.”It’s dependable, recurring income, so planning for your corporation (and your life!) is way simpler. Subscription helps you construct a deeper relationship together with your viewers when you’re incomes income. Subscription can simply be mixed with different monetization methods to diversify your income—or it could actually help you solely by itself.

When Does a Podcast Subscription Program Not Make Sense?

We’ve already established that you just don’t want large viewers numbers for subscription to make sense, however you do want some listeners. If your present is kind of new and the viewers very small, it’s in all probability not the best time to supply a premium program. 

What’s too small? It varies relying on the subject and the viewers engagement, however an excellent rule of thumb is to have at the very least 1,000 distinctive listeners for each episode earlier than you take a look at including subscription. See the following part on how a lot cash you may earn for element on why.

How Much Can You Make With a Podcast Subscription Program?

As with any query about revenue potential, the reply to how a lot you may make is a giant “it relies upon.” There are three fundamental issues it relies on:

The dimension of your viewers

For the most effective thought of your podcast viewers dimension, take a look at the variety of downloads you get per episode within the first thirty days of the episode’s launch. Even higher is that if the info could be filtered to distinctive downloads—some podcast hosts present this quantity. 

Your conversion charge

Your conversion charge displays how effectively you may convert free listeners to paid subscribers. We’ve discovered that almost all podcasts can anticipate a conversion charge between 2 and seven p.c. Where you fall in that vary is influenced by how engaged your viewers is. Avid followers who're interacting with you and asking for extra content material will land you on the larger finish of the size.

The worth of your plans

Obviously, your plan worth issues significantly. It’s going to take a very long time to achieve sustainable revenue at $1 or $2 per thirty days per subscriber. Almost everybody struggles with asking for larger costs—however it may be finished. Focus on the worth you’re delivering and cost accordingly.

Now that we all know the three numbers we’re working with, a tough calculation of how a lot your podcast would possibly earn with a subscription program is fairly simple:

Audience size   x   conversion charge   x   plan worth   =   potential income

Let’s say you've got an viewers of 5,000 free listeners. You choose a four p.c conversion charge as a result of it’s proper in the midst of the vary. And you assume you’ll worth your preliminary plan at $10 per thirty days. Your calculation would seem like this:

5,000    x    four%    x    $10   =   $2,000

In this estimate, you’d be making $2,000 per thirty days from subscriptions. Not too shabby—and it involves you each month.

But Isn’t a Subscription Program a Lot of Work?

Many individuals consider that operating a podcast subscription program is time-consuming and onerous. The fact is, it may be—however it doesn’t must be.

​​It’s all about being good with what you supply, and discovering a stability between what your listeners need and what you may fairly produce.

Here are just a few examples of low-cost, low-lift bonus content material that add tons of worth for a supporter:

Early entry to common episodesAd-free episodesOuttakes, bloopers, and “off the mic” chatterSupporter shoutoutsAsok Me Anything episodes

Podcasts Making Full-Time Revenue for Their Creators

Get Sleepy

The Get Sleepy podcast affords meditations and calming tales to ship you into slumber. Creator Michael Brandon and his staff have chosen to maintain subscription easy: They affords one plan, with choices to pay $5.99 month-to-month or $49.99 yearly.

The subscription is filled with worth together with a weekly bonus episode, prolonged meditations, reductions on merchandise, and extra. Listeners have been snapping them up—and that’s no snooze!

The Anxiety Coaches Podcast

Anxiety Coaches Podcast Premium artwork

For greater than 5 years, coach and nutritionist Gina Ryan has been serving to individuals handle their anxiousness, panic, and PTSD by means of The Anxiety Coaches Podcast. 

Gina’s podcast subscription plans vary from $5 per thirty days for ad-free episodes and full entry to her episode archive to $97 per thirty days, which incorporates twice-monthly reside teaching, entry to a personal Facebook neighborhood, and extra.

Reality Cray Cray

Reality Cray Cray Premium podcast artwork

Kim and Kyle Cray of Reality Cray Cray (and its sister podcast, 90 Day Fiancé Cray Cray) have tons of enjoyable every week discussing the wild and wacky happenings on actuality tv. 

Fans adore it a lot they eagerly plunk down $5 a month to get double-long episodes, unique bonuses, and entry to a personal dialogue group. For $25 a month, “biggee” followers can take part in designing new merch.

Breaking Points

Breaking Points Premium podcast artwork

Breaking Points, hosted by Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti, is a podcast and YouTube present that delivers information commentary from each side of the political aisle.

Wildly standard with followers, the present was in a position to appeal to greater than 10,000 paying supporters within the first two days of launching its subscription program. 

About 60 p.c of subscribers pay for a $10 month-to-month plan, slightly below 40 p.c pay yearly, and a couple of p.c have chosen a $1,500 lifetime subscription.

How to Choose a Podcast Subscription Platform

When it involves establishing and managing a podcast subscription program, there are a number of platforms and instruments to select from, together with Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Supercast. But beware: Not all are created equal, and also you’ll need to dig into the main points earlier than you select one.

Here are some things to contemplate:

Does the platform provide you with full possession of your subscriber knowledge, together with names and emails? It’s onerous to construct a relationship with individuals while you don’t know who they're and might’t talk with them outdoors of your podcast. What’s extra, if the platform is the intermediary in your relationship together with your subscriber, you don't have any management. The platform can change and even pull the plug in your program, placing your income in danger. Make you positive you may export all of your subscriber knowledge out of your chosen platform at any time.
Where are you able to ship your premium content material? To attain the widest doable viewers, you’ll need to select a platform that permits your listeners to subscribe from no matter podcast participant they use. So be careful for applications that solely work on one participant (ahem, Apple) as a result of at greatest, which means solely 60 p.c of your viewers pays you.
How a lot flexibility do you've got in constructing subscription plans? How many subscription tiers are you able to supply? Can you cost no matter you need, or do you must select from a preset worth listing? Can you ship non-audio advantages to your subscribers, like a publication or non-public neighborhood? Make positive this system can do what you need it to do earlier than committing.
Is the signup course of simple? Some platforms ask your listeners to open a brand new account and observe an arduous multi-step course of to entry your content material. Others supply a faster subscription course of. The simpler it's to your listeners to subscribe, the much less friction you create and the extra listeners you’ll be capable to convert.
How a lot is the platform taking in charges? Look at each the charges for the subscription platform and any fee processing charges. Factor these into your tough income calculations to fine-tune the quantity. 

Getting Started With Podcast Subscription

At a excessive degree, the principle steps of implementing a podcast subscription program are easy:

Decide what further content material or perks you’ll supply subscribers.Make a piece plan to determine what must be finished and when every month to ship on that content material. Make positive it’s sustainable.Think about the way you’ll bundle your plans and what worth you’ll cost.Choose your subscription platform and arrange your account.Develop a promotional plan that outlines the way you’ll let listeners learn about your new subscription program.Launch your gross sales web page and implement your promotional plan.

See Podcast Subscription in Action

Want to see how a podcast subscription program works for listeners on Supercast? 

Our public Supercasters podcast focuses on podcast development methods and methods to construct sustainable impartial companies that thrive on a robust relationship with listeners.

Naturally, we now have a premium providing too—and it’s free. You can subscribe to get prolonged interviews, audio recordings of all our weblog posts, and entry to our podcaster peer networking neighborhood. 

When you subscribe, you’ll undergo the precise quick-tap course of certainly one of your listeners would use to subscribe to your present on Supercast. And hey—you get all our nice content material, too.

Subscribe to Supercasters Premium free of charge, and we’ll see you inside.

About Jason Sew Hoy

Jason Sew Hoy is the CEO of Supercast, an audio subscription platform powering tens of millions in income for impartial podcasters and content material networks. The prime ten Supercast creators gross over $10 million in annual subscription income.

About Supercast

‍Supercast is the purpose-built podcast monetization toolkit for podcasters who need to develop wholesome, diversified income. Opening a Supercast account is free. Once inside your account, the Getting Started information walks you thru the method of connecting your Stripe account, establishing your plans, and launching your program.

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