Trends #0002 — Podcast Memberships

A neon sign with the words 'You are what you listen to'

Some podcast hosts receive fame, connections and juicy sponsorships. While others struggle to make money with niche audiences.

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🔍 Problem

Podcasts with small audiences are hard to monetize.

🏁 Players

Podcast Membership Platforms

Premium Podcast Networks

Podcasts (with Memberships)

🔮 Predictions

  • Podcast memberships will become the go-to model for niche shows.
  • Hosts will bundle live show tickets, content, swag and other benefits into memberships.
  • The Luminary (Netflix-style) model will suffer unless creators can customize memberships. The opportunity cost of ‘show bundles’ is too high.
  • Podcasters will form ads-for-equity deals.
  • Superstar podcasters will continue using ads.

☁️ Opportunities

  • Create a podcast that 1,000 people will love.
  • Create a paid community alongside your podcast.
  • Leverage your influence for equity instead of sponsorships.
  • Build a value ladder around your podcast.

😠 Haters

“This will never work.”
It’s already working. 😄

“Tim Ferriss tried this and it didn’t work.”
Tim didn’t make his content exclusive. He offered benefits (such as Q&A) alongside free content. The content ‘hard choke’ seems to be more effective than the ‘soft choke.’

🔗 Links

  1. How to Get Joe Rogan As Your Business Partner — Noah Kagan
  2. Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Put Ads on Your Podcast — Aidan Hornsby
  3. First signs of a subscription model for podcasts — WNIP
  4. Open or closed: Who will control the paid-podcast experience, podcasters or tech companies? — Caroline Crampton
  5. Tim Ferriss Experiment Announcement — Tim Ferriss
  6. Why I’m Stopping the Fan-Supported Podcast Experiment — Tim Ferriss
  7. 1,000 True Fans — Kevin Kelly
  8. Podcasts Experiment With Paid Subscriptions — Steven Perlberg
  9. The future of the podcast business isn’t advertising or subscriptions. It’s both. — Eric Scott Johnson