Podcast Memberships: Paid Communities, Subscriptions, 1,000 True Fans

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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๐Ÿ” Problem

Podcasts with small audiences are hard to monetize.

๐Ÿ Players

Podcast Membership Platforms

Premium Podcast Networks

Podcasts (with Memberships)

๐Ÿ”ฎ 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.

โ˜๏ธ 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.

๐Ÿ˜  Haters

“This will never work.”
It’s already working. ๐Ÿ˜„

“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.’

๐Ÿ”— Links

  1. How to Get Joe Rogan As Your Business Partner โ€” Noah Kagan
  2. Hereโ€™s Why You Shouldnโ€™t Put Ads on Your Podcast โ€” Aidan Hornsby
  3. First signs of a subscription model for podcasts โ€” WNIP
  4. Open or closed: Who will control the paid-podcast experience, podcasters or tech companies? โ€” Caroline Crampton
  5. Tim Ferriss Experiment Announcement โ€” Tim Ferriss
  6. Why Iโ€™m Stopping the Fan-Supported Podcast Experiment โ€” Tim Ferriss
  7. 1,000 True Fans โ€” Kevin Kelly
  8. Podcasts Experiment With Paid Subscriptions โ€” Steven Perlberg
  9. The future of the podcast business isnโ€™t advertising or subscriptions. Itโ€™s both. โ€” Eric Scott Johnson