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When it comes to building your podcast subscription program, there are a few key elements to crafting your plans.
First, you’ll want to decide what to include in your subscription plans to make them valuable enough that listeners will pay.
Next, you’ll need to think about how you’ll package up and offer those plans. Also consider what incentives, such as free trials or limited-time discounts, you have available to drive listeners to become subscribers.
Here are 7 different subscription plan types and pricing options available in Supercast.
1/ Monthly subscription plan
Monthly subscription plans are naturally the most common type of plan to offer your potential podcast subscribers.
With these plans, your subscribers are billed once a month for ongoing access to your bonus content and perks.
In Supercast, you can set your monthly subscription to any amount you like. You don’t have to choose from set price amounts and there’s no cap on how much you can charge per month. (Dr. Rhonda Patrick, for example, charges $250 per month for her highest tier.)
In Supercast, you can also create as many monthly subscription plans as you like, allowing you to offer multiple tiers of benefits for your supporters.
The Daily Beans, for example, offers seven subscription plans ranging in price from $3 to $100 per month.
2/ Annual subscription plan
With annual subscriptions, subscribers pay upfront for 12 months of access. The price is typically lower than a year at the monthly fee.
An annual subscription can be a compelling option for listeners to save money. For example, almost 40% of subscribers to the Get Sleepy podcast choose to pay annually.
For creators, annual subscriptions are great too. Even though you earn a little less than going month to month with listeners, you’ve got that money upfront and so can plan your business spending a little better.
Just like the Supercast monthly plans, you can set whatever price you want for your annual plans. An amount equal to 10 months is popular.
3/ One-time “subscription” plan
A one-time fee is exactly as it sounds—an amount that a listener pays one time to access your subscriber perks.
Why would you give away access to your program for a one-time payment instead of an ongoing subscription?
There are two main ways the one-time fee comes in handy:
One-time fees work really well for defined packages of benefits that won’t be updated over time.
For example, you could offer an ebook as the content for a one-time payment. Or you could offer a limited series podcast—say, a set of 6 or 8 episodes on a particular topic.
For one significant fee, your hardcore supporters can have forever access to your content. Lifetime subscriptions work really well at launch as a way to build a groundswell of support for your show. And they can be a great way to make people feel special—because they aren’t for everyone.
The Breaking Points podcast launched their subscription program with a $1,500 lifetime subscription as one of the options. About 2% of their paid supporters chose this tier.
If you’re thinking, “There’s no way anyone would pay me that much to subscribe to my podcast!” keep these words from Radiolab co-founder Mikel Ellcessor in mind.
“In everybody's audience, there are people who can make transformative gifts. There are. I promise you, there are people in your audience that can make transformative gifts. The thing you want to do is you want to make it clear, ‘Hey, we're all up for that. If you have 5,000 bucks, 5,000 bucks would make a difference. And here's what it would make possible.’ Those people want to know, number one, that you’re interested in playing at that level. And two, you need to paint a picture of what their giving would do.”
4/ Podcast donations
Donations are also one-time payments but they’re different from the one-time “subscription” payments we just discussed because they don’t come with any bonuses or perks for the person giving the money.
In Supercast, the amount of the donation can be whatever the donor chooses.
Industry veteran and multi-show podcast host Dave Jackson says there are three types of listeners willing to pay for your show. The first type is people who “just want you to do your art, man.”
Donations are perfect for these types of people, the ones who want to pay you as a reward for what they see in your public show or because they want to make sure you can continue to do your thing—not for the extras they might get.
Because the donor can set the amount to anything they choose, donations can also be great for people who want to:
- Support you but don’t have the funds to pay an ongoing monthly subscription
- Pay more than the monthly subscription amount (see Mikel Ellcessor’s words again!)
Ultimately, the donation option helps you enable your listeners to support you in a way that works for them.
5/ Podcast subscription trials
As the name implies, trials are a way for your listeners to try a subscription to your podcast for free or at a reduced price.
Trials sweeten the pot for your listeners, helping them overcome any initial hesitation they may have about subscribing. Once they’re inside, you’ll of course wow them with all your great bonuses!
As with all the other Supercast plan options, trials come with plenty of flexibility. You can set both the trial duration and the trial price to whatever you want.
For example, using the Supercast trial feature, you could offer listeners:
- 1 month for half your regular price
- 7 days for free
- 14 days for $.99
6/ Gift subscriptions
Turn referrals into revenue by offering gift subscriptions! With gifts, your listeners can cover the cost of your podcast subscription for someone else. In Supercast, it's really easy.
Gift-givers can choose how long they want their gift subscription to last for their chosen recipient. Once that period is up, the new subscriber has the option of continuing the subscription by adding their own credit card information.
7/ Podcast subscription discounts & promotions
Sometimes you want to have a sale or offer a special discount for a limited time to encourage subscriptions.
At Supercast, we call this a podcast promotion and they’re really easy to set up. You can choose:
- What percentage discount you’d like to offer
- How many months you’d like the discount applied
- Whether to display the promotion on your landing page for everyone or send it to specific people through a link
We’ve found that podcasters who use promotions can increase their subscriptions by upwards of 25%, so they’re definitely worth running at least once a year.
With so much flexibility around plans and pricing, Supercast lets you build—and grow—your podcast subscription program exactly the way you (and your listeners) want it.