Premium Podcast Service @ $8 per month

by The_Contrarian01. Posted on Sep 12, 2020    26    16

I launched my investing podcast about 18 months ago. Have grown the audience to an average download of about 2,000 per episode. But monetization has proven elusive. I do have a series of virtual investing conferences that have grown out of this, but that is not a regular source of cashflow.

Enter a premium service. I got this idea after reading about Supercast. So here’s what I offer:

  • A Slack Channel where users can interact with the host and with guests, and access exclusive documents I get from hedge funds, along with some other things.

  • Bonus episodes;

  • Early release of podcast episodes and transcripts;

  • Discounts on the aforementioned virtual conferences (sticker price: $250) and some other discounts through partnerships TBD./

  • A free mug for signing up.

Just launched this today. Will it work? Stay tuned!

Update 1: To the point by u/Mike_From_GO about the revenues, I realized the $8/month is probably too low to make this all worthwhile. So I have changed that to a "special introductory offer that won't last". Will hopefully create some urgency. Not sure what to charge after that. Open to suggestions.


Top_Agent 1

Congrats on your success. Do you have a projection of what your growth will be in 1 year or know your competition average growth? 2000 downloads per epi is really more like 0.85% or less that will convert into a monthly payer.

I think you should look into focusing on growth first and have other streams of income to support the venture.

  1. So maybe you can start a Patreon, where you can have a private link invite for live chat on YouTube, or offer exclusive content for those members.
  2. start a member only discord for free and build a strong community.
  3. you can start adding donation links for fans to support you. Crypto, PayPal, etc

    After your numbers are bigger and consistent growth you can pitch your show to another media house and strike a deal with them for x amount of years, make sure you have someone who knows about these contracts to make sure your locking in a great deal. Or you’ll get in a complicated IP battle like that one recent ordeal couple months back ‘call her daddy podcast’ with Bar stool sports. You don’t wanna end up complaining and be like Joe Budden being greedy and not sucking it up to what was agreed on.
  The_Contrarian01 1

so one of the better independent financial podcasts that I consider a competitor has ~7000 downloads per episode. It's a good podcast, with good guests, but the premise is value investing and it's partly a way for the guy to sell his investment advisory service. I have no such motives -- am really just trying to create the best podcast and showcase the most interesting and actionable views.

I think podcasts backed by major media outlets (Bloomberg, FT, etc) have closer to 50k downloads. Maybe more. Point is, I don't think it's unrealistic for me to shoot for 10k downloads. Maybe not in a year, but I think at my current trajectory I can get to 5k.

Agree that the focus is on growth first. I have other sources of income so this is just a side hustle. I don't know anything about discord but did create the Slack channel for that purpose.

I don't want to do a Patreon or ask for donations. I know people do that and it's perfectly fine but I just don't want to lol

alp17 3

You may also be able to monetize through advertisements if you continue to grow your base. I just honestly have a hard time picturing people committing paying $8 a month when many TV streaming services cost that much. It’s just a tough compare.

Most of the big digital service providers (like Facebook) fully monetize through ads and they do it well. Many of those services would not do well if they forced people to commit to a regular payment.

I like the suggestion by another poster of a one time fee! People may find a splurge easier than committing something to their budget every month.

  The_Contrarian01 1

Yeah ads always bug me in podcasts and so I really like being able to offer something ad free and just focus on the content.

I wouldn’t compare this to streaming services. For one thing I truly believe (and this has been reinforced through feedback) that I offer something more educational and from which people can even profit as investors (having said that I’m not offering any “get rich quick” schemes, in fact one premise of investing is that this type of thing simply does not exist).

This is the type of thing that can rightfully be expended by professional money managers and others. It’s not entertainment (having said that, Netflix may still be the superior offering based on certain variables. But I don’t view it as competition)

brandonbarringer23 3

You can basically do this with patreon

  The_Contrarian01 3

Yes I know. But I always cringe a bit when I hear Patreon. Though this Supercast thing has a few bugs

MarkAndrewSkates 2

Agreed! Own your own content, and no need to pay a middle man. Good luck 🙌

oholymike 3

Looking forward to hearing about your results.

  The_Contrarian01 2

Thanks! I will report back with my progress

spankymustard 6

Listening to the podcast right now (enjoying it!).

I have a bunch of experience monetizing podcasts. (I shared my revenue graphs here 📊).

The most successful strategy has been to start a membership program around the podcast, but instead of charging monthly, you have a lifetime deal.

I started MegaMaker back in 2013. It started at $10/month, moved to $29/month, and then $199/year.

However, ultimately I realized that people enjoyed the community more when they weren’t constantly paying for it. (the annual renewals were jarring for them, especially if they hadn’t been active lately)

I figured out that at $29/month lifetime value was about $290. So I just made the price $299 to capture all the lifetime value upfront.

Since going to a lifetime I’ve found people use it more (and will often come back after years of being away).

MrTLaw8 1

Where you seeing lots of people canceling after 10 months at the $29?

spankymustard 1

Yup. Folks just enjoyed it so much more when they could just pay once, and not have to think about having "another monthly expense."

  The_Contrarian01 3

oh cool! Great idea. Maybe I'll switch to lifetime then?

Mike_From_GO 20

You do see the irony in having an investing podcast but can't actually generate revenue from it, yes?

Sorry, low hanging fruit.

If you can assume that your 2,000 downloads are from loyal listeners and not one-off random downloads and you can assume 1% of your audience would pay an $8 monthly premium, you'd be making around $160 / month, minus 3% transaction fee from whoever you use as a payment gateway.

You're doing a lot of extra work for $160 / month, not to mention factoring in shipping of a mug plus cost, that's going to run you $8-14 right there.

I'd say honestly, be transparent about what you're trying to do. Either add a buy me a cup of coffee or pay what you think this is worth button to your website, take a deep look at Patreon (it's not all bad), spend some time trying to work with brands that align with your podcast and bring them on as sponsors or try affiliate marketing.

Rich Roll is a super successful podcaster and author who plugs the heck out of Amazon affiliate button on his website during podcasts, and is completely transparent about it. He basically says, hey look, if you're going to buy something on Amazon, please visit my site, click the Amazon button at the top and know that I'll get a small percentage of that sale, which helps keep the podcast going.

James Hoffmann is a successful YouTuber in the coffee world, he runs a Patreon in order to generate enough money to buy gear to do reviews, so they are truly unbiased (he's a world barista champion and owns a roasting company). He then gives the product he bought away to one of the patreon backers.

Many Twitch streamers and podcasters run a private, invite only Dischord, too.

  The_Contrarian01 3

There’s a difference between investing in stocks or bonds and building a digital product with recurring sales. But point taken. Especially about the cost.

Edit: To your point about the revenues, I have changed the $8/month to a "special introductory offer that won't last". Will hopefully create some urgency. Not sure what to charge after that. Open to suggestions.

Mike_From_GO 10

As a consumer, I hate recurring costs. If you were at $8 / month stick to that but offer $60 / year introductory sign up.

The other thing I hate, when a podcast starts to make moves and then they stop updating on a regular basis. One I used to love finally hit 100 episodes and made a huge deal about it, they never recorded another episode and never explained why they shut it down.

If you're going to sell this, and / or sell a year package, make sure you have a year of content prepared.