You may have received emails from Apple Podcasts lately – they are really pushing their subscription model. A lot of people have reached out to me asking if it is worth it to use Apple Podcast Subscriptions to make some extra money from their podcasts. I don’t like to talk in absolutes because every podcast is different, but I don’t think Apple Podcast Subscriptions is the right option for most podcasters. There are better ways to provide a membership option for your podcast.
Tune in to Adding a Subscription Model to Your Podcast
Is Apple Podcast Subscriptions Worth It?
You may not have heard of Apple Podcast Subscriptions if you are not an Apple user. However, I think it is beneficial to know what other platforms are doing.
Apple Podcast Subscriptions allow you to release exclusive podcast episodes that listeners can access if they pay to subscribe to your membership. The reason that I don’t think it is a great option for most podcasters is that these exclusive episodes appear in your podcast episode list. Your listeners won’t be told that it’s a subscription exclusive until they click on it to listen. A pop-up will tell them that they need to pay to listen. I believe this creates disappointment for your listener, which we don’t want to do. I mean, even Amazon Prime clearly marks which videos cost extra.
The second thing that makes me feel like Apple Podcast Subscriptions isn’t worth it for most podcasters is that it only allows you to provide extra podcast episodes for your members. We all know how much work goes into creating podcast episodes, so the extra work vs the profit may not be worth it for most podcasters – especially if very few of your listeners use Apple to listen to your podcast.
Alternative Membership Models to Apple Podcast Subscriptions
I encourage you to create exclusive content for your podcast and create a membership that your listeners can subscribe to. It’s a great way to create a community of people who want to engage with you and your podcast topic on a deeper level.
Here are some of the most popular membership site platforms that will allow you to set up a membership community easily:
- WPQuickStart (WordPress)
What to Share in Your Membership Community
Platforms created specifically for membership models allow you a lot more freedom in what you can offer in terms of exclusive bonuses for your members. For example, a membership community platform like Patreon will allow you to share exclusive podcast episodes, video versions of your podcasts, the full interview, and even written content.
You can also engage directly with your members to get to know them and allow them to get to know you. Your podcast listeners want to get to know you a little more. They will love seeing photos of your dog or kids, hearing about your day, and learning about your hobbies. You don’t have to stick to your podcast topic in the membership; you can give them exclusive glimpses behind the scenes.
I’ve seen clients achieve a lot of success by offering professional exclusives for their members too. This could be office hours where your members can reach you to ask questions, early or exclusive access to workshops or trainings, and additional resources.
The goal is to make sure that your members feel like they are getting their money’s worth. I’ve joined membership communities, and whenever I’ve cancelled my membership, it has been because I no longer felt like I was getting my money’s worth. So it’s important to pay attention to the balance between you getting paid for the effort you’re putting in and your audience feeling like they are getting their money’s worth from the membership.