Looking to monetize your podcast through premium content? This post is for you!
Offering paying participants access to your podcast’s premium content is an incredibly smart monetization technique. It allows you to share extra material relating to your podcast with your die-hard fans, for a fee. Platforms like Patreon, Buy Me a Coffee and Ko-fi have made it easy for all types of creators to monetize their talents through support from their loyal fans.
There’s only one problem: You have no idea what you could offer your listeners as premium content!
And how do you keep producing valuable, bonus content for your paying followers? What else can you try to ensure that those spending money on your premium content are getting even more than what they paid for?
If you find yourself in this predicament, there is no need to panic. We have all the answers you need right here.
Let’s take a closer look at 17 superb content ideas for your premium subscribers.
Related read: It’s Here! 13 Proven Strategies for Monetizing Your Podcast.
1. Early Access
First on our list is the early bird catching the worm. Fans of your show will be counting down the hours, minutes, and seconds until the release of your next episode. So, reward your paying listeners with early access to the latest episode of your podcast.
The frequency of your podcast’s publishing schedule will determine how far in advance you offer early access. You could share your podcast with your premium subscribers an hour, one day, or even one week before it is available to everyone else. Paying fans will be grateful for the shorter wait time. Other listeners will be enticed into subscribing in order to be part of the early-bird club.
2. Extended Episodes
Sometimes, you may have so much to say on a particular topic but, diving truly deep into it goes beyond your usual episode running time. You may have to leave out some valuable information in the final edit because of time.
A great premium content offering would be to make the extended version of that episode available to your supporters. This works incredibly well with interviews that take longer than expected because of new, interesting information that is raised during the conversation.
Alternatively, you could cut your normal episode to include the time that is only available to paying listeners. So, if your episodes are 45 minutes long, make 30 minutes available to everyone and the remaining 15 minutes only for your subscribers. You could also go the other way and add 15 minutes to your premium episodes, giving your premium subscribers a full hour of amazing content.
3. Unfiltered Episodes
It takes 3 to tango, and our number 3 gives your paying listeners the chance to hear all the heavy breathing and loud footsteps. Offer your premium subscribers the chance to listen to your entire podcast—unedited!
It may be a scary prospect, going against all you know as a podcast creator aiming to deliver quality, polished content. But fans of your show will appreciate the feeling of being part of your inner circle.
Unfiltered content may include some controversial issues or may even be explicit in some ways. Make sure that your unfiltered podcast is still beneficial for your audience and get the permission of all stakeholders involved (co-hosts, guests, etc.) to use content that may be more private.
Similar to your unfiltered content, bloopers offer you a way to monetize your podcast whilst breaking the fourth wall: Connecting with your audience on a more personal level. It gives your listeners a deeper understanding of the personalities behind your podcast.
Bloopers, out-takes, and “off the mic” chatter can be fun and entertaining and they add a human element to your podcast. Fans will feel like they are active observers—like flies on the wall of your podcast’s studio. They will be grateful for the inclusion and happy to pay the required fee.
5. Forgotten Episodes
Our fifth point urges you to remember all that has come before it. During your podcasting journey, there are undoubtedly episodes or large portions of episodes that didn’t make it onto your channel.
Unreleased episodes could be from your early days when you were experimenting. However cringe-worthy you may deem it to be, true fans of your show would love to get a better feel of those early days. And you can still edit these forgotten episodes to get them to a quality standard that you’re happy with. The main point here is to give your premium subscribers something that they cannot find anywhere else.
6. Back Catalog
Now you may have episodes that you didn’t release entirely but there is another podcast monetization method that draws from your podcast’s past. A back catalog is earlier episodes of your podcast that have already been released.
Die-hard fans may want to relive the moments that made them fall in love with your podcast. Newer audience members may want to take a closer look at your podcast in its earlier days. Making your back catalog available to paying subscribers will give everyone involved a nostalgic trip down memory lane.
7. Live Stream
Moving on swiftly, like a salmon swimming upstream, we bring you number 7, the wonderful live stream.
Live streaming the recording of your podcast will allow listeners to connect with you in real-time. You will no doubt be energized by the live interaction and your listeners will feel ecstatic to be part of your “live studio audience”!
Access to the live stream of my favorite podcast is content that I look forward to and always a premium bonus that I am more than willing to pay for.
Related read: How to Host a Successful Virtual Podcast Event.
If this post was a spider then this would be the last leg. Luckily for you, we’re more like a caterpillar. And number eight is merely the halfway point of finding ways for you to create premium content for your subscribers.
Podcasting has managed to thrive in a visual-based society. However, video still remains a much sought-after means of consuming content. In 2021, the average American would watch 100 minutes of online video a day ¹.
With that in mind, give the people what they want and offer video content relating to your podcast. You could record your entire podcast; record snippets of your show; take them on a virtual tour of your podcast’s studios; share thoughts and tips on related topics; or literally anything else that you can imagine.
Videos are just another way to be intimate with your audience and give them something of your podcast that can’t be found anywhere else.
The second half of our list kicks off with you providing something tangible for your listeners to take home. Creating merchandise for your podcast is a marquee strategy for podcast monetization and also a brilliant way to provide premium content for your subscribers.
Your podcast is already amazing in its audio format, but there’s nothing that fans can physically hold and say: “This is my favorite podcast!” Creating merchandise will bridge that gap and allow your fans to flaunt your show in their physical environment.
You can create absolutely anything you want as a form of merchandise. Just make sure that it is something your audience can relate to and don’t forget to brand it for that extra special touch.
10. Private Community Access
Create a private community for your listeners that only those who are paying can access. This could be something simple like a private group on Facebook that will only send and accept invites from paying subscribers.
This could be a channel for discussions relating to your podcast or even a place where you share fan content and give insider information. This will help extend the experience of your podcast for those dedicated fans.
11. Cast Access
This number 11 is for the fans! Similar to creating a private online community for your premium subscribers, you could also give them the chance to engage with the creators of your podcast.
They could speak to the writers, hosts, editing team, and even other guests if they are willing. This could be done via private emails or as a consulting session or even in an exclusive group webinar. I can’t think of a single fan who would turn down the opportunity of having one-on-one conversations with the creators of their favorite podcast.
12. Subscribers Only
One clever approach to providing premium content is by having certain episodes available only to your subscribers.
You could experience a great response to this podcast monetization strategy by simply wielding the power of FOMO! This strategy works particularly well when you are planning a big episode with special guests or exclusive content. Your paying listeners will relish having private access whilst other audience members will be clamoring to be a part of your VIP list.
13. Ad Free
Having ads on your show is an excellent podcast monetization method. However, making an ad-free version of your podcast may be extremely beneficial to your paying listeners.
Just make sure that it is indeed what they want. Some fans may find value in your ads and look to your podcast for information on where to look and what to buy.
So, if you do go the ad-free route, make sure that it is exactly what your listeners want. If having no ads is of interest to your audience, then they’ll be happy to pay the premium and grateful for the option.
Another way of offering premium content is by having music, artwork, and other media or resources relating to your podcast available for download.
This could be a great option for you as fans could either subscribe for unrestricted access or pay for an individual item. Find out which works best for your listeners and run with that.
15. Readings of Extended Material
We’re in the home stretch of our list of premium content offerings and now we invite you to make use of what your fans have come to love: Your voice.
You’ve already hooked the masses with your unique cadence so you might as well give the people more of what they want!
Give your paying subscribers audio versions of your newsletters, blogs, and other written content. With them being audio lovers, they’ll jump at the opportunity of getting the chance to hear even more of your seductive voice.
16. Resource Curation
A wonderful way to give back to those who are financially supporting you is by giving them information on something they find valuable, outside of your podcast.
It does not have to be completely separate from your podcast. You can give advice on where to look for podcasting equipment or a list of authors who explore the topics of your latest episode. Just find something that your audience is interested in and make their lives easier by telling them where to get it or by showing them how to do it.
17. Spinoff Podcast
Finally, we bring you a juggernaut in the world of premium content for your subscribers: Having a spinoff podcast.
Now, having a spinoff definitely requires more time, effort, and even money on your part. But it is extremely valuable to your listeners and can be more financially rewarding for you.
The best way to go about it is by gathering clips from unaired versions of your show and releasing them as the spinoff. It could be extended interviews or topics that just didn’t gel well enough with your podcast’s themes. In any event, editing previous content will save you time and money whilst bringing incredible value to your loyal listeners.
Offering premium content is a brilliant strategy for podcast monetization. It is all about giving your audience something of extra value whilst making a little extra money. Just remember: The value for your subscribers is what comes first. Charging your listeners for something they are not interested in may be more harmful than beneficial for your podcast.
Do extensive research on what your audience is looking for, then comb through our list to see what premium content you can provide to meet their needs.
Now that you are no longer worried about what content to produce for your premium subscribers, it’s time to go out there and let your creative juices flow!
- Zenith The ROI Agency: Online Vidoe Viewing to reach 100 Minutes a Day in 2021: https://www.zenit hmedia.com/online-video-viewing-to-reach-100-minutes-a-day-in-2021/