There are a few key things to keep in mind when deciding what kind of benefits to offer listeners. First, consider what kinds of benefits would be most valuable to them. Do they want exclusive access to new episodes, bonus content, or special discounts? Second, think about what you can realistically offer without stretching yourself too thin. It's important to be able to deliver on your promises, so make sure you can commit to offering the benefits you choose.
Finally, don't forget to keep your price point in mind. You'll need to strike a balance between offering enough value to justify the cost of a paid subscription while still making your podcast accessible to as many people as possible.
Membership Vs. One-time purchases
Acast+ lets you offer up to 5 tiers at a given time. Membership tiers include recurring benefits that you'll need to deliver on every month. One-time tiers, on the other hand, can be offered as a single purchase and delivered once.
Example membership tiers:
An entry-level tier with ongoing access to ad-free episodes
A middle tier with some combo of ad-free, bonus content, and early access
A premium tier with ad-free episodes, bonus episodes, early access to new episodes, access to the full back catalog, and a monthly Q&A with the creator
Example one-time tiers:
A package of 10 themed, ad-free episodes
A 2-hour recording of a live show
A special bonus episode
Most podcasters will have a membership program that includes 2-3 tiers and add a few one-time offerings on top of that. You could also start with just one-time tiers if you are not ready to commit to an ongoing membership offering.
Regardless of whether you do a membership tier or one-time tier, all of the benefits below can be included:
This is an easy and low-effort benefit that you can offer immediately. Keep in mind though, tiers that include only ad-free benefits see lower subscription rates than those with bonus episodes or other benefit combos. This is still a great benefit to offer, but we recommend you couple it with something else.
Great for: Any podcast with ads or sponsorships placed through the Acast Ad Marketplace (will not work if you sell your own ads or have baked in ones)
Suggested Price: $2-3 USD
Another low-effort and easy benefit to include in your membership packages! When you publish your episodes, we make it incredibly easy to set up when they should go to members and then to the public.
Great for: Creators with eager audiences - maybe you publish infrequently or cover timely topics. If any of your audience has said "I can't wait for the next episode!", this benefit will be ideal.
Suggested Price: $3-5 USD
Bonus content comes in many forms - this could be extended episodes, mini episodes, uncut episodes, behind-the-scenes, unaired, or full new episodes. The effort needed depends on your show, your time, and process. Tiers that include bonus content typically drive the most revenue and have a higher price point. Plus, bonus content gives your audience access to more of what they love, which is great for rewarding loyal fans.
Great for: Creators with the time and resources to make additional content. If you already have extra content that's not making its way into your current show, this is a no-brainer.
Suggested Price: $5-10 USD
Take a look at how The Unmistakable Creative leverages bonus content to differentiate their tiers and make the $5 tier much more attractive for listeners.
Acast+ lets you set up a paywall for access to older episodes. It's another easy and low effort way to monetize your existing content.
Great for: Shows with a big back catalog
Suggested Pricing: $3-5
Because Acast+ lets you see and export listener emails, you can offer additional benefits outside of your podcast content as part of your membership tiers. Any platform that you can invite someone to via email can be incorporated into your Acast+ offering. These include but are not limited to:
Private Communities: Discord, Slack, Facebook
Live Chats: Q&As, AMA, Meet and Greets
Polls & Voting
Remember: If you're offering non-audio benefits like the above, you'll need to proactively manage which subscribers get access (+ when they lose access) on the platforms you're using. We recommend doing a weekly or monthly check to reconcile the data.
Still not sure what benefits your audience would pay for? Ask them!
Whether your listeners provide feedback through social media, directly through email, or your website, ask them what they would value most. Here are some ideas:
Create a Google form, Typeform, or Surveymonkey survey and distribute it on social media, email, or your website
Leverage built-in polling & question tools in places like Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to get feedback from your audience
Need some inspiration? Have a look at how other shows put together their offerings:
Tommy, Hector, and Laurita: Two tiers, one is ad-free and the other includes a weekly bonus episode. Ad-free only is $3 and bonus + ad-free is $7
Back from the Borderline: One tier for $9.99 that includes ad-free, weekly bonus and extended episodes + access to all episodes
Paranormal Activity with Yvette Fielding: Three tiers - a $1.99 ad-free only, a $2.99 ad-free + early access, and a $4.29 tier that’s ad-free, early access, and includes a weekly bonus episode