Offering podcast subscriptions? One of the ways you can get more subscribers and keep paid listeners engaged is to create and share premium podcast content. Here are a few different premium content options to consider offering your podcast audience.
Exclusive Podcast Episodes
One of the simplest and most flexible ways to create premium content for your paid podcast subscription is by offering exclusive podcast episodes! These exclusive episodes come in many forms. You can offer private podcast episodes behind a paywall or extended episodes that contain an unfiltered or “raw cut” version of your podcast episodes. If your free episodes include podcast ads, you could create ad-free episodes to encourage your audience to become paid subscribers. Another option—depending on the frequency of your podcast episodes—is to give your audience early-release options as a type of premium content. Or you might think about recording live podcast episodes and release your live audio and video on streaming platforms like Switcher.
A subscriber-only podcast is usually offered as an extension of your free show, but your audience can only access a private podcast after becoming a paid subscriber. This is a great way for established podcasts to generate premium content for loyal listeners. While it’s a less common practice than individual exclusive episodes, a great example is the Books Unbucket bonus podcast offered by Books Unbound. Books Unbucket is teased in the main podcast and is offered to subscribers only, while the bonus podcast episodes are released on the same day as Books Unbound episodes.
If your podcast listeners want to know what you’re up to behind the mic, you can offer behind-the-scenes podcast content. This form of premium content can be anything from photos, videos, or audio showing your podcast recording setup, host hijinks with podcast guests before or after an episode, preparations for recording, and anything else your podcast audience wants to see!
Podcast Q&A Sessions
After you create a podcast and your listener base grows, what if they want to know more about you or your podcast? To avoid being overwhelmed with emails or DMs on social media, podcast Q&A sessions can give you space to interact with your podcast subscribers when you choose. Paying subscribers can submit the questions on your podcast website or an Ask Me Anything (AMA) post on your podcast’s social media accounts. Then, you can determine how often to record and provide this type of premium content to your paid podcast audience.
If your podcast listeners want to “see” more of their favorite creators, offer video podcasting as a premium content option. Simply set up cameras with your audio setup and use a program like Zoom or Skype to record video of yourself while you record a podcast episode. Not only can these video versions of podcast episodes convince your podcast audience to subscribe for more content, but you can use them to promote your podcast on social media as well.
Podcast Subscription Gifts
Offering your audience a podcast subscription gift is a simple way to push them to subscribe to your paid podcast. Whether it’s podcast merch like shirts or pins, coupons or gift cards related to your podcast content, or other types of premium content, a subscription gift is a great way to grab the attention of your listeners. Providing tiered pricing also means you can offer paid subscribers unique subscription gifts at different levels.
Exclusive Podcast Merch
Your podcast merchandise can certainly help you get paid to podcast, but you can also use it to encourage listeners to sign up and pay for podcast subscriptions. Offering subscribers access to exclusive merch, discounted prices, BOGO deals, free shipping, or even presale live podcast tickets can help you drive more paid subscriptions among your current audience.
Some podcast content creators promote their Patreon, official Facebook group, Discord server, or other platforms where they have established a podcast community for listeners to join when they become paid subscribers. Your podcast community is where your audience can chat on discussion boards, give episode suggestions to podcast creators, and foster connection with fellow fans! While there are a variety of places these communities can reside, different platforms offer a range of moderation options, payment plans, and even customizable subscription choices.
A weekly email newsletter can update podcast listeners on what’s in the works, as well as give subscribers behind-the-scenes insights. Podcast newsletters can even be a subscription incentive because they can include extra premium content to download, read, or listen to. And since your audience will most likely want to stay in the loop, it’s a great piece of content to include as a podcast subscription perk and can even extend into your email marketing strategy!
Your podcast listeners may be interested in educational content from you about subjects like starting their own podcast, learning to cook, and more! Many audience members will consider you to be an expert in your field, so offering your listeners courses teaching them exactly what they want to know is a great idea for premium content. Look into online course subscriptions and one-day universities to get some ideas for courses you could offer your subscribers.
Access to the Archive
While you may want to delete or archive some of your oldest podcast episodes, your loyal podcast listeners may want to keep access to these episodes for nostalgia’s sake. Granting premium subscribers access to your complete podcast archive, including unique episodes like podcast swaps, is an easy way to generate premium content—and it lets your fans listen to the content they love whenever they want!