Choosing the Best Listener Subscription Platform for Your Premium Podcast
Creating a premium podcast subscription is a great way to monetize your podcast and offer your listeners exclusive content and benefits. But how do you choose a listener subscription platform for your premium podcast? In this blog post, we’ll walk you through:
- What is a premium podcast subscription platform?
- Core features in podcast subscription platforms
- List of recommended podcast subscription platforms
- Final thoughts
Let’s get started!
What is a Premium Podcast Subscription Platform?
First, all podcast subscription platforms need to host your premium podcast episodes. You can think of it like a specialized podcast host, that hosts your bonus episodes in a completely separate podcast RSS feed, apart from your main podcast feed.
For example. Let’s say you have a regular free podcast called “Crime Stories”, hosted on Buzzsprout. Then, you decide you want a premium podcast, where you share behind-the-scenes bonus content and audience AMAs. You’ll want to create a separate podcast feed using one of the platforms below that supports paid subscriptions. So, you’ll have 2 separate feeds: one for your free podcast hosted on Buzzsprout, and one for your premium paid podcast, hosted on a podcast subscription platform.
Your new premium podcast can even take on a different name, like “Crime Stories Plus” or “Crime Stories: Bonus Episodes”, and have different cover art…since it’s a completely separate RSS feed.
The subscription platform you choose doesn’t need to be the same host as your primary podcast feed. This separation actually makes it pretty clean and takes any risk out of moving or touching your primary podcast feed.
Core Features in Podcast Subscription Platforms
Here are some core features we recommend you consider when choosing the right platform for your premium podcast.
Since different shows will bring different value to their fans, a good podcast platform should let you customize your podcast subscription price. On average, podcast subscriptions are priced between $1 to $6 per month, and more premium shows can reach $10 – $15 per month.
You’ll want to choose a premium podcast platform that lets you fully control your pricing, and change your pricing after you already have subscribers. A good host will know you will start with one price and may want to change it later.
Make sure your podcast host will give your fans various payment options. The 3 most common payment options are monthly, yearly, and one-time.
Monthly option lets fans subscribe to your premium podcast without a long-term commitment. It’s an easy way to hook fans into becoming subscribers.
Yearly option lets fans not have to worry too much about monthly bills. A good platform will also let you customize your yearly price, and give a fan a discount off the monthly price to reward them for a longer commitment.
One-Time payment option let you sell a “lifetime” subscription for your members. Usually, this is a higher fee than even your yearly plan, because a fan will just pay once for full access to your premium podcast as long as it exists.
We always recommend putting your premium podcast on a podcast host that’s cross-platform. There are 2 podcast subscription platforms listed below that won’t be available across platforms: Apple and Spotify.
Although these are the 2 largest podcast listening apps, if you choose them to host your premium podcast, just know that your premium podcast won’t be available on the other platform. In our opinion, this alienates half your listeners, and for this reason, we don’t recommend either of these platforms.
Along with this, we also recommend choosing a platform that allows your fan to consume your premium podcast on a normal web browser and from an RSS feed.
Unique RSS Feeds
Since subscribers can cancel their subscriptions, you’ll want to make sure your podcast host offers a unique RSS feed specific to each subscriber. This way, the podcast host can dynamically activate and deactivate each subscriber’s RSS feed, depending on their subscription status.
A lot of subpar podcast platforms just provide 1 RSS feed shared between all your subscribers. So let’s say your monthly subscriber cancels after just 1 month. Without unique RSS feeds, that canceled subscriber will still have access to that premium podcast feed since it’s not unique.
Subscribers to your podcast want to feel special. They are your superfans. A great platform will give your subscribers exclusive access to discuss and comment on each episode. It’s an extra way for them to engage with you, your content, and with each other.
Look for platforms that allow subscribers to engage in an easy way.
List of recommended podcast subscription platforms
Without further ado, here’s a list of some of the more popular listener subscription hosting platforms for premium podcasts.
At PodInbox, we’re dedicated to making a best-in-class podcast subscription platform focused uniquely on helping creators engage with fans, and monetize their content.
In today’s creator economy, podcasters must engage with their audience to succeed.
We believe to have a successful podcast subscription, a podcaster must integrate fan engagement and audience involvement…and we’ve built a full suite of platform features to help podcasters achieve this.
Give PodInbox a try! Creating a fan page and premium podcast is totally free, and we only earn money when you start earning money.