Yesterday, Spotify rolled out the public availability for all U.S. podcasters to start selling paid subscriptions to their podcasts through its Anchor.fm platform. They have been testing this platform since April, where over 100 creators have launched paid podcast subscriptions.
This opens up a new world of revenue models for podcasters. Prior to having a paid subscription opportunity, podcasts relied on sponsorships and advertisements as their main revenue stream. This is a huge win for creators that are working on paid content subscription businesses. It’s in line with the likes of Substack, Patreon, and Ghost, allowing creators to build recurring revenue models around their content.
“Today, we’re also rolling out some updates to the product based on learnings during the testing period:
We will be expanding the number of pricing points to 20 options that can be chosen by the creator, offering increased flexibility.
We now offer the ability for creators to download a list of contact addresses for their subscribers so they can further engage with their subscriber bases and offer even more benefits.”
Spotify disclosed that it had 365 million monthly listeners, where these subscription-only podcasts can gain traction and an audience. With Anchor.fm, the podcasters will also have a private RSS feed that listeners on platforms other than iOS and Android can use to listen to the podcasts. However, a real value drive here is the fact that Spotify will provide the contact information of the subscribers to the creator. This is new and different from some others, such as Apple and their app platform, as they don’t share any contact information with app subscribers unless the subscriber opts in, directly. This change will allow the creators to be able to engage with their subscribers on a relationship basis, instead of only through the content of the podcast. That’s a great opportunity to be able to put those contacts into an email platform to alert subscribers of new podcast episode releases, announcements, driving feedback on episode suggestions, and more.
Fees you ask?
From now until 2023, Spotify will not take a fee, allowing the creator to keep 100% of the revenue they generate through the paid subscriptions (with the exception of credit card fees). However, in 2023, a 5% subscription revenue fee will start.
What about international?
Starting September 15th, the subscription-only content will be available to international listeners. Then shortly after that, the subscription feature will be available, globally.
Mark E. Chiles is the Founder of Overwrite Media and has an extensive two-decade career in progressive technology and digital media. He's been a speaker at several conferences related to digital marketing, media, and customer data. Connect with him on Twitter @markechiles or on LinkedIn.