How to get listeners to pay for podcast memberships and one-off content

How to get listeners to pay for podcast memberships and one-off content


Once you’ve launched paid podcast content, whether it's a membership or one-time purchases, the next step is to promote these offerings. There are a few things you can do to get the word out and get your audience excited.

  • On average, you can expect about 2-5% of your audience to become subscribers. 
  • Shows that promote frequently and persistently can see upwards of 7-10%

Keep in mind that it takes time to build up a subscriber base. On average, we’ve seen it take six months for programs to really ramp up — so don't give up if you don't see results immediately. With a little perseverance, you can grow listener engagement and reap the rewards. 

Crafting the right pitch

To incentivize listeners to pay for your podcast, you’ll need to promote it in a way that feels authentic to your audience. When thinking about what resonates with them, consider it in terms of both the tangible and intangible benefits. 

Your tangible benefits will appeal to those looking for value. What are they getting in return for their money? Your intangible ones will appeal to those looking for a deeper connection — things like being part of a special club, supporting your work, making podcasting more sustainable for you as a creator, or connecting with other fans of the show. 

A good pitch summarizes what’s included, and how listeners can sign up. A great pitch includes the intangible, emotional reason they should do so.

Here are a few examples of podcasters promoting their memberships:

How and where to promote your membership and one-time content: 

On your free show:

This one goes without saying — your listeners won’t join your membership unless they hear about it from you on your main show.

  1. Pitch it in your show’s intro or outro. Through Acast+, you can set up dynamic intros and outros that play across all of your episodes, including your back catalog, targeting non-paying listeners. 
  1. In your show notes: Acast+ automatically places a link to your premium content at the bottom of your show notes that you can customize. 
    • Back from the Borderline’s call-to-action is a good example of customizing to incentivize listeners to join a monthly membership: “Join the BFTB inner circle and unlock my premium content at” 
  1. Give the audience a sneak peek at exclusive content: 
    • Include a clip of your premium content in one of your public episodes, either as a mid-roll or post-roll, to give the audience as a teaser 
    • Post a preview episode to your main feed
    • Put together a short trailer that includes your pitch along with juicy highlights from your exclusive content 

On your website or blog:

Whether you’re using Squarespace, Wordpress, or your free Acast website, it’s important to use that real estate to advertise your premium content. There are lots of options for directing your audience to your show’s Acast+ page. Here are a few: 

  1. Add a button to your homepage
  1. Add a dedicated page like Tommy Hector & Laurita and Fat Mascara 
    • For bonus points, include a walkthrough of the subscription process for your less-tech-savvy listeners — you can copy and paste from here 
    • For double extra secret bonus points, do a video walkthrough
  1. For premium episodes, your Acast embed player will show a lock icon and a message that encourages listeners to get access. Use the space around your embed player to explain what the locked episodes are and how to access them. 

On social media:

  1. In your bio: Highly visible but with a limited character count, your bio should promote your premium content but not be dedicated to it. 
    • Use a URL shortener like with a brief description: 🔒Premium Podcast:
    • Use a landing page tool like Linktree, which is great for including links to multiple places. The Court Case Podcast uses Linktree to direct its audience to its subscription page with a clever call to action.
  1. In your Posts and Stories: Remember that your audience isn't always in the mood to be sold to. If you share the same "become a member" message over and over again, they're likely to tune out. Instead, try to make your posts entertaining and engaging, without being too salesy. Share the benefits of becoming a member, and let your listeners know what they're missing out on if they don't sign up. Here are a few ideas: 
    • Audiograms and quote graphics: Using our integration with Headliner, you can create shareable audio-to-video clips of your paid content with hundreds of eye-catching templates at your disposal. Headliner lets you post these clips to Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok and tons of other platforms. 
      • Pro tip: You’ll want to hook your audience in the first few seconds, so try to choose audio that leaves them wanting more. 
    • Member shout-outs, reviews, and milestones: In marketing terms, this is known as “social proof”, and it helps persuade consumers into making purchases. It’s the idea that people will be more likely to make a purchase if they see others doing so. Use this to your advantage:
      • If someone posts a great review or comment about your paid content, repost it
      • Shout-outs play a dual role — they drive engagement with your biggest fans, and they show the rest of your audience that others are already enjoying their membership perks
      • Milestones are also great because, in addition to being social proof, they can be used as incentives. For example, you can offer a collective reward to your audience when you hit a certain total members milestone — and be as creative as you want here. It could be everything from special content to a long-awaited interview, merch, videos and so on. Just don’t offer something you can’t deliver on. 

    • Behind the scenes or in-progress peeks: Bringing the audience behind the curtain is another great way to drive engagement and give them a more personal glimpse into the makings of your premium content. It’s also a subtle way to remind them about the membership or paid content offering. 

    • Stickers and links in Stories: Make your sign-up page as accessible as possible by surfacing the link in your social videos

Podcasters all over the world use Acast+ to get paid by listeners for their podcast. Whether it’s a monthly membership or one-time purchases, Acast+ gives you the flexibility to offer your listeners what they value most. Join today to start earning more from your podcast.

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