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Announcing free recurring payments for podcasters on Podfan

Drumroll please... 🥁 …Starting today, Podfan is now offering FREE recurring listener support for podcasters! That means only the transaction fees from Stripe will be deducted from the payment.

Partaaaaaaay indeed! 🎉

That’s like Patreon, but without the 5–12% fee.

That’s like Buy Me a Coffee, but without the 5% fee.

That’s like Ko-fi, but without the $6/month membership fee.

“That’s crazy. How will you make money?”

Great question! Podfan’s fee will only apply to memberships that offer member-only episodes. It charges a flat monthly rate per member per month — $0.30 USD.

Here’s the deal. I’ve studied the donation model and podcast monetization heavily. And here’s what I’ve learned. Most podcasters and other creators who use Patreon just for recurring donations, who are not offering content in return for their subscription, are not making a living wage from their donation earnings, just some weekend spending money. Not only that but only a small percentage of their listeners (around 3-5%) are supporters. That means that there’s generally not a lot of money in that model. (There are certainly exceptions to that rule, but donation income is usually supplemented with ads and other revenue channels.) Which means that in turn, there’s not a lot of money to be made for the donation platform.

Follow the money

Several podcasters like Chapo Trap House and Daily Tech News Show are offering subscriptions to their content, and they have been very successful. They can sustain their podcast (and earn a good living) doing it. When they started, there wasn’t a monetization platform tailor-made for podcasters, so they managed to make Patreon work for their use-case.

But now we have Podfan, which was built from the ground up for podcasters. It is designed to help listeners discover and engage with your show and makes it incredibly easy for your listeners to subscribe to member-only episodes, while providing you analytics to monitor your growth and tools to expand your audience. In addition, Podfan’s flat pricing model is transparent and predictable.

A loss leader

You could call free recurring memberships a “loss leader”. Podfan helps podcasters earn money with no cut taken, and therefore earns nothing from those memberships. The thinking is that your podcast can grow into the exclusive content model, which earns the podcaster and the platform more revenue. Most of the revenue (and costs) come from podcasters who offer member-only episodes. Podfan facilitates the hosting of your member-only episodes without any extra hosting charges, just the flat monthly per-member rate.

Maybe you start out by offering a basic membership with a simple reward like a shout-out on your show. After a while, as you hone your skills and grow your audience, you can offer a premium membership where your listeners get access to member-only content. The premium membership will warrant a higher price and will have more subscribers. Podfan wants to support you, and earn your trust so that when the time comes, you will look to Podfan to help you level-up your monetization.

Not to get all sappy, but…

Making a podcast takes an incredible amount of time and effort. Not to mention the cost of hosting and equipment. Podfan’s mission is to help podcasters succeed. We want to help sustain podcasts because they enrich so many lives. We think podcasters deserve all the support they can get, and deserve the best tools for getting that support.

So spread the word! And let’s help as many podcasters as possible.

You can get your free Podfan page here.

All things podcasts and Podfan!

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Jamie Perkins

Jamie Perkins

Dreamer and schemer, designer turned developer. Lover of music and fine ales.

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