patrons only

Patrons Only! – Making Past Seasons of the AoL Podcast “Pay to Listen”

As I mentioned in the last podcast, I’m going to start putting past “seasons” of the podcast behind a Patreon paywall. Don’t worry, I don’t plan to flip the switch until late December… and I’ll only be asking $3/mo to have access. 🙂

It’s a result of a lot of strategic reorganizing I’ve been doing recently.

This week, I’ll be pushing out session 134 with Antonio Smith, and as I said in the last session with Dom Brightmon, it just feels with all that’s going on with New Inceptions and Amplify Indy – I feel like it’s time to actually get over the hurdle of going from strictly FREE to PAID content.

Personally, I feel that $3 is a good number for a monthly patron fee. It surely isn’t going to break the bank, and frankly, one typically can spend more on drive thru food. Since what the show has to offer is comparably more beneficial, I think it’s a fair starting price.

That said, you might be wondering what has taken me so long to pull the trigger on this decision.

Well, I’ve been struggling with what’s called the FREE to PAID hurdle.

This hurdle involves a few questions:

  • How do you make something that starts off free into something you pay for?
  • Will the audience still be there once it goes behind a paywall?
  • What’s the right price point?

In this post, I’ll give you a few of my thoughts after hearing a podcast over Fizzle awhile back.

 

Marketing Plays to Our Buying Habits

When it comes to what we think of the “traditional” offline world of business, NOTHING is free. However, since the mid to late 2000’s, the internet has revolutionized how marketing is done. No longer do we first hear something on a show or commercial on a major network or channel, then determine if we want to buy from there.

Instead, when we hear a name, product, or service we go look to see what’s on the web about said item or person. We look for reviews in Angie’s List. We look to see if they have any other content. Or we go to Amazon to see what others have thought about the item in question.

Usually, the more content this person has out there or the more good reviews they or the product have, the more we pay attention to it.

Eventually, there’s a good change we will buy whatever is being sold.

Podcasts in the past have been a part of this marketing. Inherently we think that most shows are free. But are they?

 

Monetization of Efforts

No content or work is free. It takes resources to produce a good or service. Shows that are on TV are powered by the sponsors of the network through commercials.

Big podcasts are typically sponsored by ads as well.

Heck, even when you look at big channels on YouTube, they’re doing some sort of monetization – even if you can’t tell up front how they’re making an income doing what they do.

When I thought about how I was going to monetize Angles of Lattitude, I originally thought that affiliate marketing was going to be the best way to do it. But as online streaming of podcasts has become more common, we’ve all grown accustomed to skipping past parts of interviews we don’t want to hear – including the pitch at the beginning and end. (For example, I know Lewis Howes and Tim Ferriss usually take 5 minutes to get into their conversations!).

Because I’m not a fan of midrolls, I’ve opted not to use them in the show. Yes, I know they’re the only marketing that people don’t always tune out during podcasts – I just personally don’t care for that jump in the conversation.

So trying to think of an alternative to doing midrolls, I thought about how people on Twitch make their income.

And what I found out is that it typically is done through two ways:

  • A handful of large sponsors or
  • many individuals supporting the show through donations. Many times those donations are through a Patreon or a similar service.

After checking with a sample of listeners, it sounded like that last one was something you guys would prefer. A show for the listener powered by the listeners.

 

Action Steps

So there’s my reasoning for getting my account started on Patreon. Again, when you go on there you’ll see that there’s actually 2 categories of support. The first one is for supporters of the show and the the second is more for partners.

Remember, that I’ll be implementing this change before 2019 rolls around. So make sure you binge on shows older than a year before Christmas. I’ll let everyone know through the show when the official landing page is up.

Also, be sure to check out the post from Fizzle called The Hurdle Between Free and Paid if you’re thinking about making something you now offer for free into something you collect money for.

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