Hoping for extra subscription revenue – and to reduce their reliance on promoting – Substack writers are bringing their podcasts to the platform.
Monetizing their podcasts by means of subscriptions implies that unbiased writers don’t have to fear about the ups and downs of the promoting market or make sure that their content material is taken into account model secure, 4 Substack writers informed Digiday. Podcasts may also function a advertising software for his or her Substack subscription enterprise. All 4 writers informed Digiday they don’t serve any advertisements on their podcasts – three of them moved their podcasts to Substack partly as a result of they now not needed to rely on ad revenue. Substack takes 10% of subscription revenue.
As extra podcasters provide subscriptions round their exhibits to construct a extra direct relationship with listeners and add an extra revenue stream, a number of podcasters are trying past Apple and Spotify’s subscription platforms to third-party distributors like Substack, Supporting Cast and Supercast. Podcasters say these platforms give them entry to further listener information and extra favorable revenue share offers – Apple and Spotify don’t share information like subscribers’ electronic mail addresses with podcasters.
Substack has been rolling out instruments for podcasts for about two years, mentioned Dan Stone, govt supervisor of author acquisition and growth at Substack. New instruments launched earlier this 12 months enable individuals to publish episodes with a versatile paywall, which supplies a preview of the episode earlier than asking the listener to subscribe to entry the full episode. An AI-powered transcription software for Substack podcasts launched in beta in August.
Thousands of podcasts are now being hosted on Substack, growing at a fee of roughly 70% 12 months over 12 months, a Substack spokesperson mentioned. They declined to share precisely what number of podcasts are now on the platform.
Tyler Dunne, a sportswriter behind the “Go Long” Substack, now has three podcasts on Substack (two of which are unique to paying subscribers), together with a brand new podcast introduced final week with former NFL quarterback Brett Favre as his co-host. Overall, Dunne mentioned he has about 17,000 free subscribers and almost 3,000 paid subscribers. Since saying the new present, he’s acquired virtually 100 new paid subscribers.
Dunne mentioned an enormous perk of internet hosting his podcasts on Substack is that he doesn’t have to fear about promoting. As a critic of sports activities betting, he mentioned he didn’t like that quite a lot of the advertisements on his earlier podcasts have been paid by sportsbooks.
“I love the idea of being just completely independent and just unbound by corporate masters and sponsors and VC money and that’s definitely a big sell for ‘Go Long,’” Dunne mentioned.
Virginia Sole-Smith, a journalist, writer and the founding father of the “Burnt Toast” Substack and podcast, mentioned that as a result of she writes about delicate matters like food plan tradition, it’s a reduction that she doesn’t have to fear about diet-related advertisements popping up in her podcast.
Advertisers drying up?
Colin Wright, an writer, speaker and journalist, moved his predominant podcast “Let’s Know Things” to the Substack platform at the starting of this month, and his “One Sentence News” podcast to Substack a few month in the past. It was beforehand hosted on podcast publishing platform Transistor.
Wright observed advertisers falling away in the previous 12 months and half, which accelerated this 12 months, he mentioned.
“Because of the way the industry is transitioning and changing, the advertisers I used to have… most of those have dried up or become unreliable. I’m very squarely in the lower-middle class of podcasting economics. So a lot of the advertisers have moved on to the Joe Rogans of the world,” Wright mentioned.
Lauren Russo, evp and managing accomplice of innovation & efficiency audio at Horizon Media, beforehand informed Digiday that “significant demand” from advertisers was centered “on top performing shows where the bulk of ad dollars are allocated to the top 500 titles.”
Sole-Smith mentioned she’d struggled to construct an viewers for a earlier podcast and deserted the mission throughout the pandemic. The “Burnt Toast” Substack subscription she launched in 2021 rapidly grew to over 10,000 sign-ups, which was greater than the downloads per episode her earlier podcast was getting.
“I have a built-in audience right here,” Sole-Smith mentioned. “Figuring out how to attract new listeners in podcast players [like Apple or Spotify] is a real hurdle. And so the fact that I have an audience with the newsletter list, I knew our downloads would be stronger going in.” New podcast episodes might be delivered as a e-newsletter electronic mail, straight to a subscriber’s inbox, she added.
The weekly “Burnt Toast” podcast now has a median of round 8,000-10,000 downloads per episode. The e-newsletter has almost 40,000 sign-ups, 10% of which are paid, mentioned Sole-Smith, and on common, 10 listeners of every podcast episode convert to paid subscribers.
Nate Wilcox was previously an editorial supervisor at Vox Media overseeing the MMA weblog Bloody Elbow. When he was let go earlier this 12 months, he took the model with him and made it an unbiased web site on Substack. He additionally introduced over the Bloody Elbow podcast community and turned it into its personal Substack.
Bloody Elbow has 9,500 subscribers for each the e-newsletter and podcast Substacks, with 1,000 paid subscribers. The “Bloody Elbow” podcast has grown sooner than the predominant e-newsletter, by way of paid subscribers, Wilcox mentioned.
Wilcox selected Substack as a result of he may have “direct control of the email list… and their low take,” he mentioned. “[Vox] never really prioritized selling against our podcast. Substack seemed a pretty easy way to do that…. Rather than going out, finding sponsors [and] selling your user base to the sponsors, it’s easier to sell your podcast to the user base.”
…. to be continued
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