Today global podcast platform Acast makes public Acast+, a suite of tools giving podcasts ways of offering subscriptions to their shows as alternatives (or additions) to ad-funded shows. With Acast+, podcasters can offer ad-free streams, exclusive content, early access and much more to paying subscribers.
The program has been in beta, and remains so for now even as it goes public. Acast reports that some early participants have seen revenue growth exceeding 20%.
One benefit of the Acast+ platform is that it works with different listening apps, like Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. That makes it easier to enlist subscriber support, for both the podcast (which doesn’t have to set up an instance on Patreon or another patronage platform) and for the listener (who doesn’t have to trail the podcast to Patreon).
Two of the early-participation podcasts are Talking Politics (UK) and Somna Med Henrik (Sweden). Catherin Carr, producer of Talking Politics, made this interesting observation: “We initially thought our Acast+ subscribers would be most interested in listening without adverts, and some are, but others are simply looking for a way to give back and support us, which is so encouraging.” She also noted that another of her podcasts, History of Ideas, is an ad-free resource, so Acast+ offers an opt-in way for listeners to provide income to a show which requires substantial resources.
“We’re developing the podcast industry with — and for — the creators,” said Johan Billgren, Acast’s co-founder. “We firmly believe creators should always be fairly reimbursed for their craft, and it’s important to us that they own the relationship with their listeners, in whichever ways suit their individual show best.”