Acast launches new subscription service for podcasters

Acast is launching Acast+, a raft of powerful subscription tools to support podcasters across the majority of open listening platforms including Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

With Acast+, podcasters can offer ad-free streams, exclusive content, early access and more to paying subscribers.

Currently in beta, some founding partners have seen an uplift in monthly revenue of more than 20% while first trialling the new product suite and offering Acast+ memberships to fans. Partners so far have included Talking Politics in the UK, Somna Med Henrik in Sweden, and others globally.

Henrik Ståhl, host of Somna Med Henrik, said: “When Acast+ was first presented to me I jumped at the chance to trial it. Apart from the obvious ability it creates for me to earn more money per listen to my podcast, it also lets me be closer to my listeners by offering private content specifically for them.

“I’ve been able to shake up my content based on their wants and needs, which has been invaluable. To date, I’ve experienced both a new way to generate income and giving the podcast fans more of what they want.”

Catherine Carr, producer of Talking Politics, said: “Talking Politics was originally conceived of as an educational resource — a way to try and make sense of the world through an easy-to-access, digestible podcast — and it’s wonderful to know that lots of students and teachers do listen. In the last few years we’ve built a highly engaged, loyal audience and have recently passed the twenty million listens mark.

“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.

“Crucially for us, this enables other people to access further learning for free. Our other podcast, History of Ideas, is ad-free and generates no income, but takes resources, time and effort to produce. Acast+, with the support of our community, means we’re able to bring this valuable educational resource to so many people’s ears – something which has been even more important during lockdowns.”

Acast+ follows Acast’s recent partnership with Patreon, which lets podcasters seamlessly and securely distribute patron-only content to audiences across any listening platform. Acast’s mission is to provide creators with monetization options that best fit their needs, giving them more ways to make money, in more places — across platforms that are open and accessible to all.

Johan Billgren, co-founder of Acast, said: “We’re developing the podcast industry with — and for — the creators. 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.

“With the introduction of Acast+ we’re giving our creators even more ways to connect with listeners, and to grow and monetize their shows, wherever those listeners are — supporting the open podcasting ecosystem and helping the whole industry continue to thrive.”

Matt MacDonald, Acast’s VP of Product, added: “We know monetization will never be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution, so we’ve launched Acast+ to offer podcasters of all sizes a suite of tools that can be mixed and matched however they like.

“As Henrik, host of Somna Med Henrik, said, direct support from listeners helps podcasters to deepen their relationships — and relationships power podcasts.”

More details about Acast+ will be available once it gets a wider rollout and you can register your interest here.

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