Podcasting for Marketing

Substack writers are launching podcasts on the platform to ease reliance on advert income

Hoping for extra subscription income – and to reduce their reliance on promoting – Substack writers are bringing their podcasts to the platform.

Monetizing their podcasts by subscriptions signifies that impartial writers don’t have to fret concerning the ups and downs of the promoting market or be certain that their content material is taken into account model secure, 4 Substack writers informed Digiday. Podcasts may function a advertising software for his or her Substack subscription enterprise. All 4 writers informed Digiday they don’t serve any adverts on their podcasts – three of them moved their podcasts to Substack partially as a result of they now not wished to depend on advert income. Substack takes 10% of subscription income.

As extra podcasters supply subscriptions round their reveals to construct a extra direct relationship with listeners and add a further income stream, a number of podcasters are trying past Apple and Spotify’s subscription platforms to third-party distributors like Substack, Supporting Forged and Supercast. Podcasters say these platforms give them entry to extra listener information and extra favorable income 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 improvement at Substack. New instruments launched earlier this 12 months permit folks to put up episodes with a versatile paywall, which provides a preview of the episode earlier than asking the listener to subscribe to entry the complete episode. An AI-powered transcription software for Substack podcasts launched in beta in August.

Hundreds of podcasts at the moment are being hosted on Substack, rising at a price of roughly 70% 12 months over 12 months, a Substack spokesperson mentioned. They declined to share precisely what number of podcasts at the moment are on the platform.

Model un-safe

Tyler Dunne, a sportswriter behind the “Go Lengthy” Substack, now has three podcasts on Substack (two of that are unique to paying subscribers), together with a brand new podcast introduced final week with former NFL quarterback Brett Favre as his co-host. Total, Dunne mentioned he has about 17,000 free subscribers and almost 3,000 paid subscribers. Since saying the brand new present, he’s obtained virtually 100 new paid subscribers.

Dunne mentioned an enormous perk of internet hosting his podcasts on Substack is that he doesn’t have to fret about promoting. As a critic of sports activities betting, he mentioned he didn’t like that a whole lot of the adverts on his earlier podcasts have been paid by sportsbooks.

“I really like the concept of being simply fully impartial and simply unbound by company masters and sponsors and VC cash and that’s positively an enormous promote for ‘Go Lengthy,’” 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 subjects like weight loss program tradition, it’s a aid that she doesn’t have to fret about diet-related adverts popping up in her podcast.

Advertisers drying up?

Colin Wright, an writer, speaker and journalist, moved his important podcast “Let’s Know Issues” to the Substack platform originally of this month, and his “One Sentence Information” podcast to Substack a couple of month in the past. It was beforehand hosted on podcast publishing platform Transistor.

Wright observed advertisers falling away previously 12 months and half, which accelerated this 12 months, he mentioned.

“Due to the way in which the trade is transitioning and altering, the advertisers I used to have… most of these have dried up or change into unreliable. I’m very squarely within the lower-middle class of podcasting economics. So a whole lot of the advertisers have moved on to the Joe Rogans of the world,” Wright mentioned.

Lauren Russo, evp and managing companion of innovation & efficiency audio at Horizon Media, beforehand informed Digiday that “vital demand” from advertisers was centered “on prime performing reveals the place the majority of advert {dollars} are allotted to the highest 500 titles.”

Direct relationships

Sole-Smith mentioned she’d struggled to construct an viewers for a earlier podcast and deserted the mission in the course of 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’ve a built-in viewers proper right here,” Sole-Smith mentioned. “Determining the right way to entice new listeners in podcast gamers [like Apple or Spotify] is an actual hurdle. And so the truth that I’ve an viewers with the publication listing, I knew our downloads could be stronger entering into.” New podcast episodes may be delivered as a publication electronic mail, on 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 publication has almost 40,000 sign-ups, 10% of that 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 impartial website 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 publication and podcast Substacks, with 1,000 paid subscribers. The “Bloody Elbow” podcast has grown quicker than the principle publication, when it comes to paid subscribers, Wilcox mentioned.

Wilcox selected Substack as a result of he might have “direct management of the e-mail listing… and their low take,” he mentioned. “[Vox] by no means actually prioritized promoting towards our podcast. Substack appeared a reasonably straightforward manner to try this…. Fairly than going out, discovering sponsors [and] promoting your consumer base to the sponsors, it’s simpler to promote your podcast to the consumer base.”