What if podcasts were a new revenue stream for your association? Would your members subscribe?

An in-depth look at how premium podcasting has evolved and some of the opportunities it presents to associations.
Posted: 3 years ago

Association individuals sitting around a table recording a podcast.If your association does not have a podcast, we highly suggest you start one. Podcasts are a great way to reach current and prospective members in an engaging and popular way. A well-executed podcast series offers the opportunity to demonstrate thought leadership, keep your community informed, and even entertain listeners.

Podcasts also provide an excellent opportunity for you as an association to recruit new members and generate revenue by selling sponsorships or using paywalls for premium content.  Even though audio applications such as Spotify and Apple Podcasts have changed their engagement language from “Subscribe” to “Follow,” (which suggests a passive experience), you can still incorporate a subscription model to make podcasts a revenue stream. Content creation sites like Patreon allow supporters to pay a set monthly fee (typically $5) for access to additional podcast content beyond the free feed.

There are plenty of other ways for listeners to support your podcast, too. That can include listeners following and sharing your content on their social media, following the speakers on their socials, buying items from the organizations that advertise with you, clicking ads, and eventually making a connection with them at your events and conferences.

“It’s important not only what we say but how often they hear us,”
– Kevin Meehan-Meyers, President at The Association Forum

Here Are a Few Other Opportunities That Associations Could Be Overlooking to Use Podcasts to Generate Revenue:

  1. Longer podcast episodes with bonus content
    When associations think of starting a podcast, one of the top questions we receive is “how long should our podcast be?” While the duration varies in length depending on your content, the short answer is that people always want more content. Offering listeners a longer episode format that includes additional conversations or bonus interviews could entice a paid subscription purchase to get access to it.
  2. Ad-free podcast content
    Your listeners may prefer an ad-free experience. Consider promoting sponsors in other ways besides ad spots on the show, such as in trades, online ads, or promo deals.. Your sponsors would still get their exposure, while your premium content subscribers get a more intimate experience without interruption. It’s a win-win for both parties.
  3. Early access to new podcast episodes
    If your organization has scheduled out a content calendar for your podcasts throughout the year, early access episodes are a great way to get your message out there to those most engaged. By offering up early access to new content, you’re adding value to their subscription by putting new episodes in their hands before the public. Consider also utilizing the early access to position bonus episodes to add additional value.

A woman speaking on her own podcast for her association.Acknowledging Podcast Subscription Fatigue

We know subscription fatigue is real, but we also understand and often undervalue the time it takes to put a podcast together. The reality is that associations are just starting to look at subscription-based revenue streams and are unaware of the existing potential to reach people with exclusives and bonus features. Many content creators already offer podcast listeners different ways to get special features and often through a fee. Why can’t this same model be effective for associations?

Are You Offering a Subscription-Based Podcast to Your Members?

Audio content will be the next big wave in subscription-based revenue streams, and a paid subscription could be coming to your association sooner than later once others see the potential. Be out in front!

Start on The Path to Podcast Revenue!

We want to hear from you about how your podcasts are performing. Do your members see this as a true benefit of your organization? Reach out to Drew Navolio to connect with DJG to share your podcast experiences. If you’d like to learn more about starting a podcast, Drew can help you with that too.

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