The global podcast platform Acast is launching a series of subscription tools that will allow its customers to offer a variety of revenue-generating options to their users. What it is billing as Acast+ will give publishers the ability to offer ad-free streams, exclusive content, early access and other incentives to paying subscribers.
Acast+ formally launched in beta earlier this year. The company has been working with a group of four European podcast publishers since the winter to help shape, validate and influence the product capabilities. Partners so far have included the Talking Politics podcast in the U.K. and the Somna Med Henrik podcast in Sweden, among others. A spokesman says the company is now gauging interest and brining other beta partners onboard from other markets, including in the U.S.
“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,” said Catherine Carr, producer of Taking Politics, created by The Telegraph newspaper. She said the money they make on the series will help support their other podcast, History of Ideas, which is ad-free.
Henrik Ståhl, host of the Somna Med Henrik podcast said they have been able to use the option to offer private content specifically for fans of their health and fitness series.
According to Acast, some founding partners have seen an uplift in monthly revenue of more than 20% while giving the new product suite a trial run and offering Acast+ memberships to fans.
“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,” said Matt MacDonald, Acast’s VP of Product in the announcement.
The launch of Acast+ is the latest step by the company in its increased focus on monetization. In November, Acast announced a collaboration with Patreon to allow producers to distribute private, patron-only content to their listeners’ podcast app of choice. The integration also allows podcasters to publish content via a private patron-only RSS feed. And with a plan upgrade, it enables them to manage both their public and private feeds from the same place. There is also a data component that will give podcasters access to data and insights about their listeners.
“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,” said Johan Billgren, co-founder of Acast. “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,” he said in a statement.
Acast is inviting podcasters interested in Acast+ to register HERE for the product when it goes live.