Podcasters not interested in throwing up a subscription paywall have a new option to make money from their listeners. Seattle-based Glow launched in beta this week. Its platform allows show producers to offer “memberships” to fans, who in exchange for paying a monthly fee, gain access to ad-free content, early access to new episodes, back catalog, and exclusive content.
Glow was co-founded by Amira Valliani, who previously operated the boutique podcast ad agency Backyard Media, and Brian Elieson, who spent the past 15 years split between Microsoft and Amazon. With the backing of Pioneer Square Labs, a Seattle venture capital firm specializing in companies in the Pacific Northwest, Glow has already been field testing its product. They’ve done that with the podcast Acquired, which Pioneer Square Labs co-founder Ben Gilbert co-hosts. The show has offered listeners the option to become a $5-per month “limited partner” in exchange for additional content related to the world of tech startups. The company says 3.5% of Acquired’s listeners opted to pay for premium content, which so far has included two bonus episodes. Those 15,000 paying members will give Acquired $25,000 a year on top of what the show makes in advertising revenue.
“Glow is the platform to help podcasters build their businesses,” said Valliani, who is serving as Glow’s CEO. “We want to make it possible for every podcaster who’s producing great value for listeners to be able to build a business around it,” she told GeekWire. Glow makes its money by taking a reported 12-20% cut of the revenue generated by subscription sales.
That’s more than the 5-12% rival Patreon charges its users.