Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
The long, complicated, and extremely frustrating history of Medium, 2012–present
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
May 23, 2016, 12:08 p.m.
Business Models
LINK: www.wsj.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Shan Wang   |   May 23, 2016

Swedish podcasting company is launching an ad-free, paid option on Monday, allowing show creators on the platform to sell content to listeners without any advertising. The new Acast+ makes it possible for a podcaster to sell exclusive bonus content or a brand new series of shows, without relying on advertising revenue.

Acast also hopes “to lure social media stars and celebrities to create new programs to sell directly to their fans,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

“This is the final step of podcasting, in my mind. You can monetize through ads and you can monetize through payment,” Måns Ulvestam, Acast co-founder and CEO, told the Journal on Monday. More on the new premium service:

Through Acast+, creators can charge for a monthly “show pass” that gives listeners access to additional content for a recommended $2.99 to $6.99 a month. Listeners can also make one-off purchases, which could be in the same price range depending on the content, Acast said. To be sure, podcast producers can choose to let their primary episodes remain free and ad-supported on Acast.

Monetization opportunities for podcasts have moved well beyond the insertion of the typical Squarespace/MailChimp/Stamps.com ads so familiar to listeners. Last summer Midroll relaunched its podcast discovery and listening app Howl, with a subscription model called Howl Premium that allows paying users ad-free access to the company’s podcast archives and original Howl content. Gimlet runs a paid membership program (though its slate of shows are free to listen to with ads). Some entire podcasts themselves are ads, in the form of sponsored content.

Acast is the official distributor of many podcasts, from shows by established outlets like the Financial Times and BuzzFeed to ones from independent producers. It has a partnership with audio advertising marketplace Triton Digital to bring programmatic ads to its podcasts.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
The long, complicated, and extremely frustrating history of Medium, 2012–present
“A beautiful space for reading and writing” and pivoting.
Instead of helping Canadian news startups, a new government subsidy will only prop up failed models
“We don’t need a handout. But a policy that actively disincentivizes new media outlets from launching and growing to serve the information needs of Canadians is bad policy.”
Canada’s new journalism subsidies will pick winners and hurt startups
“The program assumes any subject that doesn’t fit its narrow criteria isn’t worthy of support. It speaks to a fundamental misunderstanding of all the important roles that journalism fills in our lives.”