If you’re in the podcasting world, you’ve likely heard that Apple is releasing paid subscriptions starting tomorrow! By offering paid subscriptions within their platform, Apple is allowing podcasters to create exclusive content to subscribers in order to monetize their podcast.

In today’s episode, I’m sharing the pros and cons to using this new feature, but also highlighting a few changes you’ll need to make in your podcast whether or not you decide to use paid subscriptions with Apple Podcast App!

Clocking In with Haylee Gaffin is produced and brought to you by Gaffin Creative, a podcast production company for creative entrepreneurs. Learn more about our services at Gaffincreative.com, plus you’ll also find resources, show notes, and more for the Clocking In Podcast.

Download my Free Apple Podcast Subscription Verbiage Template

How Apple Podcast Subscriptions Works (1:34)

What Your Subscription Could Offer (2:03)

The Cost (2:43)

The Benefits of Using Apple Podcast Subscription: (3:06)
1. Get paid for creating your content—test it out!
2. Increase your downloads on Apple vs. missing out on them in a third party app.
Bonus: Apple may prioritize those taking advantage of this program.

The Negatives of Apple Podcast Subscriptions: (4:08)
1. The 30% cut of fee you charge goes to Apple
2. The lack of accessibility for who can access your paid content

My Advice for Podcasters (5:05)

Sign up for Club Content Batching with Amanda Warfield!

Terminology Changes in Apple Podcast Apple + Subscriptions (7:26)
1. Followers – Previously called subscribers, are non-paid listeners.
2. Subscribers – Paid subscribers who support your show.

Things to Update in Your Podcast Terminology (8:22)

Download my Free Apple Podcast Subscription Verbiage Template

Who I’m Cheering for this Week:
Cassy at The Cure Chattanooga

Download my Free Apple Podcast Subscription Verbiage Template

Review the Transcript:

Are you subscribed to some of your favorite podcasts on Apple Podcast App? Soon that’ll mean something completely different than you’re used to! Beginning tomorrow, June 15th, Apple is rolling out new updates including paid subscriptions for podcasts!

Let’s dive into what this means for podcasters, and even more specifically, how this affects how they talk about their podcast!

Back in April, Apple announced a major update that many of my clients were excited about, so of course, I had to look into it! 

As you may know, Apple Podcast app will now be offering paid subscriptions within their platform where you can offer exclusive content to subscribers in order to monetize your podcast.

At first glance, I love this concept—it’s a dream for content creators to get paid for their education and content for those who are willing to support them. The truth is, you’ll need to decide if it’s the right monetization route for you and your podcast.

Let’s review how this works:

Apple Podcast has always allowed listeners to subscribe to their favorite podcasts. Yet now, Apple has expanded this feature to include paid Subscriptions. As a creator, you can provide different benefits and perks for your subscriber. You also have the ability to set prices that you feel work best for you and your listeners.

Now, podcast listeners have nothing to worry about—Free listening is still an option! Audiences can still “subscribe” and be notified of your episode releases just like they always have

Beginning tomorrow, a subscriber means that your listeners are paying to support your show while receiving exclusive benefits. As the podcast host, you’re in charge of what these benefits may be, so this will vary from podcast to podcast. Whether it’s additional subscription only episodes or even early access to content, you manage how your subscribers benefit.

Now let me preface this conversation before we get too far into it with a little clarification: I don’t think there is a right and a wrong way to manage monetizing your podcast when it comes to a subscription. Do what works best for you and what allows you to grow your business in the best way possible.

At the time of recording this episode in early June, creators using the Podcast Subscriptions within the US pay $19.99 annually. With this, you receive eligibility to offer a paid subscription as well as more creator customization within your channel. Channels are a whole other component, that I won’t into in this episode, but I’m curious to see how they’re used later down the road.

I’ll start with highlighting the positives of paid subscriptions on Apple Podcast App:

  1. If you’re not currently getting paid, it’s a great opportunity to test it out and see if your listeners think your content is worth supporting.
  2. Now if download numbers are important to you, your producer, or whoever tracks your numbers, this next one is for you. Rather than using a third party tool to release exclusive content to your subscribers, where your bonus content isn’t being counted towards downloads, having it live in apple podcast app and counting towards downloads on that platform can make a big impact on those who are using this feature, especially if you have a large group of supporters (or now subscribers).

Bonus: And lastly, I’m sharing what I believe is a bonus to the positives—it’s not confirmed but I can only assume that Apple will prioritize podcasters that are taking advantage of this paid subscription program. 

Now, let’s talk about some of the negatives associated with this, because I want you to be informed and make the best decision for you.

  1. Let’s start with the biggest negative about this program: In addition to the annual subscription cost of $19.99, a 30% cut of the fee you charge your subscribers goes to Apple Podcast App. So If you’re charging $10 a month, you’re only receiving $7 a month per subscriber. Imagine having 100 subscribers, totally $1,000 monthly, but only receiving a $700 payout from that $1000… where Apple gets $300… and we haven’t even gotten into the taxes. Compared to other platforms that podcasters are using for paid subscription models, that’s steep. A few other options are patreon, teachable, and even some podcast hosting platforms offer it.
  2. The next negative is the accessibility of it. Now, I’m all about accessibility for my clients, whether that means providing transcripts of episodes, creating accessible show notes, or simply being accessible on all platforms. When I go through the launch process for my clients, I’m submitting their show to every platform.. Not because I think their audience listens on every platform, but because we want to be accessible to anyone. Limiting your paid subscriptions to Apple Podcast removes the ability for non-ios users to get access to the app. Therefore, you’re limiting who can support you, but also who can access your content.

So if you’re wanting to test out this new concept over the coming weeks, by all means go for it! But I also want to share a piece of advice. The first is to MAKE SURE that you’re able to consistently create content. In creating a free podcast, it’s easy to drop the ball. You can skip a week and it’s not impacting anyone. But, when you start charging for content with any paid subscription service, you need to set expectations and be consistent. If you’re providing a free weekly podcast episode, then dropping 2 bonus episodes per month, make that clear, but then also commit to that, because your listeners are paying you now.

If you’re not sure how to approach creating this much content, or even batching it, I’d love to have you join me in Club content Batching with my dear friend and fellow Mastermind member, Amanda Warfield. Amanda recently converted her Content Batching Bootcamp, which I went through as a paid member, into Club Content Batching, a membership to help you stay on track with batching your content and consistently releasing it! 

Now I’m not just promoting this as a friend of hers–I’m in it, I’ve gone through her teachings and have learned so much that I’m now encouraging all of my podcast clients who are struggling to create content to join this membership!

You can head to the show notes at gaffincreative.com/XXX and use my link to get started with a monthly or annual plan today!

So now that we’ve talked through the options, benefits, and negative aspects of this podcast subscription change in Apple Podcast App, let’s talk about what these changes mean for your podcast and how you encourage people to support, follow, or subscribe.

Beginning this week, you’ll start to notice the updates roll out on Apple Podcast player. Now, this initial rollout may not confuse your existing listeners just yet—at least not until the new terminology becomes the norm for podcasting. I don’t think it’s necessary to update all of your assets with this new terminology immediately.

Apple will be releasing new terminology, and as things adjust and change, this terminology could as well.. 

Non-paid subscribers will now be Followers, so where we are used to saying Subscribe on Apple Podcast App, you’ll now say, Follow.

Paid subscribers will be referred to simply as “Subscribers”, so you can say, subscribe to my podcast for just $X per month on Apple Podcast App.

With this new terminology, you may need update a few assets in your podcast if you’re not planning to use Apple’s subscription feature: Basically anywhere where you use the terms you’re Subscribe on Apple Podcast App, you’ll want to change to Follow on Apple Podcast App. 

And if you are planning to use the new program, you’ll want to adjust it to say follow for free or subscribe for $x per month on apple podcast app.

A few places you may want to update are on your website, in your show notes, in social media posts, your social bios, your intro, outro, and ads.

Like I said, there is not an immediate need to change this terminology—it’s going to take some getting used to, and with the way the delays in this rollout from apple have been, I’m going to hold off until it’s live and I can explore it to ensure every little detail is correct in what I’m recording.

To help prepare you for these updates, I’ve created a script to make it a little easier for you to update this terminology in all the places that are needed. Head over to my show notes at gaffincreative.com/XXX to download my free Apple Podcast Subscription Verbiage template!

This free download will help guide you in the language you use whether you decide to use the subscription service or not!

I really hope you enjoyed this episode! If so, I’d love it if you’d leave a review on your favorite podcast app, give me a like, follow, or subscribe based on whatever platform you’re using! Thank you so much for listening and don’t forget to stick around til the end to hear who I’m cheering for this week!

It’s that time in the podcast where I get to highlight a woman I’m cheering for—are you ready? 

This week, I’m cheering for my dear friend Cassy, who just opened up her own Charcuterie board business in Chattanooga, TN–The Cure Chattanooga. If you’re in the area, you have to check out these boxes! Cassy is so talented and has an eye for this work! I’m blown away every time she shares her latest boxes or newest ideas. Cassy offers weekly graze boxes including a vegetarian option, along with graze boards, personalized birthday boxes, and specialty boxes, like smores! Head on over to thecurechattanooga.com to check out her new business!