Connect with us

Tech

Podcasters test offering more bonus content and additional features to grow subscriptions

Published

on

Podcasters test offering more bonus content and additional features to grow subscriptions

After launching subscription podcast services last year, QCode, Tenderfoot TV, NPR and Acast are investing in their offerings by adding more shows and experimenting with the way bonus content can serve superfans, add value to the paid product and provide complementary, recurring revenue.

The number of podcasters offering a paid product is growing — as is the number willing to subscribe. Since June 2021, the number of Apple Podcast subscribers increased by more than 300%, and over 25% of the top 100 shows in Apple’s “Top Shows” chart offer a subscription, a spokesperson said, though they did not provide exact figures. In addition to bonus content, podcast subscriptions usually offer ad-free listening and early access to content.

Bonus content around specific shows 

QCode, known for its scripted fiction podcasts, moved into the unscripted podcast space earlier this month, with five shows added to its network. The company now has over 25 shows, with 30 more in development, said QCode chief strategy officer Steve Wilson. A few more will go live in the next couple of weeks, he said.

QCode is no. 14 in Apple Podcast’s “Top Subscriber Channel” chart, which launched earlier this month. Wilson declined to share the number of QCode+ subscribers.

QCode is experimenting with subscriptions around specific, unscripted chat shows, Wilson said. While all of QCode’s scripted fiction shows are available under a channel subscription on Apple Podcasts, the company plans to introduce individual show-level subscriptions “tailored to the benefits of that specific audience and what they’re looking for and getting more from those always-on shows,” Wilson said. 

“Different kinds of content is what we think will really win in subscriptions to give fans more,” he added.

For example, QCode’s recently-added show “Tooth and Claw” about real wild animal attacks has the “Griz Club” for $9.99 a month, which provides subscribers with bonus episodes, access to a server on the group-chatting platform Discord and early access to merch — a subscription model with additional benefits that could be replicated for other QCode shows.

“We’re candidly still figuring out exactly what the benefits, pricing and timing of subscriptions will be but we think they can be really bespoke to each show,” Wilson said. “Then we can have a blended model between advertising and subscriptions to really support these projects.”

Similarly to QCode, true crime media company Tenderfoot is offering bonus content to its Tenderfoot+ “on a show by show basis, and really trying to think about what works for this particular show,” said Tracy Kaplan, head of operations & partnerships at Tenderfoot. Both QCode+ and Tenderfoot+ have their subscriptions on Apple Podcasts. QCode+ costs $3.99 a month or $28.99, while Tenderfoot+ costs $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year.

Four shows were added to Tenderfoot+ this month, including the company’s first weekly true crime show. Over 200 episodes are available on Tenderfoot+, Kaplan said. She declined to share the number of Tenderfoot+ subscribers.

Wondery+, the top subscriber channel in Apple Podcast’s chart, is experimenting with early access to content, windowing and exclusivity “to further incentivize the habitual listeners” to pay for content, Neel Ketkar, head of product management at Wondery, said in an email. This summer, the Amazon-owned podcast studio released full seasons of popular weekly serialized shows exclusively to subscribers, including “Business Wars: Diet Wars,” “American History Tellers: The Manson Family Murders” and “American Scandal: The Midnight Crew.”

Additional benefits to come with NPR’s podcast bundle

Most of NPR’s individual podcast show subscriptions give readers sponsorship-free listening. But when NPR goes live with its podcast bundle membership program in November, NPR will “start to roll in additional features, some bonus content,” said Joel Sucherman, vp of new platform partnerships.

This may range from an “audio reader mail bag” where a host answers subscriber questions,  extended interviews, early access to live events or discounts at the NPR shop, he said. The NPR podcast subscriptions for “Planet Money” and “The Limits with Jay Williams” have already tested out some of these features, he said.

The bundle is planned to soft launch at 34 local stations, before expanding across the U.S. in the first half of 2023, Sucherman said. The bundle will include NPR podcasts that offer individual subscriptions and make them available to those who sign up for a local station membership. Once the bundle becomes available, NPR will cancel the single podcast subscriptions and prorate a refund for the remaining time left on the existing subscription. Existing subscribers will get upgraded to the bundle, which will have over a dozen shows, and pricing will change from its current $2.99 a month to a $8 a month or $96 a year tax-deductible donation, an NPR spokesperson said.

The largest source of NPR’s podcast show subscriptions — which are available on Spotify, Apple and NPR’s own platform — come from Apple, Sucherman said, though he declined to share exact subscription figures.

More monetization options for Acast+ 

Acast+, an independent podcast subscription platform, expanded its podcast monetization capabilities last month with the option for podcasters to ask for one-time payments. Podcasters can set a one-time price for a certain number of episodes or bonus content, rather than ask for recurring payments. The option is meant for podcasters who produce a seasonal show, who want to test their audiences’ appetite for paid content or who may not be able to handle the workload of offering bonus episodes at a regular cadence, said Stacey Goers, who was promoted to director of product at Acast this week. Bonus content on Acast+ often ranges from outtakes, Q&As or audio from listeners, she said.

Another “benefit” Acast is adding to its subscription platform is an integration with Meta coming this fall, Goers said. Paying podcast listeners will get access to private Facebook groups, where they can communicate with each other and podcasters.

Podcasters will also be able to test charging more for different podcast subscription tiers that provide access to additional benefits like the Facebook groups, Goers said. Goers did not share how many podcasts hosted on Acast’s platform offer a subscription before publishing time. She said the product is still relatively “nascent,” and that there are “hundreds of podcasts” on Acast+.

Revenue as a ‘complement

All of the execs interviewed for this story said podcast subscription revenue was a complement to advertising revenue, not a replacement.

“A subscription really serves superfans. I’m not expecting that it ever would replace our ad efforts,” Tenderfoot’s Kaplan said. Acast’s Goers said podcast subscriptions are “just a separate revenue stream. It gives you that separate degree of security.”

NPR has seen “modest success” from its individual subscriptions, Sucherman said. “This was never about a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s always been a multiyear program that aligns public radio around success and NPR podcasts with a way of bringing in new support from the listeners who love our shows,” he said.

Read More

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Tech

FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are

Published

on

By

FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are
A player shouldering the ball



(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 23 might be the best game soccer game yet for terrible sports fans, as it lets you turn off commentary that criticizes your bad playing.

Now that the early access FIFA 23 release time has passed, EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can hop into the game ahead of its full release. But as Eurogamer (opens in new tab) spotted, they’ll find a peculiar option waiting for them.

FIFA 23 includes a toggle to turn off ‘Critical Commentary’. The setting lets you silence all negative in-match comments made about your technique, so you can protect your precious ego even when you miss an open goal or commit an obvious foul. The more positive commentary won’t be affected. 

Spare your feelings

A player dribbling the ball in FIFA 23

(Image credit: EA)

The feature looks tailored toward children and new players, who don’t want to have their confidence wrecked within mere minutes of picking up the controller. But even experienced players who just so happen to be terrible at the game might benefit.

It’s not perfect, though. According to Eurogamer, the feature didn’t seem to work during a FIFA Ultimate Team Division Rivals match, with critical comments slipping through the filter. Still, who hasn’t benefited from a light grilling every now and then?

Polite commentary isn’t the only new addition in FIFA 23. It’s the first game in the series to include women’s club football teams, and fancy overhauled animations that take advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S’s new-gen hardware. EA will be hoping to end on a high, as FIFA 23 will be the last of its soccer games to release with the official FIFA licence.

If disabling critical commentary doesn’t improve your soccer skills, maybe building a squad of Marvel superheroes will. Although you might not do much better with Ted Lasso wandering the pitch.

FIFA 23 is set to fully release this Friday, September 30.

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games. 

Read More

Continue Reading

Tech

Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch

Published

on

By

Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch
The backs of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro



(Image credit: Google)

We’re starting to hear more and more Google Pixel 7 leaks, with the launch of the phone just a week away, but tech fans might be getting a lot of déjà vu, with the leaks all listing near-identical specs to what we heard about the Pixel 6 a year ago.

It sounds like the new phones – a successor to the Pixel 6 Pro is also expected – could be very similar to their 2021 predecessors. And a new price leak has suggested that the phones’ costs could be the same too, as a Twitter user spotted the Pixel 7 briefly listed on Amazon (before being promptly taken down, of course).

Google pixel 7 on Amazon US. $599.99.It is still showing up in search cache but the listing gives an error if you click on it. We have the B0 number to keep track of though!#teampixel pic.twitter.com/w5Z09D28YESeptember 27, 2022

See more

According to these listings, the Pixel 7 will cost $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will cost $899, both of which are identical to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro starting prices. The leak doesn’t include any other region prices, but in the UK the current models cost £599 and £849, while in Australia they went for AU$999 and AU$1,299.

So it sounds like Google is planning on retaining the same prices for its new phones as it sold the old ones for, a move which doesn’t make much sense.


Analysis: same price, new world

Google’s choice to keep the same price points is a little curious when you consider that the specs leaks suggest these phones are virtually unchanged from their predecessors. You’re buying year-old tech for the same price as before.

Do bear in mind that the price of tech generally lowers over time, so you can readily pick up a cheaper Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now, and after the launch of the new ones, the older models will very likely get even cheaper.

But there’s another key factor to consider in the price: $599 might be the same number in 2022 as it was in 2021, but with the changing global climate, like wars and flailing currencies and cost of living crises, it’s a very different amount of money.

Some people just won’t be willing to shell out the amount this year, that they may have been able to last year. But this speaks to a wider issue in consumer tech.

Google isn’t the only tech company to completely neglect the challenging global climate when pricing its gadgets: Samsung is still releasing super-pricey folding phones, and the iPhone 14 is, for some incomprehensible reason, even pricier than the iPhone 13 in some regions. 

Too few brands are actually catering to the tough economic times many are facing right now, with companies increasing the price of their premium offerings to counter rising costs, instead of just designing more affordable alternatives to flagships.

These high and rising prices suggest that companies are totally out of touch with their buyers, and don’t understand the economic hardship troubling many.

We’ll have to reach a breaking point sooner or later, either with brands finally clueing into the fact that they need to release cheaper phones, or with customers voting with their wallets by sticking to second-hand or refurbished devices. But until then, you can buy the best cheap phones to show that cost is important to you.

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

Read More

Continue Reading

Tech

DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

Published

on

By

DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

, , , , , ,

search relation.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

Read More

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2022 Xanatan