What’s Working with Apple Podcasts Subscriptions


PodMov Daily: Thursday, January 20

Episode 573: Your Thursday Podthoughts

What's Working with Apple Podcasts Subscriptions

Apple Podcasts has released insights into what’s worked for subscription podcasters over the last six months. (The post specifies May through December 2021, but the program didn’t fully open until mid-June.) Early access and exclusive content are reportedly a creator’s best bet for attracting subscribers.

“Releasing new subscriber content with a consistent cadence increases subscription sign-ups,” as well as caters to newcomers soon after they subscribe. Reminders don’t hurt: Apple suggests that creators clearly and consistently mention the frequency of their exclusive perks, which boosts subscriber retention. 

The first and last points are impressive, but keep in mind that they focus on “the top 50 subscriptions that had shows with existing audiences” and stats “among the best performing creators.” Only if you’re in the top 20% are you likely to have converted more than 10% of listeners. *Infomercial voice*: Results not typical.

From Spooky Sound Effects to #1 on Netflix

The found-footage horror podcast Archive 81 made its debut as a Netflix series last week. For Timber.fm, Michael Seidlinger profiles the show’s unusual creative beginnings: “Archive 81 isn’t just about the Hollywood homerun, it’s a story of finding inspiration and imagination from things close at hand.”

The podcast’s plot is compelling, even in a nutshell. (An archivist takes a job restoring damaged cassette tapes and gets pulled into a mysterious vortex involving a demonic cult.) Co-creator Dan Powell was working for a sound effects library, constantly listening to audio samples, when the idea began to form.

The first season launched in spring 2016 and was entirely self-funded, according to the show’s Patreon. (It’s incredibly thoughtful and well-designed. Worth a look.) One perk? “Get a handpicked collection of custom, original sound effects designed by the Archive 81 team to use in your own productions.”

Happy Thursday: The creator of Nice Try! and Articles of Interest has the answer to podcast overwhelm. You heard it here first.

In my perception, the world wasn't a graph or formula or an equation. It was a story.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Priority mail: The Podcast Host has launched a ‘Podcaster Cares’ survey to find out what actually matters to creators. Questions touch on “everything from Spotify buying their latest company to the hot topic of censorship” in about five minutes, and there’s a chance to win $100 to Amazon.
  • Asking price: Next Thursday is Audiotrain’s “Bid Writing: Tips for Success” with Miranda Rae. “Have you ever started to apply for a grant or funding and wondered if you need a degree in rocket science?” The veteran broadcaster can help. 12:00 pm CT/6:00 pm BST. Tickets are £5.00 (~$7.00).
  • Start smart: Kids’ and multilingual shows are gaining ground together. The podcast studio La Coctelera has signed with ICM and Tumble Media to create more Spanish-language and bilingual shows. Tumble En Español was the first ever English-to-Spanish adaptation of a children’s podcast.
  • Reading list: This year’s issues of Pod Bible magazine will be distributed with The Guardian, in partnership with Acast and Audible UK. Founded in 2019, the UK's first magazine dedicated to podcasts comes in print, podcast and website format. An annual subscription is £10.00 (~$13.00).

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