A Podcast Network Business Plan to Copy

The Podcast Accelerator, Learn How to Grow Your Podcast

23-08-2021 • 21 mins

You don't need big numbers to monetise your audio influence. You just need a plan. Try this one. Last week https://www.captivate.fm/product-releases/network-features/ (Captivate launched professional podcast network features and cross-promotional feed drops) to all podcasters using the platform. It's a world-first innovation in podcasting but it's more than just a feature-set, it's part of a methodology for creating your own podcast ecosystem that can be scaled and monetised.  Podcast listeners don't do what you think. In my mind, someone who listens to my show enjoys it, tells people all about it and it's the ONLY podcast that they listen to without fail. It's a beautiful world to live in but it's not reality.  Instead, my podcast listeners might skip an episode if they're on holiday or get sick or a flat tyre or [insert inconvenience here...]. The only listeners that won't are the true fans, those who turn up every single time and for whom, I'm the favourite podcast. That is only a percentage of listeners, though. My show is enjoyed by a lot of people, but those true fans who will never, ever miss an episode number as a minority of the overall audience. Your audience is the same, too. But why is that? First, building true fans is harder than acquiring drop-in listeners. I talk about it a heck of a lot in the "Listener Acquisition Flow" talk that I give at events like Podcast Movement and the basic premise is that you have to nurture people through a "funnel" to move them from being "lurkers" into being "listeners", "subscribers" and then "fans". Inevitably, there are so many reasons that someone will move through that funnel: their own propensity to get involved in a community (if you have one, this person will stick around more), their desire to dive deep into your back catalogue of content, their own interest in the behind-the-scenes of your podcast - the list goes on. But one of the main reasons, in my view, that someone won't move through your funnel and become a true fan is if they don't always find what they want when they want it. That's not to say that your show isn't right for them, but how can one thing serve all purposes, moods or needs? It can't, we know that. Let me give you an example: I love the "Rockonteurs" podcast with Guy Pratt and Gary Kemp. I'm a big music fan, love 70s-90s rock and I'm really interested in how the music comes together, so an interview show where two highly-regarded musicians from my favourite era talk to other outstanding musicians from my favourite era is perfect. I'm a fan.  But I REALLY wish they'd release more episodes. I'd listen to them all! But probably not when they came out. I'd binge them on a drive or "catch up" when I was ready for it. But why? If I'm a fan why wouldn't I lap every piece of content the chaps put out instantly? Because of my mood.  I said I love music and as part of that, I also play music. I'm (loosely speaking) a bass player. I love it and lap up YouTube content on how to set up my Stingray, on Fender Jazz Standard basses vs American Deluxe basses and meme-style content from Davie504. I'm all over it.  But when I get in my car to make the sixty-minute drive to our podcast studio and office, I can't take that with me and so, I turn to podcasts. I may be in the mood to delve into something musical but it might be some bass guitar reviews or interviews with drummers or tear-downs of famous albums or song-writing theory breakdowns of popular songs. I don't get that from "Rockonteurs". So I look elsewhere, try to find something and if I'm lucky, I do. But I'm harsh on my decision making when I do. Nine times out of ten, when I do find a new show that I'm in the mood for I don't know the person who is creating the show and so I enter their listener acquisition funnel and start again and again and again every time I'm in the...