How we launched a podcast monetization platform
From nothing to product to business — in less than a year.
Product, Brand, Business, Launch, Fundraising
Web, Product, Podcast
A product and business
Our work with influencers revealed something obvious: It’s hard for podcasters to get paid.
We’ve found memberships to be the best way for content creators to get paid. But most products that offer this feature are “content creator” platforms that take a cut of ownership and profits without offering much value.
So we built the product we wish existed — a platform where podcasters could get paid.
Over 12 months, we took Supercast from idea to product to business.
After raising $2MM in investment, we transitioned Supercast to a new team and growth plan.
Seed funding raised
Earned by podcasters using Supercast
Concept → launch
The idea: help podcasters get paid
Podcasters can have huge audiences, but serving them is difficult.
Understanding a podcasting audience through analytics is a nightmare. Depending on the platform, some podcasters don’t even get to see their audience data. And besides ads (which can be unpredictable, time-consuming sources of revenue that are hit-or-miss with listeners), there aren’t a lot of options for monetization.
Memberships are a proven model for online creators, but the few platforms that offer this aren’t crafted for podcasters. They take a lot of a creator’s revenue (10%+) without offering much to either the creator or the listener experience. Sometimes, the so-called premium experience is worse.
We built Supercast to fix this.
"Supercast has transformed the profit potential of my podcast, giving me a new membership revenue stream in addition to advertising.”
The product: add a paid membership to podcasts
Supercast is a creator-owned, listener-supported way for podcasters to monetize their content. Podcasters use Supercast to add a paid membership to their podcast and share exclusive content with paying members.
We worked with partner agencies Z1 and LiftOff to develop the initial Supercast product.
The first podcasters to move from Patreon to Supercast grew from zero to five- and six-figure incomes, with established shows multiplying their monthly revenue by over 5x.
"It's taken us seven years to build a paid-supporter base on Patreon of just over 5,600 people. I think we can exceed that on Supercast in the next two years."
The growth: content engines bring customers
We developed Supercast’s launch to attract and educate initial customers.
- We created a guide to attract and educate our audience.
- We created a podcast to further educate our audience while showcasing our product.
- We created a contest to prove our product’s value while attracting our ideal customer.
The Supercast Guide to Paid Memberships addresses the why and how behind a paid membership. Made up of all the lessons we learned helping podcasters launch successful internet businesses, this content helps convert potential users into customers.
The Supercast Paid to Podcast competition provides an incentive for podcasters to make the move to a paid membership. The contest attracts new customers to the product with a multiple incentives:
- Podcasting celebrities (who act as mentors and judges)
- Attention (distribution is difficult as a podcaster)
- Access to Supercast
- Cash (win money by making money with a membership)
We leveraged our network of podcasting clients and colleagues to find podcasting celebrities to feature on “Supercasters”, our podcast that expands on Supercast’s brand content to showcase the product’s listener experience. These individuals guided podcasters trying to build a business, establishing both community and social proof for Supercast.
The results: a business worth investing in
In less than a year, Supercast moved from idea to product.
Supercast’s success with its initial few customers was so monumental that those people became some of our first investors. Over $2MM was invested into Supercast via prolific podcasters like Peter Attia (The Drive), Dr. Rhonda Patrick (FoundMyFitness) and Shane Parrish (The Knowledge Project), along with an incredible group of investors and early-stage funds including Tiny, who bootstrapped our initial development as part of their ongoing investment in podcasting.
In 2020, we hired a new CEO and team for Supercast. While we’ve handed off our growth plan, DoubleUp continues to work closely with Supercast to empower podcasters working in the creator economy.
Can we do this for you?
DoubleUp builds and grows wonderful internet businesses.
If you have a big audience, we can help you do more with them.
If you have a big idea, we can help build and grow it.