Creating subscriber-only content for your video podcast is an excellent way to generate income from your hard work. Why? Because you don’t need a million followers to make money. Even a few loyal viewers can help support your show.
Here’s the best part. If you use Spotify for Podcasters to manage your video podcast, you can turn any episode into bonus content for subscribers with a couple of clicks. You’ll get a list of your pod subscribers email addresses which gives you lots of opportunity to engage with them directly. And you can track your income and episode performance right on your Spotify for Podcasters' dashboard.
So, the real question is, what will you offer your biggest fans? We’ve put together a list of 15 types of video podcast content that’ll delight your subscribers and give them enough value to keep them coming back. Many of these options are doable in a few minutes.
1. Offer an ad-free option
Ads are an important and even fun part of the podcasting experience. But some listeners prefer to enjoy their entertainment without ads—and they may pay for it. Using video streaming as a potential example, many viewers subscribe to a paid, ad-free experience even when there’s a free option that has regular ads. The same could be true for podcasts.
To make sure your content is ad-free, edit out any host read ads or inserted ads.
2. Hold Q&As and AMAs
There’s a lot of value for listeners in Q&A or ask-me-anything (AMA) sessions with you and your knowledgeable guests. Not only do listeners get answers to their unique queries, but they also feel like an important part of the show. You can’t pay for that kind of fan engagement. But your listeners will.
Start by gathering subscriber questions. Use Spotify for Podcasters' Q&A and poll features. Viewers and listeners can tell you what questions to ask, or you can run a poll with a list of questions they get to choose from. Either way, subscribers drop their answers right in the Spotify app and you can pin them to episodes. It’s a great way to get supporters involved.
Once you have a list of questions, ask guests to stick around for an extra 10 minutes to answer them. Or field those queries yourself if you’re the expert. Is your podcast scripted fiction? Use this as a chance for fans to get to know the cast and crew. Then turn that portion of the chat into bonus content and promote it during the free episode.
3. Repurpose livestreams
Livestreams are an excellent way to connect with your audience in a raw and uncensored way.
You can multiply the benefit of your livestreams by downloading the stream and re-uploading it as a video podcast. Viewers will love the option of watching your livestream when and where it suits them best. And you’ll have valuable subscription content using assets you’ve already completed.
4. Make video the upgrade
If you currently have an audio-only podcast, then your bonus content may be as simple as pointing a camera at yourself while you work.
Video adds a new dimension to your content. Fans get to see you doing what you do best, plus you can edit in fun and informative visual elements like photos and graphics. If you have a cooking podcast, for example, bonus video content would be hard to resist.
5. Do deep topic dives
There’s always more to a story, and your fans would love to hear it. Deep-dive episodes can provide the contextual background (“how did we get here?”) or future projection (“what do we do now?”) for a topic.
Say you have a personal finance interview podcast, and your guest talks about the effects of inflation. The bonus content could be a deep dive into what causes inflation and how to invest when prices are skyrocketing. Throw in some suggestions on where to learn more and a first-person story or two, and listeners will be glad to subscribe.
6. Produce entire subscriber-only episodes
Instead of subscriber content that’s an extension of standard episodes, consider creating whole new installments of your video podcast for subscribers to enjoy.
Maybe these bonus episodes are in a different format than your standard show. Or they could cover different topics. Do your fans have a favorite character in your fiction podcast? Create episodes about their backstory.
This one requires a little more work than other options, but you may be able to set a higher subscription price to make up for it.
7. Create quick recap episodes
Long-form video podcasts are popular with people for a reason—they can get into many of the nooks and crannies of a topic in a fun and informative way. But not everyone can invest two hours in an episode. For those listeners on the go, offer an abridged version of your most popular episodes for a small fee.
Perhaps you go deep into the history of global conflicts with historians, military tacticians, and political pundits during your 90-minute run time. Go through your catalog of episodes and create 10-to-15-minute TL;DR (too long didn’t read, or in this case, watch) reviews of what those experts said. Then offer them up to subscribers.
8. Share subscriber stories
Your listeners are full of educational and entertaining stories of their own. Mine that resource for valuable bonus episodes that bring your community a little bit closer.
Do it by asking listeners to share a personal story about a specific topic. It could be how they solved a particular problem or their most embarrassing travel experience. Depending on your show’s format, fans can deliver their tales through a recorded phone call, or you can read them from an email.
9. Include archived episodes
If you’ve been at the podcasting game for a while, then you have a treasure trove of content that new listeners would love to hear. Make the most popular episodes from your archives part of your subscription offering.
Start by checking your analytics to find episodes that performed well. But keep enough of your show free so there’s still plenty of great content to get new listeners hooked.
Add additional value by editing out the ads or even recording a brief commentary on older shows. It could be fun to revisit the financial or political predictions guests made two or three years ago.
10. Record a panel of experts
More voices on a topic mean more value for your listeners. So, if you typically video only yourself or a single guest, try creating an occasional episode with a panel of experts.
When choosing guests for these special episodes, include people from multiple backgrounds. Say you talk about brewing beer; invite a brewer, an investor, a hops farmer, and so on. And since this is a video podcast, half the fun for the viewer will be watching the panelists’ reactions while the others are speaking.
11. Give early access to episodes
People with a passion love getting the early scoop. You can make that happen for your subscribers by posting episodes of your video podcast early.
This strategy is especially useful for time-sensitive topics. If your show is all about comic books, listeners would love your preview of comic conventions as early as they can get them.
How early you release content depends on the cadence of your show. If it’s a weekly release, for example, posting for subscribers a couple of days early could do the trick.
12. Release a collection of unfiltered clips and bonus episodes
Bloopers, outtakes, pranks, and the five minutes before an interview when the guest gets real—these represent the human side of video podcasting and the kind of content fans love. Roll up the best moments into a series of “you unfiltered” episodes for your best supporters.
Another version of unfiltered episodes is to keep the camera rolling after the official episode. Have a chat with the audience about what you learned. Or share your more candid takes—complete with colorful language if that’s your thing. Then turn that footage into bonus episodes. The subscribe button isn’t just a paywall; it’s also a way to separate content for different audiences.
13. Share unreleased episodes
Not every episode makes the final cut for your podcast. Maybe there were several in the early days that don’t fit your current format. Or some guest chats didn’t turn out the way you intended. Or maybe you recorded some experimental episodes that didn’t fully pan out.
Whatever the reason for your unreleased episodes, offer them as part of your paid subscription plan and let them become new fan favorites. Since those episodes aren’t part of your regular lineup, there’s no pressure to make them look and sound like your standard show.
14. Repackage other content
Do you write books, a newsletter, or lengthy blog posts? Record yourself reading that long-form copy and make it more accessible for people who prefer watching a video.
With a little extra effort, you can bring those topics to life with a few sound or visual effects. Or a little extra insight about your newsletter.
15. Host an audience Zoom call and upload it for subscribers
As an Spotify for Podcasters creator, you get a list of emails from your subscribers. There are plenty of ways to use it to engage your audience more directly. Here’s one that’ll really create a sense of community: invite subscribers to a Zoom call, let them chat about a recent episode, then publish the video behind your paywall.
Attendees will enjoy sharing their thoughts with other supporters. New subscribers that watch the video will get an instant and immersive introduction to the community. And your fans will get to see themselves on a video podcast you post of the conversation.
Combine content types for your subscriber-only show
The great thing about creating bonus content for subscribers is you don’t have to choose just one type. Pull together a blooper reel from the last 20 episodes, hold a series of AMAs, and repurpose a few livestreams. The variety will only make your paid subscription plan that much more valuable.
Feeling inspired? Now’s a great time to start earning a consistent income from your best work. Here’s everything you need to launch your subscription podcast today.