Because you’re a smart and savvy podcaster, you know how important it is to submit your podcast to every listening app and directory. Your podcast is not only available on “the big ones” but also every relevant podcast listening app. You do this because you know that if someone wants to listen to your show, you want them to listen on their terms in the app they choose.
Also, because you’re a smart and savvy podcaster, you’re all that picky about what communication service people can use to contact you about your show. They can email you. They can hit you up on some of the more popular messaging apps. And you happily respond to comments and questions you receive on various social media channels where you’ve established a presence for you and your podcast. You do this because you know that if someone wants to send you a message, you want them to be able to do so on their own terms, in the app they choose.
So because you’re a smart and savvy podcaster, shouldn’t you also take that same attitude and approach for receiving direct payments from your listeners?
It Will Only Get Easier For Listeners To Send You Money
Today, in the fall of 2021, it has never been easier for listeners to pay podcasters directly. And yes, it’ll continue to get easier. But only if you, the podcaster, allow it to happen.
In the before times—like maybe a few weeks ago?—podcasters tended to pick a listener-support platform and then drive their listeners to that podcaster-chosen platform with CTAs in the audio, episode notes, and episode pages. You’re likely familiar with Patreon. And if you’ve listened to or read my words for a while, you know I use Buy Me A Coffee in a similar fashion. Which one you, the podcaster, chose wasn’t really all that important. What was important was that you picked one, and you kept banging on that drum to get a small number of your listeners to go there to support you and your show.
Back then, that approach made sense. Try as they might, listeners couldn’t shout money at you through the listening app on their phones or computers. One of the few ways to receive funds from listeners was by getting them to stop listening for long enough to launch a new app or click a link to initiate a transaction. Payment platforms like Paypal, Venmo, and Cash app streamlined the transaction piece, but it still required your listener to stop listening, click a link or type in a URL, initiate the transaction, and then return to the listening app.
That’s friction. And last week, Twitter took steps to remove much of that friction.
Your Podcast, Supported By Twitter. (Well, Your Twitter Followers, At Least.)
Recently, Twitter announced direct payments would be integrated into the social platform. When the rollout is finished, listeners who read your tweets or engage with your content on Twitter can choose to send you some money right there in the app. No, they don't have to leave Twitter or launch a new app. It’s all integrated. If a Twitter follower of yours gets value from the content you provide on Twitter, they can choose to return some of that value to you with a few simple clicks.
But I don’t think this will be limited to Twitter. It’s pretty standard for social platforms to copy features and innovations from other social platforms. How many different apps scrambled to integrate “stories”? Or social/drop-in audio?
I won’t be at all surprised to see other platforms quickly roll out their own version of this, allowing friends, followers, connections, or whatever term fits to send funds to other creators on the platform without ever having to leave the platform.
The Bright Future Of Value-For-Value For Podcasters
Sending money to a creator providing value without ever having to leave the app where that content is being consumed is a Very Big Deal. But I think it also could be the hallmark of even more fundamental changes.
Effectively, Twitter will become the training ground that exposes 1/3rd of the population to the concept of value-for-value. And as more social platforms copy this move, more people are exposed, finding it not just easy but also quite rewarding to jump into the value-for-value flow.
And that has a lot of implications for all podcasters to consider. Here are a few I’m thinking of at the moment:
There’s a first-mover benefit.
There’s going to be a wave of buzz around this, and it’s important that you’re able to be funded. So go through the process as soon as you can. Not only for Twitter but also when the next social platform copies them. Because even if you’re bearish on the value social media has for podcasting, this is the excuse you’ve been waiting for to launch a social presence for your show.
How will the funding sites react?
The direct-payments and crowd-funding industries aren’t going to take this sitting down, I think. They’ll see this as a direct threat to their margins and react accordingly. Now… what sort of reaction they’ll have and the steps they’ll take is a mystery. But here’s a not-so-crazy notion for you: What if they flip the model on its head?
The power of this is the ability to pay/fund directly within the app where the consumption happens. So what’s stopping the funding platforms—Buy Me A Coffee, Patreon, Ko-fi, or even the Cash app—from letting creators publish content directly to those platforms? Clearly, there’s a lot of retooling to make that happen, so I don’t expect to see it tomorrow. But it’s not all that crazy when you think about it.
Get ready for confusion.
To quote the noted economist Gorgeous George; this will get messy. As nice and seamless as this is (will be?) it’s bound to cause a lot of head-scratching. Some apps/services will do a better job of integration than others. And then there’s the very real possibility the whole concept of value-for-value slides deep into the chasm that is the Tyranny of Choice.
So my advice: get there, hold on, and see what happens. Let’s embrace the concept of letting our listeners provide value back to us on their terms.
Love your pontifications, Evo! Here's hoping Twitter doing crypto tipping will help mass adoption of Podcasting 2.0! Onward and upward!
And yes, as Kyle hinted at in his message, Twitter’s tipping feature is tied to crypto. But don’t let that scare you. You can also connect, as I have also connected, a variety of payment options, like Patreon, Venmo, Cash App, and more.
If you found value in this episode and you wish to return some of that value, you now have more ways than ever before. I’m keeping a running, regularly updated list of all those options for you at PodcastPontifications.com/support, which I updated over the weekend to include Twitter. The choice is yours!
I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.