This was the title of the email I received from Podbean on September 27th. I had a lot of questions but they didn’t respond until just recently. The response I received was a reiteration of what the original email entailed spouting the benefit of these new changes even though I fully disagree with their new strategy. Let’s break it down.
These are the changes they’re implementing:
- Premium Podcasts will be available on Podbean iOS and Android apps. The Podbean app currently has more than 2 million users. Podbean will promote Premium Podcasts in the app and help you sell your Premium Podcasts.
- The Premium Podcast service fee will change to reflect in-app charges. For premium podcasts revenue in the app, Apple and Google charge a 30% fee, Podbean charges a 20% fee.
- Unlimited Premium Podcast Channels: you can create as many premium podcast channels as you want. You can sell Season 1 episodes in one channel and sell Season 2 Episodes in another channel. Or you can sell an Audiobook or course with hundreds of episodes in a channel or put one single bonus episode in a channel. You can set a price for each Premium Podcast channel.
This is what will remain the same and I’ll break this down for you below:
- Your existing Premium Podcast subscribers won’t be affected. Their recurring subscription payments will be processed as usual. Current subscribers can access your premium podcasts as usual.
- Your existing Premium Podcast payment links or Buy Now buttons will still work. <— That’s in contention based on their last email. Be aware!
- The new Podbean Premium Podcast service is not exclusive, so you can benefit from this service while still selling your premium podcasts on your website or other platforms.
Despite saying that the payment links will continue to work, what I confirmed later is that they will no longer be processing new subscribers — only existing subscribers. The statement above is a bit misleading. This means that if you drop your monthly $3.99 subscription, you won’t be able to rejoin later at that rate.
Instead, if you want to resubscribe to Party Favorz, you will have to do it through the app or on the website at the flat rate, which I set as a one-time payment for lifetime access. Those rates aren’t going to be pretty. I’m leaning towards a one-time payment of $149.99 to $199.99 for full lifetime access (no renewal) and creating individual channels (i.e. Dance Club, Circuit & Anthems, Disco House, Diva Hall of Fame, Dance Classics, etc.) for each genre so new subscribers can get them for a one-time payment of $29.99 – $39.99 for lifetime access to just each channel. I won’t set the official prices until this is implemented, which may be lower or higher.
Because of these changes that hurt my bottom line — I’ll likely be forced to raise the monthly subscription fee to $4.99 a month.
Here’s the other conundrum. Podbean is being secretive about these changes so I have no idea when they’ll go into effect. It could happen any day now or if they were smart, not until after the first of the year. My only other option is to switch to self-hosting again via Amazon and that’s cost prohibitive and requires a lot of work and maintenance. I know, I’ve done it before.
I’m not posting this notice to freak everyone out and nothing is set in stone until the changes occur. I just wish I had more advance information so I can make plans. But, until they actually implement the new changes — there’s no way for me to determine my next move.
I just wanted to give everyone a heads up about what may be coming down the pipeline so that I’m as upfront with you as possible. Don’t do anything rash. When it happens — you will still have full access as normal with your monthly recurring fee. When and if I make substantial changes or just move to another platform — I will totally keep everyone in the loop.
For now, I’m gonna keep the party rolling with all your favorite musical journeys so nothing changes on your end. I want to thank everyone that’s supporting my efforts and I appreciate each and every one of you.
Keith a.k.a. K j A M, owner