Subscriptions best practices
Make your subscriptions shine
As you create your subscription, set yourself up for success with audiences by following the best practices outlined below to make the most of your messaging — from optimizing your metadata to promoting your additional offerings on and off platform.
Optimize your subscription brand
- Your subscription name can feature up to 25 characters.
- If you are offering a freemium subscription for a show or channel, use a subscription name that’s distinct from your channel or organization brand
- The subscription name should clearly relate to the brand or name audiences know you for, but it should also indicate that there is something new or additive. Examples include premium, plus, or exclusive. Your subscription name is visible in your subscription banner and is what audiences will see when getting notifications about their paid subscriptions.
- If you’re offering a paid-only subscription to a show or channel, your subscription name should be the same as your show or channel name.
- The design should represent the subscription brand.
- Avoid repurposing individual show or channel art.
- Before your subscription launch, make sure the following have been uploaded to your channel within Apple Podcasts Connect:
- Subscription promotion artwork: This appears when a listener tries to play content that requires a subscription. It also appears on the channel or show pages with premium offerings available to potential subscribers.
- Subscription icon: This represents your subscription offering when a listener confirms their payment information while subscribing.
- Channel artwork: This is required to complete your subscription set up and appears in Apple Podcasts when you have multiple shows in your channel.
To learn more about artwork specifications and download templates, review the artwork requirements.
Promote your subscription
You have several opportunities to communicate the benefits you’re offering subscribers with your promotional benefits description, banner, and channel description. As you select and compose the copy for these promotions, keep these guidelines in mind:
Promotional benefits description
You can create a custom description with up to 60 characters to detail what makes your subscription unique and help potential subscribers understand the value they will receive.
- How often subscribers can expect your bonus content to be released. For example, Enjoy weekly bonus episodes.
- How far in advance they can listen to early-access episodes. For example, Enjoy new episodes one week early.
This is one of the most visible calls to action and a prime opportunity to invite listeners to subscribe to your show or channel. The banner is displayed on your channel page and across each show page that offers subscriber audio. We recommend adding a description for each show to reflect its unique offering. Learn more about writing a promotional message.
- Be concise and eliminate nonessential words.
- Don’t include the name, price, or “free trial.”
- List the subscription benefits and how these apply to your show or channel.
- Single show subscription example: “Unlock exclusive episodes and listen ad-free.”
- Channel subscription example: “Get Castaway+ to unlock ad-free listening for all shows.”
If you have a channel-wide subscription and your benefits differ per show, be sure to edit each show’s subscription banner to reflect its unique offering.
Consider offering a competitive annual price. Learn more about annual pricing.
Subscriptions that offer a free trial have three times the sign-up rate than ones without it. Seven days is the standard length, but make sure you allow enough time for subscribers to enjoy the benefits within the trial period.
Channel, show, and episode descriptions
Promote your offering further by including messaging about it in your show, episode, and channel descriptions.
- Episode and show descriptions can feature up to 4000 characters.
- This is a prime opportunity to tell potential subscribers what benefits to expect, such as the cadence of bonus episodes or availability of early access to episodes
- If you’re promoting early access or bonus content, include language that indicates that a subscription is required to listen. Example: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to binge all episodes now or listen weekly wherever you get your podcasts. This episode releases for free on June 23.
In-audio messaging is one of the most powerful tools for converting listeners to subscribers and there are a few ways to leverage the platform for this purpose. Podcasters offering a subscription should include a call-to-action to subscribe in their audio. Here are a few examples:
- Preview of audio content in front of the paywall: Shows such as Spooked post episodes in front of the paywall and include some in-audio messaging to encourage their audience to dive into their subscription offerings for more.
- Host-read promotions: Within free RSS episodes, be sure to call out your subscription offerings on Apple Podcasts and encourage listeners to subscribe by having the host detail the benefits.
Apple Podcasts Marketing Tools offer assets that make it easy to promote your show or channel. Elevate your digital and printed marketing materials with assets like embedded players, short links, badges and QR codes. Learn how to make the most of your off-platform marketing.
Analyze and refine
Be sure to take advantage of our platform-specific subscription and engagement reports to understand how your subscription is performing. Learn more about your podcast analytics and get inspired.