Subscriptions best practices
Make your subscriptions shine
As you set up and submit your subscription for approval, here are a few best practices to support its success. In general, the guiding principles are:
- Clearly communicate the benefits you are offering subscribers.
- Ensure you are uploading enough subscriber-only audio to provide a premium experience.
Publish audio to match your subscription benefits
If you are offering ad-free listening as a subscriber benefit for a freemium show, make sure you have delivered enough ad-free subscriber audio:
- To communicate ad-free as a benefit, at least one show should have all of the episodes delivered ad-free.
- As an alternative, consider delivering your latest episodes ad-free, and communicating “get new episodes ad-free” in your custom subscription banner message. At a minimum, the three most-recent episodes should be uploaded and available as ad-free subscriber audio.
- Paid shows: make sure you have uploaded subscriber-only audio for at least one episode of each show. If you are offering a show that is fully subscriber-only, we recommend offering at least one free sample episode for all listeners to hear before starting a trial or subscription.
- Extra episodes: make sure you have uploaded subscriber-only audio for at least one episode for each show with that benefit.
- Early access: make sure you have uploaded subscriber-only audio for at least one episode for each show offering early access as a benefit.
- Archive access: at least one show in the subscription should have at least half of its episodes available as subscriber-only audio.
To set up subscriber-only audio see Set up your show for a subscription.
Describing and promoting your subscription
You have several opportunities to communicate the benefits you are offering subscribers with your Subscription Name, Custom Description, Promotional Banner, and Channel Description. As you select and compose the copy for these promotions, keep these guidelines in mind:
- Make sure to reference the audio-related benefits, such as bonus content or early access.
- Prioritize benefits that listeners can unlock with their subscription on Apple Podcasts, rather than off-platform offers such as merchandise or live events.
- You can include messaging about subscriptions helping financially support your show or a related cause, as long as you also mention the audio-related benefit available to the listener (for example, “Support great journalism and listen ad-free”).
- Keep in mind that your subscription name can feature up to 25 characters.
If you are offering a freemium subscription for a show or channel, we recommend using a subscription name that is distinct from your channel or organization brand. The subscription name should clearly relate to the brand or name listeners know you for, but that also connotes that there is something new, additive, or premium. Note that your subscription name is what users will see when managing or 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.
- A custom description can include up to 60 characters.
- If you opt to include a custom description instead of selecting from the list of benefits, make clear what audio-related benefits your subscription includes.
- For example, it is not sufficient to say “Subscribe to great stories.” You can communicate these benefits in your audio and show metadata. For your subscription description, consider something along the lines of “Unlock new bonus episodes each month” to help potential subscribers understand the specific value they will receive.
- A promotional banner can include up to 50 characters.
- It is one of the most visible calls to action and a succinct opportunity to invite listeners to subscribe to your channel.
- The promotional banner is displayed on your channel page and across each of your show pages that offer subscriber audio. Shows without subscriber audio do not display a promotional banner.
- Make it clear what audio-related subscriber benefits are included in your subscription and how these apply to shows within your channel. For example, “Get Castaway + to unlock ad-free listening for all shows.”
- The channel description can feature up to 4,000 characters.
- Your channel description gives you room to go into greater detail about what is included in the channel and your subscription.
- For freemium channels this is an opportunity to tell current and potential subscribers what benefits to expect, such as the cadence of bonus episodes or availability of early access to new seasons. If your channel consists of both shows with subscriber-only benefits and free shows it can be useful to highlight which shows are included with the subscriptions.
Make the most of your subscription artwork
To learn more about artwork specifications and download templates, review the artwork requirements.