After 6 months since Firstory launched the monthly recurring subscription function, one particular podcast creator stood out: “Stock Sea Surfer” (股海衝浪男). This Stock Surfer is a Taiwan-based podcaster who beat the odds and fulfilled Kevin Kelly’s “1,000 True Fans Theory.”
This Stock Surfer is known for his Hawaiian music and iconic greeting in the beginning of each episode. Living up to his podcast name, each episode is usually packed with his observations and experiences with the stock market, with episodes lasting for an average of 10 minutes each.
Journey to Podcast Success: Earning 15,000 USD monthly recurring podcast money
The “Stock Sea Surfer” podcast only started in June 2021. Taking advantage of the sudden rise in personal, passive income investments caused by Covid19, Stock Surfer was able to collect his first batch of listeners from word of mouth. He set up an exclusive subscription-based sponsorship plan for listeners: Stock Surfer Goes Surfing (浪男) for USD $70/month ( or 1999 NTDs/ month).
The stock market is a marathon of people racing to grab information quicker than everybody else. In this race, 1 second can make a huge difference. Knowing this, Stock Surfer made a clear division for his types of content. He posts twice a week and goes through stock market highlights every Wednesday and Sunday.
On the other hand, his subscription plan provides a more direct, 1 on 1 teaching (e.g. technical analysis) and mentorship/ consulting type of interaction. These 2 types of content (publicly accessble podcast & subscription) complement each other. In fact, each product promotes the other and helps Stock Surfer acquire a greater pool of listeners.
The twice a week podcast episodes include the updates and content highlights from Stock Surfer’s 1 on 1 subscription plan. This grabs the attention of listeners who are interested in learning more about personal investments and the stock market. This then converts into subscription income for Stock Surfer.
As of the year ended 2021, Stock Surfer had already exceeded 100 paying subscribers in 6 months. Let’s do the math: 100 * $70 = USD $7,000 (202,000 NTDs) of recurring gross revenue each month.
Taking a look at his podcast performance in March 2022, this Stock Surfer earns USD $15,000 every month. That’s more than DOUBLE his 2021 year end amount in just 3 months! In retrospect, Stock Surfer’s timing and strategies all formed to as critical factors to his podcast success.
1. Clear information and type of content
Just like his show description, “Stocks are like surfing the waves of the ocean” (「股票就像在海上衝浪一樣」), Stock Surfer provides “useful information” for his listeners. To accommodate the large number of audiences who need a large number of information & analysis in a short span of time, Stock Surfer delivers.
2. Pricing and target audience matching
For stock market investors, the value, trading profit & loss provided by Stock Surfer’s subscription plan, greatly exceeds the small amount of USD $70/month. Many grateful listeners generously donated USD$350 (10,000 NTDs) as thank you gifts.
3. Public content & exclusive content that complements
By grouping audience demand into 2 separate groups, listeners who have subscribed to exclusive content are able to obtain timely information that is critical to stock trading. On the other hand, other listeners can also use the publicly-accessible podcast as a reference.
The two types of contents complement each other.
4. Instagram micro-advertising
Since every episode in itself is information, Stock Surfer would take shots of highlighted content (e.g. Specific stocks’ trends) and post it on social media, while linking back each post to his Instagram profile. Audiences can easily navigate to his podcast from there.
The "Purchasing power" of podcast listeners in Taiwan and Asia
This success case story gives us a glimpse of the market power of Taiwan’s podcasting industry and Asia, especially since podcasts have gained tremendous fast-growth and popularity over the years in these regions.
Podcasters who would like to distribute to top Asian (East Asia and ASEAN) streaming sites KKBOX and SoundOn can also do so using Firstory podcast hosting services.
Setting up your own monetization URL
When we talk about podcast monetization, the first thing that comes to your mind might be sponsorships. But apart from sponsorships, you can also monetize your podcast content or create exclusive content like Stock Surfer by:
- Getting listeners to support you on Patreon
- Collecting listener donations (e.g. Ko-Fi, Buy Me a Coffee, PayPal)
- Create a member-only feed (e.g. Patreon, Glow.FM, Pod.fan, Podia)
- Open up a podcast membership (e.g. Memberful, MemberSpace)
Promoting your donation URL using Firstory
After setting up your donation URL, you can easily promote your donation link using the Firstory tools:
Start your podcast success journey with Firstory
Ready to start a podcast or looking to switch podcast hosting services? Try Firstory for free and know why more and more podcasters are choosing Firstory.