Introducing Affinity Promotions for podcasts on RadioPublic

A proven way to grow your newsletter subscribers, survey listeners, and measure ad efficacy

Summary: Affinity Promotions within RadioPublic are targeted, relevant, and highly effective text messages with calls to action, displayed in-app to your podcast listeners. Use them to grow your email newsletter, survey your listeners, measure sponsor promo codes, and more. Sign up and start using Affinity Promotions.

Two examples of RadioPublic Affinity Promotions in action: on the home screen (L) and in the episode detail view (R).

If there’s one thing we hear over and over from podcast fans, it’s that they feel strong, deep ties to their favorite shows. They use words like, “intimate,” “emotional,” and “personal” to describe their listening experiences. And they’re hungry for ways to show — and share — that powerful sense of affinity.

If Lloyd Dobler were a podcast fan, would he show his love by playing “In Your Ears”?

On the podcaster side, though, we hear quite the opposite: it’s difficult to identify loyal listeners, measure advertisement effectiveness, track where new listeners are coming from, or engage with listeners beyond the audio content itself. In an increasingly networked world, podcasting has been stuck in an old-school, broadcast model.

Podcasters have been bridging these gaps by using proxies like spoken promo codes, asking for reviews, and listener surveys — but what if listeners could take action much, much more easily, and at a time and place that’s actually convenient?

And what if you could finally connect the dots between effort and reward, with a tool that amplifies your show’s business model? We’re seeing podcasters generate revenue through a wide range of sources, from advertising to merchandise, live events, and lead generation for services or products — and of course, listener donations. But until now, much of that revenue has been left on the table, because despite high levels of motivation, listeners don’t have an easy way to take action at a time and place that’s convenient for them.

Meaningful listener engagement goes both ways

RadioPublic is solving this challenge, helping podcasters meet their business objectives — whatever they may be. Ultimately, our goal is to contribute to a more sustainable podcasting ecosystem for everyone.

For the past few months, we’ve been working with a few select podcasters with a wide range of business models, using in-app listening behaviour to identify and move listeners up an engagement ladder toward higher value asks. Here’s how it works:

First, we identify the type of relationship the listener has with your show right now — newbies, casual listeners, regular listeners, lapsed fans, super-fans, and so on. Each of these segments has a different degree of engagement, so you’ll want to offer them different options for taking the next step up the ladder. For example, a regular listener might sign up for your newsletter, and a super-fan is primed to buy your T-Shirt.

Then, we display text-based engagement prompts in the app, to guide people toward actions like subscribing to the show, joining a mailing list, attending a live event, buying a book, becoming a paid subscriber — whatever is most valuable to your show’s business model.

You can target different Affinity Promotions to different kinds of listeners, from lapsed fans to highly engaged ones.

Case Studies: The right prompt at the right time

RadioPublic uses in-app listening behavior to identify a listener’s affinity with your show. The listener engagement data gives us signals about what call-to-action makes the most sense in that moment for a specific listener.

Grow your email newsletter

The New York Times wants to increase the number of podcast listeners who subscribed to their daily email called The Morning Briefing. Our predictive affinity model identifies highly qualified listener leads. Listeners to The Daily who are more likely to subscribe are shown an Affinity Promotion to join The Morning Briefing. 26% of listeners in RadioPublic who see the email newsletter signup tap it.

RadioPublic newsletter promotions are powerful tool to help grow your email list. Grow your email newsletter subscribers with RadioPublic.

Increase survey conversion rates

Sales staff at Radiotopia who represent shows like 99% Invisible, Criminal and The West Wing Weekly need detailed demographic information about the audience to help secure and retain sponsors. The in-app listener affinity model targets listeners to Radiotopia shows, helping guide them to the survey. 20% of listeners presented with survey prompts clicked into it, and 50% of those people went on to complete the full survey. Contrast that with industry standard conversions of <1% for promoting surveys in audio inventory on podcast episodes.

RadioPublic survey promotions are an effective method to learn more about your audience. Survey your listeners with RadioPublic.

Measure sponsor conversion rates

ZipRecruiter advertises on lots of podcasts, including The New York Times’ show The Daily. Listeners to The Daily on RadioPublic were presented with an in-app visual promotion, letting them know they could get a special offer. 15% of listeners who were presented with the RadioPublic in-app Affinity Promotion tapped the offer.

RadioPublic companion sponsor promotions give podcasters and advertisers better information to measure the effectiveness of their ad campaigns. Measure sponsor conversion rates with RadioPublic.

More Affinity Promotions are coming soon

  • Prompt engaged fans to buy tickets to a live event
  • Ask dedicated super-fans to make a donation or purchase merch
  • Discover a new show from your network
  • Unlock exclusive bonus content for super-fans

New ideas and use cases are emerging all the time. We’d love to hear how you’d make use of Affinity Promotions!

Affinity Promotions are highly relevant to listeners, and we only display them when listeners are looking at their phones (so they won’t miss one because they’re driving, working out, or cooking). Listeners are eager to show their support for your show in tangible ways — and now they can.

The proof? We’re seeing remarkably high conversion rates. While a typical banner ad might get a 1% click-through-rate (CTR) or less, Affinity Promotions on RadioPublic are in the double digits, and some categories and shows are consistently above 50%.

Learn more about how The New York Times and the Radiotopia podcast network are using promotions. Sign up for our email list now.

Start using Affinity Promotions

We’re now giving every podcaster the power to use RadioPublic Affinity Promotions.

There are two key requirements to gain access to Affinity Promotions:

  1. Sign up here, and
  2. Encourage 200+ people to install and use RadioPublic via your Universal Link on your website and social media (find yours here).

Why step 2? Affinity Promotions require a minimum addressable audience to be effective at increasing engagement and driving conversions. RadioPublic is rapidly growing as the premier universal listening destination for podcasting overall, but your show may not yet have met the threshold for Affinity Promotions. If you already have >200 listeners on RadioPublic, you’re good to go.

Once your podcast has enough listeners on RadioPublic to support Affinity Promotions (we track this through our analytics), we will enable them for you. We’ll then work with you to create promotion messages to help you meet your business objectives.

We don’t require exclusivity, but when more of your listeners are on RadioPublic, the more we can convert.

Ready to get started?

First, contact us and let us know you’re interested in using Affinity Promotions, then use these resources to start growing your audience on RadioPublic:

Want more ideas for growing your audience with RadioPublic? Here you go.

Let’s roll.

We can’t wait to help you use Affinity Promotions to support your show. Sign up for Affinity Promotions now.


This article is part of a series on how podcasters can use RadioPublic to grow audience and engagement for their shows. Check out the rest of the series here.

Still have questions? Leave a response, or get in touch. We love helping podcasters grow and engage their audiences.

Thanks to Lauren Bacon, Ma’ayan Plaut and Jake Shapiro for help with this article.

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