As creators, we all dream of better ways to monetize our podcasts without only relying on the traditional advertising model as the only way to make money podcasting. And the answer for many of us is through direct listener donations to support our podcasts.
But doing this for a podcast has been clunky and not built natively into many popular podcast hosting platforms. You, as a creator, had to send your listeners away from your podcast website to a third-party service where they could pay money to support your show.
You may be familiar with these platforms, such as Patreon, Buy Me A Coffee, and others.
These platforms often weren’t built with podcasting in mind, but rather were built for artists, musicians, charities, or other creative endeavors.
We wanted to change that and empower podcasters to have a way to accept direct listener donations for their podcast without the need for yet-another third-party platform, many of which take a significant portion of the revenue you generate from your show.
And in that, we’re happy to introduce Castos Commerce.
Castos Commerce is a fully hosted, native listener donation experience built right into your Castos website.
Through Castos Commerce, you can set up either one-time or recurring donations for any or all of the podcasts you host at Castos, allowing you to take a direct route to making money podcasting.
Zero Transaction Fees
One of the best things about Castos Commerce is that it DOES NOT take any percentage of the revenue you generate from your show.
Zero, zilch, nada.
After a small fee taken from Stripe, our payment processing partner (who takes 2.9% and $.30 in credit card transaction fees, and there’s nothing we can do about that), every dollar goes into your pocket.
We believe that Creators are the future of content, and don’t want to penalize you for being successful in monetizing your content.
Other platforms charge you between 5-30% for this “luxury” – with Castos Commerce, it’s 0% transaction fees!
Setting Up Donations
Getting set up with Castos Commerce to start accepting listener donations for your podcast is just a few clicks away.
You don’t need any kind of separate platform or integration, everything is handled right inside your Castos dashboard and Castos-hosted podcast websites.
To get started, first, apply to join Castos Commerce. You’ll get an acceptance email within a day or so, prompting you to continue setting up Commerce for your account.
There you’ll want to configure the donation type (one-time or recurring), set the donation amounts, and customize any kind of messaging you want to on your donation page.
We suggest setting up values for 3 different support tiers so that your listeners can decide how much they’d like to contribute to your show to support you as a creator.
Configuring Your Podcast Website
When you enable Castos Commerce, you’ll see a Donate button appear in the top navigation area of your Castos website for that podcast.
There your audience can visit a customizable, conversion-optimized page where they can select the amount they’d like to donate, enter their credit card details, and pay you as a creator!
To configure Castos Commerce for your show, head over to your Castos dashboard, and visit the Monetization section to set up your listener donations.
Payments, Payouts, and Your Customers
Once your new supporters pay you for the first time, you’ll begin to see earnings history in the Monetization section of your Castos dashboard.
Here you can see how many members of your audience have donated to your show, the amounts, and which of those are one-time or recurring donations.
Your supporters will also have a chance to log into a billing dashboard where they can see previous transaction history, download receipts, and update any billing information for recurring donations.
You can match the look, feel, and brand of this to your show through the Stripe (billing partner for Castos Commerce) dashboard.
You will need a Stripe account, which is entirely free, to receive payments and to get paid out to your bank account. Stripe is an industry-leading payment processor which handles credit card transactions for most modern websites and applications (including Castos hosting!).
Migrating To Castos Commerce
If you’ve already got listener donations set up on a platform like Patreon, Buy Me A Coffee, and you’d like to migrate that donation program over to Castos, we’d love to help.
Please get in touch with our team at [email protected] with information about your podcast, where you currently have an active program, and we’ll dive into your unique situation to see how we can best help in the migration process.
Monetizing Your Podcast
It’s never been a better time to be a creator. Whether through direct listener donations, programmatic ad insertion via Castos Ads, or even paid podcast subscriptions, creators have never had more choices on how to make money from their passion.