Tim Ferriss Stopped his Fan-Supported Podcast Experiment



Tim Ferriss, host of The Tim Ferriss Show, announced that he was stopping his fan-supported podcast experiment. The experiment launched last month, and involved removing all ads and sponsors from his podcast, in favor of having fans provide support for the show through subscriptions.

In the post, Tim Ferriss made it clear he was stopping the fan-supported podcast experiment. He said he would be refunding every supporter 100% of what they’ve paid to date. Doing this will take 1-2 weeks. All support subscriptions have been stopped. He asked fans who thought their company/product/service would be a good fit for the podcast to consider becoming a sponsor.

It turns out that most of my listeners have a strong preference for an ad-supported model compared to other options. Many folks have come to use the podcast and 5-Bullet Friday for discovering new products and services, and that has been reflected in the comments since launch. After weeks of consistent feedback from my audience, it’s now loud and clear that my vetting and sharing of sponsors is better received and a better fit.

The blog post includes some information about comments he received about fan-supported podcast experiment and the result of a pre-polling launch. He found that 99% of his listeners “are totally OK with ads, and many of them look forward to finding new products and services through my sponsor feeds.”

Tim Ferriss points out that he “should have known” what the outcome would be before he launched the experiment.

I find this interesting, because I would have guessed that fans of a podcast would prefer to go ad-free in exchange for a subscription. After all, that’s not so different a model than what many podcasters use Patreon for. It turns out Tim Ferriss’s fans prefer the ads and sponsors that he has selected to a subscription system.


2 thoughts on “Tim Ferriss Stopped his Fan-Supported Podcast Experiment

  1. The thing about subscriptions is they all start to add up. So while a podcaster might say”It’s $1 a week!” well if you have 10 of those, that starts to add up.

  2. His vetted ad based sponsorship is much different, than say, something like Visa supporting a podcast. Ads that make sense for an audience could easily be welcome. But more generic ads – perhaps not.

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