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.

Tim Ferriss Will Remove Ads and Sponsors from his Podcast

Tim Ferriss, host of The Tim Ferriss Show, and author of The 4-Hour Workweek (among other books), is moving to a new model with his podcast. He will remove ads and sponsors from his podcast for a six-month test. The podcast will continue to be free for everyone, and he is not putting it behind a paywall.

Fans who would like to contribute to his works can do so if they would like to. Subscription options range from $9.95/month to $1,000/month.

Tim Ferriss says, “Please only contribute what you feel great about contributing. This is zero pressure, and I’m not mailing out any beer koozies or other crap you don’t want. I’ll just do and share more good stuff.”

Since the podcast has become the engine that fuels everything else, if this experiment doesn’t work out after six months, we’ll go back to sponsors. If it works, we’ll stay with fan-supported. Easy peasy.

Tim Ferriss gave three reasons why he decided to do this:

  • “I’d really love a more direct relationship with my most dedicated listeners, readers, and fans.”
  • “Sponsors and ads chew up a TON of time that I’d rather spend finding and doing cool things I can share with you.”
  • “Over the years, thousands of readers and fans have asked me, “How can I thank you?”

More details can be found on his website. He is potentially taking a financial risk by removing ads and sponsors from the show. If the experiment doesn’t work out as he hoped it would, it might be difficult to entice the dropped sponsors to return.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Tim Ferriss’s net worth is $100 million. Between that, and his huge fan base, it seems to me that his experiment could work out for him. But, if it doesn’t, it appears that he won’t be destitute. Few podcasters can safely take that sort of risk.

Tim Ferriss Launches Tim Ferris Show

Tim Ferris ShowNew York Times Best Selling Author Tim “Four Hour Workweek” Ferriss has launched his own podcast. After appearing on many podcasts over time, he got to see how easy it was and decided to launch his own.

He is also working on television show, and figured this would be a fun way to keep in touch with his audience. Here is the description of his podcast:

Tim Ferriss is a self-experimenter and bestselling author, best known for The 4-Hour Workweek, which has been translated into 40+ languages. Newsweek calls him “the world’s best human guinea pig,” and The New York Times calls him “a cross between Jack Welch and a Buddhist monk.” In this show, he deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, chess, pro sports, etc.), digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can use. Listen to over 15,000 radio shows, podcasts and live radio stations for free on your iPhone, iPad, Android and PC. Discover the best of news, entertainment, comedy, sports and talk radio on demand with Stitcher Radio.

His first episode he interviewed Kevin Rose (Kevin is a tech entrepreneur who co-founded Digg, Revision3 (sold to Discovery Channel), Pownce, and Milk (sold to Google). Since 2012, he is a venture partner at Google Ventures.).

Find it in iTunes

Find it in Stitcher


Posted by Dave Jackson from the School of Podcasting