Annoucements

Free Podcast Hosting: Too Good to be True?

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Why is it that we are skeptical of things that are labeled free? 

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. You get what you pay for. Nothing in life is free. 

It seems we’ve made the collective assumption it’s not possible to get something for nothing. If it’s free there can’t be any value, or there’s got to be a catch. Right? 

Podcasters approach free hosting with the same skepticism. We get it, we’re not a traditional podcasting company. We aren’t trying to pull one over on you. Quite the opposite, we are all about transparency.

Our platform *really* is completely free to use and has everything you need to get your podcast out to the world. This includes: free and unlimited hosting, distribution, analytics and our cross-promotion marketplace to grow your audience. 

It can sound too good to be true and inevitably the next question is: 

“So… what’s in it for you guys?” 

Fair question. The short answer is we don’t want to make money from you, we want to make money together

Our mission isn’t to provide free hosting. Our focus is to partner with creators who are ready to monetize their show and support them as they take their business and podcast to the next level.

Here are the reasons we believe in keeping RedCircle free and how we’re able to do so: 

1 | Podcast hosting is table stakes, it should always be free. 

RedCircle is a podcast growth and monetization platform, hosting is a basic feature that’s included. We didn’t set out to build a SaaS business for podcast hosting—our vision goes far beyond that.

You shouldn’t be paying anyone to host your podcast. Storage and hosting costs have fallen drastically over the past decade and the underlying technology to provide hosting is not complex. 

The bottom line is that it doesn’t cost us much money to host your podcast. We believe in having a business model that reflects that. The companies that are charging a monthly fee to host your podcast are simply charging you rent. They’re not providing any significant innovation. 

We’re here to provide much more value than giving your podcast a place to live. 

2 | Our business model is aligned with you, the creator. 

We want you to focus on what you do best, producing amazing content. We give you innovative tools that help you to develop your brand, grow your audience, and monetize your hard work. 

If you are just starting out, we’ll help you build your audience and get support from your listeners using our tipping feature.  As you continue to grow with us, we’ll also help you find advertising partners.

If you already have an established podcast, we have a team dedicated to getting you in front of brands and helping you find advertising for your show as you continue to expand your audience. 

When we help you make money, we’ll share in the revenue when those connections are made and sustained. We measure our success by making others successful. We only do well when our creators do well

“Wait, I have some questions….”

Am I required to participate in your advertising or cross-promotion programs? 

No, we’ll never force you to use ads and you are free to keep and/or source ad revenue of your own. If we don’t source the advertisement for you, we don’t share that revenue and we would never insert ads into your content without your consent! 

Tell me more about your fees and rev share…

While we do take a small cut when we help you generate revenue, we make sure we give the most money possible to the person who deserves it most: you, the creator. We take a small 4.5% share on tipping revenue and we share 30% of the ad revenue we source for you.  

Do you limit upload speed or bandwidth? 

No, we don’t limit storage space or your streaming bandwidth and you’ll always maintain high-quality audio.

Do I have to host my podcast with RedCircle to use your features? Yes, in order to take advantage of our cross-promotion or monetization features you’ll have to switch from your old host to RedCircle. That said, we’ve made switching easy and painless. The platform walks you through the entire process in a few steps and only takes a few minutes.

Have another question? Send them our way at support@getredcircle.com

You have nothing to lose and lots to gain! Sign up for RedCircle today!

Annoucements

Tipping is Here

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Podcast Tipping Feature

When we released our new cross-promotions marketplace, we noted that the first question we hear from every podcaster we meet is “how can I grow my podcast?”  Question #2, which quickly follows, is consistently…

How can I make money from my podcast?

At RedCircle, our dedicated sales team helps podcasters make money by connecting them with a wide variety of advertisers.  However, some podcasters aren’t comfortable with ads or haven’t grown large enough to attract advertisers yet. For these emerging independent podcasts, RedCircle has a brand new tool to help creators get rewarded for their work: Tipping.


Introducing Tipping

Beginning today, RedCircle now helps podcasters collect tips from their listeners.  In just a few clicks, creators can connect their bank account and set up their show for easy tipping from fans who appreciate their work.

Payment information modal

Podcasters can track their tips over time on RedCircle’s new ‘Money’ page.  You can view your tip history, watch your revenue grow, and transfer your balance to your bank account at any time.  With RedCircle, the creator is always in control.

Money dashboard

Your Content, Your Revenue

RedCircle partners with Stripe to provide seamless payments directly into podcasters’ bank accounts.  Stripe is the industry leader in payments processing and offers top-notch security.  

At RedCircle, we’re all about the creator.  While we do take a fee for providing the new Tipping feature, we want to make sure we give the most money possible to the people who deserve it most: podcasters.  That’s why we take an industry-leading 4.5% of the revenue.  That’s lower than Patreon, lower than Podbean, lower than most.

In order to process the credit card transaction and pay out to your bank account, Stripe also takes a few fees.  As an example, if 3 of your fans tip you $5 this month, and you cash out, you’ll take home $12.71, RedCircle’s share is $0.69, and Stripe collects $1.50. For more details on the fee structure, check out this help article.

A First Step

By offering free hosting, powerful analytics, a cross-promotions marketplace, a dedicated ad sales team, and now tips, RedCircle’s suite of tools is now the best way to take your podcast to the next level.  And we’re just getting started. We believe that podcasters want a diverse set of revenue streams including one-time tips, ongoing monthly support, as well as ad revenue. Going forward, you can expect more tools to help podcasters connect with their fans and earn.

We’re building RedCircle to be the most powerful system for creating, growing, and monetizing your work.  Stay tuned; there’s a lot more to come in just a few weeks.

Annoucements

Announcing RedCircle’s Cross-Promotions Marketplace

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Image of the RedCircle deal UI

When we launched RedCircle, we envisioned a platform that would help creators of all sizes to be heard.  Since then we’ve spoken to hundreds of podcasters from around the world, and many of them are all interested in an answer to the same question:

How Do I Grow My Podcast?

It’s very common for big podcast networks run ads on their shows that tell listeners to check out other podcasts within their network.  Cross-promotions like these are an exceptional tool for growing audiences. However, to pull off one of these cross promotions, you need dynamic ad insertion technology, multiple shows within your network, and the time and energy to manually execute the campaign.  This is why only the large podcast networks can run cross-promotions. Until now.

Introducing RedCircle’s Cross-Promotion Marketplace

With RedCircle’s new cross-promotions feature, it’s never been easier to pair up with another podcast and promote each other’s shows.  In just a few minutes, you can kick off a campaign that can grow both shows’ audiences.

To get started, you can easily browse shows in our catalog to find a podcast to partner with:

view of the cross-promotion browse interface

You can send a proposal to another podcast:

view of the cross promotion proposal form.

The podcasters upload audio clips, set a start date:

the cross-promotion deal exchange interface.

And that’s it!

Once both parties agree to the deal, RedCircle does the heavy lifting.  We’ll dynamically insert the cross-promotional advertisements into your episodes for the length of the campaign.  You can sit back and watch your listener metrics climb.

Growing Podcast Audiences, Together

While we were developing / testing the marketplace, we’ve seen cross-promotional campaigns generate massive increases in our podcasts’ subscriber-bases.  One cross-promotion we observed on our platform generated thousands of new subscribers for the promoted podcast!

graph showing large increases in downloads after cross-promotion campaign

Leveling the Playing Field

RedCircle’s cross-promotion feature has leveled the playing field for independent podcasters.  You can grow your audience just like the big networks do.

We recognize the strength and power of the community. We want to help creators connect and share with one another to broaden their voice. Cross-promotion is one of the fastest ways to grow an audience, and we created a product to make that process as seamless as possible. Let’s build together.

Take RedCircle for a spin.

Annoucements

Introducing RedCircle

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A few weeks back, while listening to a particularly moving episode of a favorite podcast, tears slid down my cheek while I was pushing a stroller to the coffee shop.  I recall driving home from work several years ago, and having a lifelong core belief shattered by a powerful podcast interview. I’ve even had hysterical laughing fits while doing the dishes with headphones on and I’m not usually very thrilled about doing the dishes.

When people think about the types of media that have such emotional power, many think of cinematography, visual art, poetry, etc.  For me, podcasts have a special place alongside these other forms of creative expression. They are more than a hobby or a distraction; podcasts have the power to move us.

As more and more podcast listeners are drawn to this moving medium, our team has found a growing community of podcast creators expressing themselves through audio.  We’ve spoken to journalists who are telling compelling narratives, we’ve met niche experts whose independent podcasts delight a committed audience, and we know many creators who are just getting started in brewing an idea for their first show.  

We believe that every podcast creator has incredible stories to tell, and we’re here to help them be heard.

Today, we’re announcing RedCircle, a free community-driven podcasting platform that helps creators manage their content, analyze their reach, and grow their audiences together.  With RedCircle, every podcaster gets free podcast hosting and powerful tools for analytics. It’s everything you need to take your podcast to the next level, and it’s completely free.

A Platform For Creators

At its core, RedCircle is all about improving the experience of the podcast creator.  RedCircle’s modern UI is designed to make the task of uploading and managing podcast content delightful.  Need to import your podcast from another platform? It takes just a few clicks. Need help getting your podcast onto Apple or Google Podcasts?  We’ll guide you through it. Want to know how well your latest episode is performing in California vs. New York? We’ve got you.

You’d expect such powerful tooling to come at a high cost.  Other podcast hosts frequently charge $20-$75 a month for hosting if you have just a few episodes of content.  At RedCircle, podcasters get all of our hosting tools for free.  For us, the cost of bandwidth is very small. We believe that for creators, it should be zero.

Through our beta program starting just a few weeks ago, we’ve had hundreds of podcasters join the platform.  Since then, we’ve had thousands of episodes uploaded and millions of episode downloads. We’ve been absolutely amazed by the diversity in the content, and we are so excited to see what our passionate and growing community of creators will share with the world.

What’s the catch?

Many have asked, “If you’re not charging for podcast hosting, how do you make money?”  RedCircle’s business model differs from traditional podcast hosting companies. We don’t want to make money from creators; we’re making money with creators.  For podcasts that grow big enough, RedCircle’s dedicated sales team helps connect the podcasters with advertising partners.  We’ll share in the revenue when those connections are made and sustained. We only do well as a company when our creators do well. That’s how we believe business should work.

In the last few weeks since our public beta began, RedCircle has already generated thousands of dollars in revenue for our podcasters.  We’re just getting started.

Who’s Behind RedCircle

RedCircle was founded by myself, Mike Kadin, and Jeremy Lermitte.  Prior to RedCircle, we helmed Uber’s marketing technology team, used by thousands of Uber marketers around the globe.  Together, we built the systems and products that facilitated billions of interactions over email, SMS, push notifications, voice calls, and more.

After founding RedCircle, we’ve been joined by several ex-Uber engineers and colleagues.  At Uber, we all learned how to build products that take the complex and make them simple.  Over the years there, we also had the opportunity to see how scaling a business can affect its culture.  We were taught what worked and what didn’t at Uber, and are ready to craft an organization based on those learnings.

RedCircle is backed by amazing investors who know their way around the space.  Our $1.5M initial investment was led by Roy Bahat at Bloomberg Beta. We’re also backed by MathCapital, S28 Capital, and a truly amazing collection of angel investors that includes 9 of the best operators from Uber.

What’s Next?

We’re just getting started.  We see so much friction for podcasters, and we intend to make each and every element of their work as seamless as possible.  We see opportunities to help by improving audio editing, improving discovery and distribution, as well as monetization. Stay tuned, we’re excited to bring the podcast community several more exciting tools to help them be heard.