When you're America's premiere love and sex advice columnist you need a podcast platform that meets your business goals, and more importantly, the demands of a discerning and dedicated audience. Dan Savage and his team realized that the long-running Savage Lovecast needed an upgrade to better serve their audience and also offer a new, premium version of the program. Their original platform, used by many prominent podcasters, has limitations that made these upgrades no longer feasible. They approached Substantial to relaunch the Savage Lovecast while still maintaining the capabilities that have made the podcast the success that it is.

The new Savage Lovecast now presents two podcasts every week. The “Micro” episode has ads and is free for download, just as it always was. The new “Magnum” episode, on the other hand, is longer and ad-free. For $.99 per episode or $19.99 a season, Dan’s fans can now access the premium version via a simple, two-step payment process. Listeners can easily buy one or more single episodes, or a season pass, which gives them 26 episodes of Magnum content. Substantial built a simple system of personalized content feeds for premium subscribers, meaning Lovecast fans can now purchase the Magnum version and enjoy the podcast regardless of platform or device. Premium subscribers can even listen to the podcast on iTunes, regardless of the fact that they purchased access elsewhere. This cuts down on fees, helping to keep the price low and the podcast more easily accessible via virtually any podcast service.  

Working with Dan and his team, Substantial built a new podcasting platform that solves the key problem facing premium content producers: How do I charge for my work in a way that doesn’t alienate my audience? For fans of the Lovecast, the podcast they’ve come to know is still free and easily accessible on any device. And for those interested in more content each week and an ad-free experience, the process to upgrade is quick, easy, and universal.

The Savage Lovecast represents a true partnership between The Stranger and Substantial. After hearing of the problems they were looking to solve, we worked together throughout the development process to prioritize our efforts for release. We continue to work together to iterate on the platform.

Check it out!