Apple Podcasts and Pod Bible partnered up for a series of interviews with creators to share their stories and how they use Apple Podcast Subscriptions to connect with their fans. We connected with the Founder of award-winning podcast network Noiser, Pascal Hughes, about how subscriptions helped them grow their audience — and their revenue. Listen to Noiser on Apple Podcasts.
Tell us about how you got into podcasting.
I used to be a TV director, and in 2019 I had an opportunity to interview several of the DEA agents who hunted and caught Pablo Escobar. Their testimonies were so engaging that I wasn’t prepared to reduce their life stories into TV-friendly soundbites. I gathered a few talented writers and editors, and we turned those interviews into a non-fiction drama podcast called Real Narcos. Our marketing budget was non-existent then, but the Apple Podcasts team enjoyed the show and front-paged it on their app. The podcast took off and Noiser Originals now have a monthly listenership of seven million and a team of 38. We produce immersive history and crime podcasts and use sound design and bespoke music to help the stories feel immersive.
What made you decide to launch a subscription on Apple Podcasts?
After launching Noiser, we quickly realized that we needed stable and diversified monetization options to continue making these shows regularly. When Apple Podcasts began its subscription offering, it was a no-brainer to partner with them. Our audience wanted an ad-free offering with bonus content — and we now have several thousand subscribers.
How do Apple Podcasts subscriptions fit into your overall business model?
Premium ad sales still drive our revenue; however, our Apple Podcasts subscription is rapidly becoming a key, dependable revenue source for the company. We are aiming to continue growing our subscriber audience in 2023.
What have you learned after launching Apple Podcasts Subscriptions?
We ran audience surveys across our network, and they told us that early access to new content and bonus material were the main reasons they signed up. Because of this, we are doubling down on producing subscriber-only content. People also tell us that they want to support the podcasts they love, and ultimately the subscription revenue helps us create more exclusive content for them to hear.
Where do you see Noiser in a year?
Noiser will release several new shows this year in the crime, adventure, and history spaces. We will launch several limited-run shows, as well as always-on weekly shows. There are so many amazing stories out there; we love the fact that we have the opportunity to tell them.
Tell us about an episode that you’re most proud of.
We recently produced a podcast on the life of civil rights activist Rosa Parks, which has been my favorite of our podcasts to date. Rosa’s story is so important, and hopefully, we were able to do it justice and introduce some new people to it.
What advice would you give someone trying to break into the industry?
I recommend not being too concerned about what other podcasters are doing and instead focusing on telling the stories you love in a way you enjoy. The first review we received was a one-star review. It stated that our show was not a real podcast because a real podcast had to have a conversational element. But we enjoyed listening to the show, so we carried on. This principle of only producing content that we would go out of our way to listen to is still the key factor in our editorial decisions.