Marc Maron is betting on future episodes of his WTF series as he unlocks over 650 previously paid episodes of the podcast while launching a new subscription option as part of his recently announced three-year alliance with Acast. “After nearly 13 years of doing WTF, I wanted to give fans even more ways to get involved with the podcast,” Maron said.
Maron’s program catalog includes interviews with Ta-Nehisi Coates (episode 878 from January 3, 2018); Jennifer Coolidge (episode 790 from March 1, 2017); and Bruce Springsteen (episode 773 from January 2, 2017); among others. Acast points out that episodes from the old catalog remain extremely popular among listeners. Based on his analysis, similar interview-based podcasts get more than half of their downloads from episodes over 30 days old.
Archives are a key part of the new WTF+ subscription offer that Maron is launching with Acast. The lowest tier, costing three dollars a month, gives subscribers access to over 1,300 episodes of WTF released since 2009. The episodes are reportedly ad-free, although some embedded live playbacks are still included. The higher five dollar per month subscription tier called “The Full Maron” also offers weekly bonus content. Acast says Maron produces listener Q&As, stand-up routines, movie reviews, special guest interviews, and basically anything he can think of doing into a microphone.
“Teaming up with Acast gives us the creative control to bring our fans more benefit than ever before, on our own terms. We look forward to unlocking fan-favorite episodes and bringing new content to listeners – on every podcast platform,” WTF producer Brendan McDonald said in the announcement.
In May, Maron announced an agreement with Acast to host, distribute and sell advertising on its long-running WTF starting July 1. The podcast has around 55 million streams and downloads a year, mostly in North America, and it will seek to monetize those listeners in new ways. Acast CEO Ross Adams called the deal a “huge win” for his company, but also for the idea of an open podcasting landscape since the alliance guarantees that WTF will not become exclusive to just one application, but will instead be accessible to everyone, everywhere and on their favorite listening platform. It also gives Acast a boost in a part of the world where its revenue is growing the fastest so far this year.