The Math Behind Membership

We’ve spoken to over 1000 content creators about building memberships. The three questions we hear the most are: 

  1. How much can I make?
  2. How much should I charge?
  3. How do I grow my membership?

So, we crunched the numbers to give you data-driven answers.

We also partnered with David Stein of Money For the Rest of Us, a personal finance podcast, who’s been running a membership program for over five years. David generously offered to share his membership data with us.  

Here are the highlights of our findings. For the full guide, enter your email below and we’ll send you a copy:

Enter your email to get a full copy of The Math Behind the Membership delivered to your inbox.


The average subscription length is 22 to 24 months. 

One of the benefits of membership is reliable, recurring revenue. While membership rates vary widely based on the podcast and consistency of membership benefits, the average subscription length across all podcasts on Glow is about 22-24 months. 

This is even true for highly priced memberships. Money For the Rest of Us charges on average $233 annually for membership, and retains members for about 22 months. 

Reward your biggest fans with annual discounts. It works.  

Many creators charge on a monthly basis and offer their audience the chance to pay annually for a discount. For example, listeners can pay $10/month or $100/year)

Creators who offer the option of discounted annual memberships generate around 15 -25% of revenue from annual payments. 

Annual discounts are a win-win. They enable creators to collect revenue up front and build more predictability into their businesses. They also reward committed fans who know they want to keep up with the creators’ journey for the long haul. Creators who offer the option of discounted annual memberships generate around 15-25% of revenue from annual payments. 

It turns out that a lot of fans want to stick with creators for the long haul. 

FOMO can drive more than 90 percent growth in less than 6 months.

FOMO means “fear of missing out.” It’s inspired by a blend of two marketing tactics: scarcity and social affirmation. What are some effective ways to use FOMO for your membership program?

  • Free trials: Offer a seven-day free trial to give people a sample of what they're missing, and most subscribers will stick around after the trial period ends.
  • Waitlisting: Limit new sign-ups to your membership program to a certain time of year 
  • Teasers: Include a teaser of bonus content or other membership benefits in your regular podcast
  • Make previews that go viral: Create a preview of your bonus episode and share it on social media with a link to sign up.
Money For the Rest of Us experimented with waitlisting two years into their membership program. In 4 months, membership grew 90 percent.

Creators who use scarcity and social affirmation when promoting their membership programs often experience huge, sustained jumps in enrollment.

The graph below demonstrates Money For the Rest of Us experimented with waitlisting two years into running its membership. Membership enrollment soared by 90 percent in just four months.


Money for the Rest of Us' membership jumped when they introduced waitlisting as a tactic to drive signups
Money for the Rest of Us' membership jumped when they starting limiting new enrollment to two windows per year


David combines waitlisting with discounting by locking folks into a discounted membership if they join a waitlist.

There’s plenty of rich data on membership models, how much you can make, and how to effectively grow.

Interested in more?

Enter your email to get a full copy of The Math Behind the Membership delivered to your inbox.

Ready to get started building a membership program? Great. Sign-up here.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Stay in the loop

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive Glow news, feature updates, and interviews with our partners.

Thank you! Your submission has been sent.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.