5 Patreon Podcasters Breaking the Mold
Podcasting is still relatively new in the world of entertainment, which means that it’s changing every day. If you put yourself in a place where you can’t venture out to try new things, you risk getting boxed in and missing out on opportunities that could move your creative business forward. Podcasters choose Patreon because they have the freedom to explore their identity as a creator without any restrictions. They’re experimenting with formats, trying new mediums, and building communities who are excited about going on this journey with them. Check out these five Patreon podcasters to gain inspiration, and learn about creative ways to accelerate your own podcasting business.
Mueller, She Wrote
The story of Mueller, She Wrote began in 2017 when three women got together to make a podcast unpacking the intricacies of the Trump-Russia investigations, but that’s not where it ends. After seeing the success of their show, they decided to launch two more: The Daily Beans and Quarantine Confessions. The Daily Beans is a progressive daily news show that comes out every weekday morning. But Quarantine Confessions has nothing to do with politics or news. In 2020, listeners sent in their deepest darkest COVID-19 confessions about what they got up to during isolation. While the first two shows stick to more of a standard publishing schedule, Quarantine Confessions ran as a 12-week special series.
What they offer patrons: Mueller, She Wrote offers eight tier options ranging from $3 to $100. The bottom tiers include access to a patron-only Facebook group, bonus minisodes, and a newsletter that contains exclusive content referenced in the week’s episode, special infographics, research notes, and more. At tier eight, patrons are welcomed with lots of merch and a coveted guest spot on the show.
Duncan Trussell Family House Podcast
In what Duncan describes as a “salon-style supershow,” the comedian explores all the wonders of the world with help from his fascinating group of guests. Musicians, comedians, authors, and meditation teachers come on the podcast to discuss philosophy, spirituality, and the multiverse. What stands out most about DTFH is Duncan’s connection with his listeners. He uses Patreon as a place to release all of the stuff that doesn’t make it on the podcast. We’re talking rambling rants, half-baked songs, and so much more. Duncan definitely makes the most of the platform, using it to host meditations with his community and tapping other Patreon creators to come join him for conversations on the show.
What they offer patrons: For $5, patrons get exclusive monthly access to early, ad-free bonus episodes, Discord benefits, and other extras. For patrons who sign up at the $15 tier and stick around for three months, they’ll get a “Crow Mother” sticker. Patrons who join at $25 get a discount to the shop, access to Patreon-only podcast series, and a celebratory mug at the three month mark. For $30, patrons get access to a live video stream and more exclusive merch.
This Might Get Weird
YouTube vets Mamrie Hart and Grace Helbig started their podcast on Patreon so they could be as candid, dumb, and unfiltered as they wanted without worrying about big podcast networks killing their vibe or algorithms hiding their content. This Might Get Weird is the latest in their comedic evolution. It all started as a stand-up show, This Might Get Weird Y’all, then they took it to YouTube, where both Grace and Mamrie had already been creating content for years. After that show got canceled by their network, the New York Times bestselling authors seamlessly slipped into the podcast space to continue their internet legacy. Whether it’s the stage, the small screen, or the audio world, these two best friends know how to put on a show.
What they offer: Weirdos ($5) get access to Discord, bonus footage, secret merch, early video versions of the podcast, and early tickets for live shows. Creeps ($15) get a discount code and a monthly bonus podcast. Pervs ($69) get what they call a “sexy mystery box” twice a year and a monthly 30-minute livestream. Fools (who pay $500) get a two-on-one life coaching session with Mamrie and Grace every three months.
Welcome to Night Vale
From the very first episode, it was clear that Welcome to Night Vale would not be just another podcast. The show follows the story of Night Vale, a friendly, fictional desert town “where the sun is hot and the moon is beautiful.” Twice a month, Cecil Baldwin shares the weather forecasts, horrifying news, and important announcements you need to know to navigate this strange and spooky place. Dog parks don’t allow dogs, waterfronts have no water, and things that look like they’re right in front of you are nowhere to be found. It’s safe to say there’s nothing normal about Night Vale — the town or the podcast. Co-creators Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor have also brought their impressive storytelling skills to the literary world. The Night Vale novel hit shelves in 2015 and Jeffrey’s memoir, which he wrote with his wife, came out in 2021.
What they offer patrons: For $5, patrons get director’s notes for podcast episodes, surprise bonus rewards, and a weekly “Before They Were Night Vale” feature. As the tiers go up from $10-$100, patrons get access to a wide range of unique benefit ideas, including four bonus episodes where Night Vale characters answer questions, regular Zoom hangouts with the co-creators, access to presales for live shows, merch discount, and exclusive patches and t-shirts. For $200, members get the ultimate reward: a character in the show named after them.
In 2020, at-home education became a universal experience that connected the entire country, maybe even the entire world. Mr. Chazz started his leadership, parenting, and learning podcast as a way to make that process easier and strengthen communications between parents/teachers and children. On Patreon, Mr. Chazz has gone one step further and built a community where he can help people get excited about learning. He aims to make the whole process less frustrating and more enjoyable for everyone involved through his resources, courses, and personal coaching sessions. Mr. Chazz is a great example of how to use Patreon to go beyond the podcaster-listener relationship and establish a meaningful bond with your community.
What they offer patrons: At the $5 tier, patrons get access to exclusive online courses, resources, and answers to their questions. At the $10 tier, patrons get a say in which guests come on the podcast and which topics Mr. Chazz covers. They also get invited to interactive podcast recordings where they can ask Mr. Chazz any questions they might have. At the top tiers, Mr. Chazz offers one-on-one coaching. For $20, they get access to book a coaching session, for $140, they get to book their session within 30 days, and for $200, they get to book it within the week. Think of it like a Disney World Fast Pass.
If there’s one thing to learn from these Patreon podcasters, it’s that doing things your own way is the best path to success. Patreon exists so that you don’t have to follow conventional formats and industry rules. You’re free to build the podcast you want, not the one other people are telling you to make. You can also explore other mediums, jumping between video, audio, written work, and more without having to leave your community behind.
If you’re still at the beginning of your journey or unsure where to begin, we offer resources and guides to help podcasters get started. Check out our starter kits for storytellers, interviewers, journalists, and more.