Lenny.fm is a new way to support and connect with podcast creators

Lenny Inc
5 min readJun 7, 2023

Hi, I’m Courtney, one of the creators of Lenny.fm

We started Lenny.fm because making great podcasts takes skill, experience, insight, time and money. And the money part is difficult for all but the top shows.

It’s like Patreon but, for now, without all the tiers and extra stuff.

It’s like donating to a creator but you can support a bundle at once.

And, running the numbers, we think it’s the best way to show appreciation for the shows you spend time with.

In the near future we’re releasing features that get you closer to the podcasts you choose to support in ways you choose.

For now, we’re all at the start of the journey! Read on for more.

What is Lenny.fm? 🖧

It’s a way to financially support the creators you choose.

It’s also a smart bundle subscription that’s extremely easy for you and extremely beneficial for podcast creators.

How it works ⚙️

  • Select 4 or more podcasts you want to support — $4 USD a month + transaction fee. Currencies will localise soon.
  • The $4 is split between your top 4 preferences of podcasts you chose. This makes sure a meaningful amount goes to the podcasters, rather than split it between 10 shows. The split is often equal to or more than ad revenue, but most podcasts have audiences too small for ads.
  • If any of your top 4 don’t publish an episode in the past month then your preferences reorder. That way you’re only supporting podcasts that are publishing episodes.

Worth noting ☝️

  • The economics of a $4 contribution split between 4 top preferences is the result of mathematical modelling to find a point where Lenny is more beneficial than advertising revenue.
  • No new app, listen where you like to listen now. That experience doesn’t change. Lenny runs on separate tech.
  • You’ll be effortlessly supporting creators you already spend quality time with, when they’re publishing sweet sweeeeet eps to listen to.

So it’s like Patreon or BuyMeACoffee?

Yes and no.

Lenny.fm, Patreon and BuyMeACoffee are all great ways to support creators.

Lenny.fm is the only one that allows you to create a custom bundle of creators to support.

Patreon’s tiers often create much more work on top of the great content you listen to regularly.

Subscriptions to Patreon and BuyMeACoffee keep getting charged even if no content has been published during a period of time.

Here’s a walk-through 🎮

  • Click Get Started
  • Create an account with your email and a password, or use Google Login
Just after you log in, choose 4 or more podcasts
  • On the Dashboard, search for the podcasts you’d like to support (get your phone out while you do this so you can see which pods you already listen to). You can drag to reorder — the order counts! 1 at the top, onward down.
  • Add 4 or more in the Dashboard and click Save at the bottom
Once you have 4 or more, hit Save then Subscribe.
  • Now click Subscribe (top right). This takes you to the pay screen that’s super simple. USD4 per month + transaction fee (90% goes to the creators, 10% to Lenny).
  • That’s it. You can close the window and Lenny will do the rest — send contributions to the creators you’ve chosen, check if they’re publishing and reorganise accordingly.

🚁 Jump in, pick your top 4 + a few others!

Please note – the software is brand new, beta and unfinished. Be kind.

Lenny.fm

Creating an account and selecting your favourite shows is free. You can choose to contribute financially at any time.

We’re interested in your thoughts about the software, tell us if something breaks, what we should add, why you really like/hate it and everything in between.

FAQs 🧐

Listeners

Why should we financially contribute to podcast creators?

  • Even small amounts make a big difference to creators
  • Creators have costs to cover
  • You’re investing in future episodes from the people you like listening to
  • Be part of what we’re doing at Lenny.

Prefer ads as a way to help get creators paid?

  • Most podcasts don’t have the option to make money from ads. If the shows you listen to run ads then they’re doing better than the rest. Lenny helps you support your favourite podcasts who can’t make revenue form ads.

How does Lenny make money?

  • We charge 10%, 90% goes to creators. That’s for us to cover costs and keep developing so more people can support creators efficiently. We’re a for-profit company created because of a mission to get creators compensated for their work in the best ways possible.
  • Ad agencies charge ~50%, other subscription platforms are between 8 and 30%.

Why the name “Lenny”?

  • Because of Lenny Bruce. A US comedian and satirist.
  • “He paved the way for future outspoken counterculture-era comedians, and his trial for obscenity is seen as a landmark for freedom of speech in the United States.”

Ok, but why did you make Lenny?

  • We made it to be another way listeners can support creators. Current options don’t do the job for all the listeners and other services will be better for some listeners or podcast creators. Like musicians having options we wanted to give podcast creators another one too.

What about privacy?

  • Private. We’re only interested in helping people support and contribute to creators. In the future we’re planning some opt-in features. But for now it’s all clean lines.

Podcast creator? 🎤

Check out this article for you — Lenny.fm works for creators

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Lenny Inc

The blog for Lenny.fm, a very good way to support podcast creators.