What is a MaxFun membership and why do you have them?
Since the beginning of the network back in 2005, Maximum Fun has been artist-owned and audience-supported. We count on our community to choose to pay for the content that brightens their days. And in the summer of 2023, MaxFun will also become worker-owned, as the network is transitioning to an employee-owned co-op! Like our shows, we rely on our community to choose to pay for the content that brightens their days.
An audience-funded membership model allows shows to be independently creative and keep making the content you enjoy without having to compromise artistic integrity or overload episodes with tons of ads. The reason we can turn down a lot of advertising that doesn’t fit with our network, making for a more pleasant listening experience, is because we don’t rely solely on advertising revenue. We rely on you. We ask you to support the shows you enjoy if you can, so that you and others like you can continue to enjoy the shows that you love.
When you join as a monthly member, you pick what shows you want to support. Each month, your contribution gets divided among the shows you listen to, with a small percentage going to MaxFunHQ to help pay for things that also help shows– such as centralized technology, business support, producers and HQ staff. It also means you are directly helping your favorite podcasts continue to exist! And your support helps keep this content free for all the folks who aren’t able to pay for it at this time.
While MaxFun shows are free for all to listen to, being a member gets you access to over 500 hours of exclusive bonus content. Some shows add bonus content regularly and others add theirs during MaxFunDrive each year. It’s our way of saying thanks for your support!
To help demonstrate how MaxFun membership supports your favorite creators, we’ve created this handy infographic that explains our business model.
So, if you like one or more shows on MaxFun, and you value independent artists being able to do their thing, you’re the perfect person to become a MaxFun monthly member. Or if you just like listening to cool bonus content. That works, too.
What are the different types of memberships?
All MaxFun memberships recur monthly, but we have a wide variety of membership levels, so you can choose the one that works best for you.
The most popular membership level is $5 per month. For about the cost of a cup of coffee (in Los Angeles, at least), you gain access to 200+ hours of bonus content from shows all across the network. If you commit to contributing $10 or more per month, we’ll send you a physical gift in the mail so you can display your membership status with pride. If you’d like to give an amount in between our standard membership levels, you can do that, too!
We also offer gift memberships both for folks you know and folks you don’t know. If you know someone who’s into MaxFun but they don’t have a membership yet, you can gift them 12 months of membership! Not only do they get access to bonus content with this gift membership; they get to choose which shows receive support and know that they’re helping out their favorite shows.
We’ve also set up a way for generous MaxFunsters who are in a good place financially to purchase a membership for an anonymous MaxFunster who can’t afford a membership this year. If you’d like to purchase one year’s worth of a $5 monthly membership for an anonymous MaxFunster, go to maximumfun.org/join/#gift. If you would love to support your favorite MaxFun shows, but it’s just not in the budget this year, you can add your name to the waiting list of recipients.
What is MaxFunDrive?
MaxFunDrive is our annual, two-week event when we all come together to celebrate the shows, artists, and MaxFun community as a whole. It’s also the time of year when we directly ask folks to support the shows they love with a MaxFun membership or by spreading the word about their favorite MaxFun podcasts. Shows put out some of their best episodes during the Drive, hosts are extra active on social media, and we always have some fun, free events planned. And for these two weeks, we offer special, limited-time thank-you gifts for new or upgrading monthly members! Oh, and we also wind up saying a whole lot of heartfelt thank-yous!.
Should I wait until then to become a member?
Nope! (I mean, unless you’re reading this a week or two before the MaxFunDrive–in which case, yes, probably). The MaxFunDrive IS the two weeks of the year that we directly ask listeners to support us, but you can start a new monthly membership, or boost or upgrade your current membership at any time! You’ll gain access to all of the bonus content available if you contribute at the $5 monthly level or above, and you’ll get a physical gift if you join at the $10 monthly level or above, though it will be different from the gifts we give out during the MaxFunDrive.
Our shows and hosts rely on listeners for support every month, so the sooner you are ready to support, the sooner they will see the impact of your contributions!
How do I become a member?
Just go to maximumfun.org/join and select the level that works for you to get started. Once you’ve filled out the form, you’ll get an email confirmation that also includes the password to that treasure trove of bonus content we mentioned!