Select Success: How top creators are using Select Exclusives to get closer to listeners

By now you’ve probably noticed the purple [Select] badges dotted around Mixcloud. Thousands of creators are now on Mixcloud Select, building their own inner circle of fans who directly support their channel. In this series, we explore tips and tricks for getting the most out of Select, inspired by the very best from our creator community. 

If you’re a creator on Mixcloud Select, you can ask your listeners to make a monthly donation to support your channel– for the price of buying you a coffee or a pint. In exchange, you get to reward your biggest fans with quality content and a premium listening experience. For the first time, DJs, radio stations, podcasters and audio creators of all kinds can start building their own fan-to-creator membership business, in a way that fairly and legally supports the music and artists in their shows.

With Select Exclusives, creators can take control over how, when and for how long they want to make their content exclusively available to their Select subscribers.

Since we first introduced the feature to our creator community earlier this year, it became clear that it can work as a powerful tool for creating value for listeners and encouraging their support. Creators are using the feature in innovative ways, often seeing a dramatic increase in their subscriptions as a result.

On average, creators using Select Exclusives are driving over 250% more subscriptions compared to those who don’t.

Out of the top 10 creators on the leaderboard at the moment, 8 are regularly using Select Exclusives to tailor content in a specific way to their subscribers.

Here’s a a graph showing two of the top growing creators on Select. We’re keeping their names anonymous to respect their confidentiality. Both creators had roughly the same number of Select subscribers and were growing at a steady rate, until 🔵 (the blue dot!). At this point, Creator 1 launched their dedicated Select exclusives series and quickly started to see a huge uplift in subscribing fans.

Why’s this? Because by offering authentic bespoke content to your audience, you can incentivize loyal listeners to take the next step to show they’re a true fan.

While it might sound like using Exclusives could require a lot of extra effort– you’re busy, this is already a labour of love, we feel you– it doesn’t have to. You can use Select Exclusives to boost your subscribers without needing to increase the number of shows you upload. How? Let’s learn from the creators leading the way:

The top 4 Select Exclusives techniques

1. Early Access 🌟

Major creators like John Digweed, XLR8R, Sasha and Nicole Moudaber choose to give their Select subscribers early access to their regular shows. 

For example, if I’m a John Digweed fan supporting him on Select, I get to exclusively listen to his legendary weekly Transitions show every Friday, just in time for the weekend, while everyone else gets to listen on Monday.

By telling your fans you’re giving them the chance to “hear it first”, you can offer them something special without needing to upload more than you already do. Of course, this won’t work if you’re sharing the same content elsewhere at the same time. 

If you tend to include unreleased, exclusive or otherwise hyped content in your shows– content that people can’t wait to listen to – this tactic should work well for you. How and when you do is completely up to you. 

Blendmaster Radio puts a unique spin on the ‘early access’ idea. He keeps almost all his shows as Select Exclusives to drive support to his channel, and puts some shows as public for short periods to encourage his fans to support his channel and get full access. Then, he uses his Mixcloud Posts to keep his fans up to date on his scheduling. Believe it or not, this tactic has helped him substantially grow his subscriber base.

If you’ve got a rich and varied upload history, you could make older shows Select Exclusives, offering full and unlimited access to your Select subscribers.

2. Extended shows ⏱

Another tactic that goes a long way, without requiring much extra effort, is uploading extended versions of shows as Select Exclusives.

Bill Brewster and Quietmusic have both started sharing extended, unedited versions of their popular weekly mix series for their Select subscribers’ ears only, giving them an extended (often two or three times as long) experience.

This can work especially well for talk shows where a full uncut interview or discussion can live as a Select Exclusive for those wanting the full scoop. Think of this as offering a ‘director’s cut’ that your most dedicated fans want to listen deeply to.

Toolroom includes a guest mix with each episode of their show, which they upload separately as a Select exclusive. In this way, while the usual one-hour show remains open to the public, the guest mix acts as bonus content only available to their supporters.

3. Exclusive unreleased content 🎉

Legends like Jrocc and Mr Scruff are using Select Exclusives to share rare archive content that has never been released before. Similarly, community radio stations Halfmoon BK and dublab use exclusives to upload live shows and club night mixes that break with their normal broadcasting schedule.

Whether it’s a fan who recently discovered you playing at a gig, or a loyal listener who’s been tuning in to your shows for years, offering your audience exclusive access to rare, quality content is a way to strengthen the connection with the people who love listening to your stuff.

With his ‘Mix Selector’ series, Mr. Scruff asks his fans to take a trip down memory lane and request a past live set they’ve enjoyed, so that he can dig through his archive to find it and upload it. He then uploads the set of choice as a Select Exclusive, shouting out the requester in the show description.

“We have 95% of all my gigs since 2001 archived, so if you would like to choose one & say a few words about it, and maybe send us a photo from that gig or festival if you have it. It could have been a particular special occasion with friends, a great festival or just a jolly good night out that has somehow lodged itself in your music-addled mind. Then we will endeavour to dig out the mix, upload it to Mixcloud Select & add your words to the description for you & the other Selectors to enjoy.”

– Mr. Scruff

What better way to find out what your listeners want than asking them directly? You can use this tactic to truly build your own next generation fan club.

4. Exclusive dedicated series 🔥

If you’re feeling particularly creative, you can get inspired by creators like DJ Blighty, Clif Tha Supa Producer, Brooklyn Radio and Folk Radio UK and put together a bespoke series of shows dedicated to your Select subscribers only.

Whether it’s Brooklyn Radio’s ‘Selective Hearing’ series, Clif’s ‘Club CTSP’ or Blighty’s ‘Mixcloud Select’ volumes, this approach gives you a chance to give your superfans a whole backlog of content just for them.

For maximum success, consider compiling a playlist with all of your Select Exclusives, like Brooklyn-based radio station Halfmoon do for their event series mixes. This will give your listeners an easy to access overview of what they get when they subscribe.

You can also follow Kontor Records‘ lead and add your latest exclusives to your ‘Highlighted shows,’ presenting your followers with the best of what they’ll get if they subscribe.

As we continue to grow Select, our mission is to get more fans directly supporting their favourite creators, emotionally and financially. We’re doing this by learning from and listening to our creator community. Do you have ideas or feedback on how we can make Mixcloud Select better? We’re listening.

To join Mixcloud Select as a creator, register your interest here.

If you’re a Select creator looking for more advice on getting closer to your fans, check out our Mixcloud Select Creator Guide.

Explore the creators you can support on Mixcloud Select here.

Cover📸: Sanaa Abstrakt