Some of the successful comedy podcasts have built entire communities around them, such as ‘Never Not Funny’ by Jimmy Pardo. Jimmy was a working comedian with friends who were more famous than he was, and he started inviting them on his podcast back in 2006 or so. But he’s built such a community that people send in gifts, songs, and he and his podcast crew can tour sometimes just doing small shows for the podcast. I think there are few others that have followed his model.
He also has a free podcast and a paywall for more content.
I’m pretty sure that’s custom tech, but there are several options available to podcasters. I think the primary thing is having a file store that feeds into the major distribution channels first. I can look at what I’ve used in the past if that helps.
Oh, and I know that Jimmy does not handle the recording/tech himself. His podcast earns enough where he has a video person, and an audio person who manage the recordings/platform.
The Dungeons and Daddies podcast has a discord community that you get invited to if you become a paid member of their Patreon.
I remember being sent the link to join the community via email and it wasn’t some highly sophisticated paywall.
Right now they have 14k members on their discord and the community is amazing. There are channels for fan art, for fan theories, for episode discussions and bonus content discussions. There are also some projects that you can work on if you want to.
I originally started paying to get into the community because their community members are actively involved in the creation of the podcast. For example all character names and magical items are submitted by the community members. Sometimes members are invited to play a character on the podcast and whenever a fan theory is used in the main podcast, the hosts praise the members in a very loving way.