Paywalling podcasts in 2016?
June 13, 2016 9:47 AM   Subscribe

Wondering what the good options are for a client who wants to put part of his long-running podcast behind a paywall.

Wondering if anyone might be able to recommend services providing the snazzy interface and discussion threads of Spreaker or Soundcloud Go -- but while allowing radio hosts to charge money? Either through built-in features or by respecting a third-party RSS feed whose MP3s are protected by some auth scheme?

Any help much appreciated. I've done this before with Wordpress software but am hoping to keep the show's existing UI slick (and not like an old-timey WP bulletin board as much as I love those)
posted by johngoren to Technology (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure of the technical specifics, but a lot of podcasters who do this with older episodes or bonus episodes simply sell them as songs or albums on iTunes.

Another option I've seen is running a Patreon and getting additional content via your support of the podcast. Not sure what format is typically used for transmission, but when I did this for a different type of project on a relatively small scale, I just emailed a dropbox download link to individual supporters through the crowdfunding website.

Marc Maron does this via a custom app. If you download the app and pay to be one of his subscribers, bonus content is unlocked within the app. I think this might be something Libsyn is built to work with relatively seamlessly.

I'm not sure what the options would be for going pay-only with a podcast, as to be honest I've never heard of that.
posted by Sara C. at 10:13 AM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

I know of one podcast (NoSleep) that allows it's subscribers access to a specific part of it's website. It even has a weird rent-to-own option. I think they do pretty well. The website has a lot of details on it that may be helpful.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:46 AM on June 13, 2016

The RSS standard supports authenticated logins, which I think some paywalled podcasts uses.

Slate generates a unique feed url for every Slate Plus member.

I'll bet that whichever system your client is using to generate his feed now can probably do either of those two things.

The UI issue seems to be taken care of via each user's individual podcast app.
posted by sparklemotion at 1:16 PM on June 13, 2016

Dan Carlin's long-running podcast Hardcore History removes old episodes from the feed, then offers them for sale on his own webstore (as mp3 downloads) and via iTunes.
posted by Happy Dave at 3:06 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Podbean offers a range of monetization options.
posted by Hartster at 6:46 AM on June 14, 2016

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