Private Podcasts – For Premium Listeners
Private podcasts provide a secure way of distributing audio content to a select group of listeners. This is achieved by generating a unique RSS feed for each member of the exclusive audience.
The benefit of this approach is that it enables the removal of individual listeners without affecting the rest of the listeners, as each person has their own private feed that can be deleted whenever desired.
Two broad groups of people utilize private podcasts for distinct purposes. Businesses utilize them to enhance their internal communication by disseminating confidential information to their internal personnel. On the other hand, podcast creators utilize them as a source of revenue by offering pay-per-view exclusive content to their most dedicated audience.
Can You Keep Your Podcasts Private?
There are several ways to privately share your podcast. One option is to use a hosting platform such as Transistor, Alitu, or Storyboard to create a unique RSS feed for each subscriber. This feed can be easily revoked if the subscriber leaves the company or cancels their subscription to the exclusive podcast. Another way to keep your podcast private is to block major search engines like Apple, Google, and Spotify from indexing your RSS feed.
Another option is to use a password-protected website, equipped with an authenticated embedded player or a password-protected microsite from a podcast host. This provides a secure method for sharing your podcast with your subscribers. Additionally, membership sites like Patreon and Supercast are alternative solutions for private sharing. These platforms allow you to create a members-only community where your subscribers can access your exclusive content.
How to Use Private Podcasts?
Both creators and businesses have adopted private podcasts and are continuously finding new and imaginative applications for them. The development of new creative concepts continues to be a driving force in this field. Here’s how businesses and individual creators can use a private podcast:
How to Use a Private Podcast for Your Company or Membership
The use of exclusive and member-only podcasts can enhance company-wide internal communications, bridging the gap between the executive level and all employees. As a manager or CEO, you can record a podcast, which serves as an efficient medium to convey company updates, modifications, and other confidential information to investors, employees, and the entire organization.
Moreover, the private podcasting solution can be useful for training sales representatives who are frequently traveling. Sales reps can access training content with ease, even while on the move, through their preferred applications. Additionally, educational content can be shared and utilized in a university setting.
How to Use a Private Internal Podcast as an Individual Creator?
Monetize your podcast by establishing a paid membership program for your listeners. This program should include benefits such as premium content, ad-free episodes, additional bonus content, “Ask Me Anything” sessions, and more, all available for a monthly fee.
To increase engagement and build your audience, you can offer a free audiobook recording to those who purchase a copy of your book. Additionally, you can grow your email list by providing free, exclusive episodes to anyone who subscribes with their email address.
Private Podcasting – The Five Different Types
Create a Private Podcast Feed for Each Listener
Private RSS feeds offer a personalized audio experience for each listener of your podcast. There are various platforms like Libsyn, Transistor, and Alitu that provide the tools to create such feeds.
To get started, simply add your listener’s email to your preferred podcast hosting platform and they will receive an invitation to subscribe to your podcast. The imported RSS feed link can be integrated into the listener’s favorite podcast app.
With this one-time setup, your listeners will be alerted of new episodes as they are published. If you need to remove someone from your list, it’s easy to do so without impacting other listeners.
The only drawback is that once a file is downloaded, it will remain on the listener’s device permanently.
Use a Dedicated App for Private Podcasters
Exclusive distribution of content to listeners is offered by private podcast applications like Storyboard and uStudio. This means that the only way for listeners to access it is by logging into a password-protected account on the specific app.
Private podcast apps provide a highly secure method of delivering audio to your network. However, this comes with a drawback. Listeners cannot access your podcast on popular podcast platforms such as Apple podcasts. This can make it challenging to convince your team to download a new listening app and create an account, which can be a barrier to entry.
Share It on a Password-Protected Gated Website
As a podcast creator, you have the option of hosting your show on a restricted website, creating a premium experience for your audience through membership or subscription-based access. This can result in monetization opportunities galore.
Companies can incorporate a podcast player from platforms, which can be placed on their internal network or a private, password-protected webpage. This will ensure that only authorized listeners are able to access the podcast within the secure domain.
Prevent Your Private Podcast from Getting Indexed
If you are looking to create a private podcast, blocking your podcast from being found on popular platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts is one option. This method involves using a single RSS feed that only you can share with a limited audience.
It’s worth noting that by default, these podcasts are not visible on Apple’s podcast directory. So, this method only serves as a basic way to ensure your podcast remains private.
If your goal is to prevent accidental discovery by casual listeners, this method might work for you. However, for increased security, it is advisable to explore other methods mentioned above.
This approach has a significant drawback in terms of security, as anyone with access to your RSS feed can have access to your podcast. This means that if your listeners were to share the feed online, unauthorized listeners will be able to listen to your exclusive show too.
Use Membership-Only Websites for Sharing Your Podcast
To generate additional revenue for your podcast, you can opt for a private subscription model. Services like Supercast and Patreon offer the capability to create an exclusive feed for your audience upon sign-up for a recurring monthly fee.
Setting up a new private podcast with these platforms is free, but a portion of your earnings will be used to cover the expenses of hosting and managing the subscription process. Your listeners can easily access your private podcast by visiting a designated link and entering their credit card information, and then your earnings are automatically deposited into your account each month through Stripe.
Podcast Apps That Support Private Podcasting
The following podcast applications allow you to effortlessly incorporate a feed into the app by copying and pasting the specific URL. Although the method may differ from platform to platform, it’s generally a straightforward process.
Unfortunately, there are highly popular podcast apps that do not support private podcasting. Spotify and Stitcher are two popular apps that do not accept private feeds.
How to Create Private Podcasts?
There are several ways of creating private shows, each offering a unique combination of accessibility and security measures. Here, we will explore the most effective strategies for creating an exclusive podcast for your business or your premium listeners.
Transistor (starts at $19/mo)
Transistor is a well-established and highly reputable podcast hosting platform in the industry. Its hosting solution is user-friendly, and straightforward, and boasts a visually appealing design. One of its defining features has been its early emphasis on private podcasting.
Transistor provides three convenient options for inviting listeners to access your private podcast: via email, link, or its shared-invite landing page. This makes it simple for listeners to access your content and also provides insightful analytics, such as the number of times a subscriber has downloaded an episode.
This makes it one of the most cost-effective options for private podcast hosting.
Storyboard (starts at $1/subscriber)
Storyboard is a premium private podcast hosting service designed for businesses. With Storyboard, you can distribute your audio content securely through their mobile apps and keep track of your audience’s engagement and completion rate. Additionally, the company provides a direct recording feature through the app for your convenience.
Security is of utmost importance for Storyboard, and that’s why they limit the accessibility of podcast audio only to their proprietary apps. This helps you to maintain more control over the listening experience and gather more accurate analytics on how well your audience is engaging with your content.
Storyboard is an ideal solution for businesses seeking a secure and private podcasting platform, particularly for sensitive information. However, the downside is that listeners can only access your audio through the Storyboard app and not through popular podcast platforms like Apple and Spotify.
The platform offers a free trial for the first 50 subscribers, with prices starting at $1 per subscriber for up to 500 subscribers. If you have a larger audience, you’ll need to contact Storyboard to discuss customized pricing options.
uStudio (request a free demo)
uStudio is a company that solely concentrates on providing private podcast hosting services to enterprise-level clients. With a robust set of tools, they enable clients to manage, disseminate, and monitor the performance of their private shows.
The accessibility of the podcast is restricted to uStudio’s web application and mobile applications, which provides more control over the security of the content and deeper insights into the audience’s engagement.
uStudio does not display its pricing information on its website, but they offer a complimentary demonstration to allow potential clients to evaluate their solution prior to committing.
Captivate (starts at $17/mo)
Mark Asquith co-founded Captivate with the aim of simplifying the process of starting a podcast and reducing the stress that comes with it. The platform offers private podcast hosting that is straightforward and convenient to use.
What sets Captivate apart from its competitors is its pricing strategy. Personal plans provide users with one private podcast and a maximum of 150 private subscribers. Professional plans offer two private podcasts and up to 1,000 private subscribers. Meanwhile, the Business plans come with three private shows and the ability to have up to 5,000 subscribers.
Starting from $17 per month (billed annually), Captivate’s private hosting plan is accessible for those who wish to host up to 150 private subscribers.
Podbean (starts at $99/mo)
Podbean adopts a distinctive strategy with its enterprise-level mobile application. This app enables you to make individual episodes private, distribute the episodes and categorize them into channels designated for specific teams, such as management, product, and sales. Furthermore, it allows you to track in-depth analytics that reflects each listener’s interaction with the podcast.
Unlike typical private RSS feed providers such as Transistor, Podbean’s private podcasts are not as easily accessible, but they offer more sophisticated enterprise functionalities and increased security and insight into the listener’s engagement.
The cost of private hosting with Podbean begins at $99 per month, payable on an annual basis, for a maximum of 100 exclusive members.
Spreaker (starts at $20/mo)
With Spreaker, you have the option to make your podcast public, private, or accessible through an exclusive link. This provides great flexibility, as you can choose to make an entire show private or just a single podcast episode.
However, the private hosting features of Spreaker are somewhat limited. Only one private RSS feed is shared with all listeners, making it impossible to revoke access to specific individuals. There is also no way to invite people through email or track individual downloads.
This private podcast feature is available for Spreaker users on the Broadcaster, Anchorman, or Enterprise plans, with prices starting at $20 per month.
Start Your Own Private Podcast
If you are planning to launch a private show for your business, try hosting with Storyboard or uStudio. However, if you only have monetization goals. Choose Castos, Supercast, or Patreon. Make sure you make your show captivating by adding show notes, music and artwork, and a host of add-ons for your premium subscribers.