Patreon’s newest partnership might entice more podcasters to join its platform. The company is teaming up with Acast to host its users’ podcasts and make it easier for them to distribute private, subscribers-only episodes. Currently, Patreon members that charge for access to a bonus podcast feed have to give each listener a link to a private RSS feed. The listeners then have to input that feed into the podcast player of their choice. It’s a manual, unsophisticated process that ultimately could result in people canceling their subscriptions but still retaining the link to the show. Now, however, Acast is integrating its “Access” technology with Patreon to streamline that process.
With it, Patreon podcasters will be able to better gate their feeds and only provide access to people who have paid, which is good for Patreon because it makes it easier for podcasters to get started monetizing their shows and maintaining their listener bases. Podcasters will also have access to Acast’s analytics dashboard, which will give them more info about how people listen. For listeners, they won’t have to manually input the private RSS feed link into their podcast player of choice and can instead tap a button inside Acast that’ll handle that for them. (It’s worth noting that Spotify doesn’t allow for private RSS feeds, so members can’t listen there and will need to use some other podcast app.)
The basic features are free, but podcasters will have to pay more to access other features like a customizable podcast website or unlimited episodes or downloads. They can still host their podcasts through Patreon, but Patreon is planning to market this Acast solution as the preferred method for distributing shows.
For Acast, this partnership is beneficial because it’ll be hosting all of the Patreon users’ shows on its servers, meaning it has more podcast data. In theory, this could also set the company up to offer additional monetization opportunities, like if Patreon podcasters eventually wanted to have ads sold for their shows in addition to monetizing their listener bases.
Ad deals are becoming more critical to the podcasting ecosystem. Yesterday, iHeartMedia and Pushkin Industries signed an exclusive ad-selling deal, for instance, giving it even more opportunity to generate revenue. Although Patreon and Acast aren’t speaking about potential ad revenue opportunities, the possibility is there, which could help them, and the creators who use their platform, make more money.