Spotify wants to be the place you listen to all your podcasts, even the ones you pay for outside the app, so today’s it’s making that a possibility. The company announced multiple new partnerships today that’ll allow paid shows from third-party platforms and networks to be played on the app — something that’s been impossible until now because Spotify doesn’t support private RSS feeds.
Among the platforms supporting the tech, called Open Access, are Acast, Memberful, Supporting Cast, Glow.fm, and Supercast. Networks supporting the tech include Vox Media and, more specifically, its Cafe Studios; Slate; Der Spiegel; and Mamamia. (Disclosure: The Verge is owned by Vox Media.) You can see the full list here with each platform and network making more specific announcements around launch timing in the future.
The company first previewed this technology, which is based on OAuth, in April. Initial partners included Ben Thompson and John Gruber’s show Dithering. For supporting shows, a button appears on the Spotify page allowing you to sign into the podcast network and unlock the episodes. It’s all done from within the app.
Notably, Patreon wasn’t on the list of initial partners and isn’t on this updated list, either, which is a glaring omission given that it’s one of the most popular ways podcasters build a subscriber base. Memberful is owned by Patreon, but that doesn’t mean Patreon-based creators will be able to distribute their shows through Spotify. (Memberful focuses more on building subscription software on podcasters’ own websites.) Also missing is Substack, which has also been aiming to bring podcasters to its platform.
Still, the idea that listeners can finally bring the shows they pay for into the Spotify app is a major one. Up until now, show subscribers have only been able to play content in apps that support private RSS feeds, which Spotify does not. The platform doesn’t rely on RSS feeds for its own exclusive shows, either, effectively locking them down to the platform. But if it wants to be the biggest podcast listening platform in the world, it needs to be the place people go for everything they want to hear — including their paid shows.