Most paywall solutions for podcasts are pretty clunky or limited. That's why Acast launched technology last year that allows publishers to release paywalled episodes that listeners can access on any podcast app.
Patreon, meanwhile, already supports the creation of a patron-only RSS feed, and Brian Keller, the company's director of creator success said that "exclusive content is the biggest and most effective benefit that [podcasters] can offer to their members."
Still, he said that many of the podcasters on Patreon are asking for a better solution, which is where the Acast partnership comes in.
Through the integration, a podcaster can link to their Patreon account in their public podcast show notes. If someone clicks on the link and they aren't already a patron, they can sign up. If they are a patron, their membership level will be authenticated and they'll be directed to a listening experience that allows them to subscribe, via the podcast app of their choice, to a feed that combines whatever patron-only content they should have access to, plus all the free content included in the public feed.
Image Credits: Acast
So from the patron/listener experience, you should only need to sign up once, then you can get your premium episodes without any extra work. The podcaster, meanwhile, can manage their public and private feeds from a single dashboard, while also getting access to detailed listener data from Acast.
Leandro Saucedo, Acast's chief strategy and business officer, noted that the companies aren't forcing any Patreon creators to go down this route. They can still distribute their podcasts with whatever platform or tool they were using before.
"With this partnership in place, we hope that usage will be as high as possible, but we're not forcing anybody into it," Saucedo said.
At the same time, he suggested that there should be a seamless migration process for any podcasters making the switch to Acast, without requiring any listeners to subscribe to a new feed.
"I love the Acast integration!" said Sleep With Me's Drew Ackerman in a statement. "The analytics let me know that patrons are listening to the content and give me clear insight into exactly what and how they're consuming it. It's secure and easy for patrons to get set up, and the fact that there is only one link to share makes it simple for listeners to find the content and brings new patrons to our membership!"