By definition there is no such thing as a completely "private" podcast. Audio that can be downloaded over a network can be recorded and shared. But there is a spectrum of audio accessibility and privacy. Private podcasts are more protected and more difficult to access. Standard podcasts available in Spotify are the least protected very easy to access with an app. In this article, you will learn about the different types of private podcasts.
Resonate Hosting supports multiple levels of private podcasting to help protect audio and limit the availability to only the audience you want to reach. Here are some common reasons why podcasters create private shows:
Corporate or internal communications
Paid subscriber-only content
School and educational institution content
Resonate has four options for private podcasting. Let's look at each option and compare the tradeoffs of accessibility and privacy that each solution gives to the podcaster.
Option 1. Private RSS Feed
All podcast directories — Spotify, Apple and Google Podcasts — support "blocking" the podcast. In your Resonate podcast profile, check the "private" box to prevent the show from being listed in directories. Anyone with the link to the RSS feed can listen to the show, but they will not be able to search for the show in any of the podcast directories. Privacy is limited with this option because the RSS feed link can easily be shared with others.
Option 2. Authenticated Embed Player
The authenticated embed player is our most common option for companies with an intranet, employee portal, or a subscribers-only website. Each Resonate podcast episode has an embed code that can be added to a web page that is only accessible to listeners with an account. This option allows podcasters to take advantage of Resonate's detailed embed player analytics — the most comprehensive embed player analytics in the industry. The level of accessibility depends on how difficult it is for listeners to login to your website to access to the content.
Option 3. Unique Subscriber RSS Feeds
Resonate allows podcasters with private shows to manage a list of subscribers. Each subscriber has a unique, private, RSS feed. Listeners receive an email with simple instructions to open their private RSS feed and subscribe to the show on their phone or computer. Apple and Google Podcasts both support private RSS feeds so iOS and Android listeners can subscribe with one tap.
This is different from Option 1 because each subscriber has their own RSS feed that can be revoked. With Option 1, it's impossible to revoke access to the RSS feed after someone has subscribed because every subscriber has the same RSS feed.
Option 4. Restricted Subscriber Microsite
With a restricted subscriber microsite, listeners create a Resonate account that allows them to log in to Resonate and listen to episodes on a custom podcast website using the Resonate embed player. The audio is not available outside of the microsite and each listening session is logged with Resonate embed player analytics.
This article is just a brief overview of the different options for private podcasting. Each approach has trade-offs in terms of privacy and accessibility. Our team has worked with hundreds of podcasters, helping craft the perfect launch plan for each show. Schedule a call with us so we can learn more about your private podcast and answer any questions you have after reading about the different options in this article.