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Acast launches secure paid-for podcasts in almost any app; Pacific Content bought by Rogers

May 2, 2019 · 6.9 minutes to read

Background: Speaking to Podnews, CEO Ross Adams highlighted that the company has always taken a platform agnostic view about their podcasts - you can listen to them anywhere - and that the same principle should happen for premium, paid-for podcasts as well. Acast Access is “GDPR compliant subscription technology” that is, in his words, “properly secure - it has a link that can’t be shared with other people - and a simple user flow”: and works in any app that allows standard RSS feeds (like Apple Podcasts, Pocketcasts, etc). It also adds lockable, embeddable players for websites, too. The two launch partners are the FT and The Economist, and the next phase, he says, is to open this technology up to other publishers. Of note: both the FT and The Economist operate their own subscription platform, which this integrates into.

This is a very different model to Luminary’s subscription plans for podcasting: Acast Access apparently allows premium content to be played in almost any podcast app. We look forward to testing how easy it really is.

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“We are fortunate to have such talented and accomplished journalists joining to launch this new podcast and are already finding our partnership with Gimlet to be a positive collaboration. Gimlet’s expertise making highly-produced audio programs, combined with the Journal’s unparalleled reporting and talented newsroom, forms a strong foundation for success.” - Anthony Galloway, Head of Audio and Video, Wall Street Journal


The Charlie Kirk Show - from “Twitter’s 5th most engaged personality” - debuts on PodcastOne with an in-depth interview with Donald Trump Jr and girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle. (Podcast One)
The Mueller Report: A Radio Dramatization is an adaptation of the report, “narrated by a fictional Robert Mueller who speaks in much more direct terms than the real Mueller has the freedom to”. It’s a fun listen. “I’m an old man. You’re making me tell you a bad, dumb, bedtime story. I don’t want to do this - but I will.” (Buzzsprout)
Intelligence Matters - where former acting Director of the CIA Michael Morell speaks with top leaders of the U.S. intelligence community - is celebrating a year, and 5.5m downloads. Their anniversary edition interviews Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (CBS News)
This Is Love is back for a second series. The first episode is all about the Ugly Club, a special club in Piobbico, Italy, for people who “understand why you don’t have to beautiful”. The podcast team have even made a badge to buy. Nice! (PRX)
Latina to Latina is celebrating 100,000 downloads. “We have been so moved by how strongly the show has been embraced by Latinas and their friends,” says Exec Producer Juleyka Lantigua-Williams. (Lantigua-Williams & Co, Libsyn)
We got sent an email about Electronic Propaganda Society - a podcast “looking into the failure of marketing and what brands must do about it” - telling us that this podcast “like Freakonomics and Serial had a marketing love child”. The mind boggles.

Apple says…

Here’s an email that Apple sent podcasters yesterday. (If you don’t get Apple’s emails, you should probably check the email in your RSS feed)…

iOS 12.2
In addition to bug fixes and feature enhancements, we’d like to call your attention to these improvements to the Podcasts app on iOS 12.2:

Apple Podcasts Preview
Apple Podcasts Preview pages on the web have been updated. For the first time, we are introducing a dedicated episode page that includes the ability to play directly on the web. The design is also mobile responsive and provides a better experience for Android users.

Podcasts Connect Help
We’ve updated the RSS tags section to explain the different supported tags more clearly and show how they are displayed on Apple Podcasts on iOS 12.2. Also, the relevant section now distinguishes between required, recommended, and situational tags. Previous tags and values will continue to be supported unless otherwise communicated.

We’ve also updated the example of a well-formed RSS feed for further reference. See Podcasts Connect Help to review these updates and more helpful information.


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