Podcast exclusivity ... it's trending! At least, the idea of having a podcast exclusive to any given platform is growing. But there's actually a lot more to it than just being exclusive. And there's a lot to know, to consider, and to process before you jump into an exclusive relationship with any platform.
We know there are a lot of questions out there about exclusivity, so let's dive in!
Q. What is platform exclusivity?
A. Being platform exclusive is generally an agreement that a podcaster enters into, guaranteeing that a specific show will be available for consumption in a single platform either for a stated period of time, or forever.
Q. Why do podcasters enter exclusivity contracts?
A. Mostly for the money. There may be other reasons of course, and there are certainly publishers that publish shows for strategic reasons on a platform exclusive basis. However, those are usually organizations that have either a direct or indirect relationship with a platform. For the most part, however, entering an exclusivity contract with a platform is enticed by a significant financial upside for the podcaster.
Q. How does it work?
A: There are a few different options, each of which mostly depend on the exclusivity contract itself.
Option one: Some platforms have a unique interface or publishing system that you [the podcaster] are required to utilize which ensures that the content uploaded via that system will only appear on their platform.
Option two: A common alternative approach is the omission of submission. In this approach, you [the podcaster] do not submit your podcast anywhere except for the platform for which the podcast should be exclusive. This approach doesn't come without risk, though, and you would have to make significant level of effort to ensure that your podcast RSS feed is not available to the broader public. This approach does not guarantee the podcast will not be indexed by other podcatchers.
Option three: On the technical side, there are some things that can be done to help prevent widespread indexing of your podcast. However, none of these are catch-all approaches that guarantee total exclusivity. These technical approaches include the use of block tags inserted directly into the RSS feeds, which basically discourages platforms from further sharing the feed. However, keep in mind that each podcast app behaves differently, and some smaller apps (and even some larger ones) have different rules and guidelines surrounding which tags they respect and follow.
Q. My [Acast] podcast is meant to be exclusive, but I can search for it in Acast. Help!
A. At Acast, we have a database designed to multitask... it works to serve your audio files, stats, etc across all of Acast. This database is also used to populate the search bar within the Acast apps. You can avoid having your show played across the Acast app by turning your feed into a Private Feed (which inserts block tags into your RSS feed).
Q. I want to monetize my podcast, but I don't want to limit who can listen. How do I do that?
A. That's great! Because at Acast, we think an open ecosystem is a thriving ecosystem. And having your podcast available on multiple platforms expands the reach of your show to your listeners. If you're looking to monetize your show, we've definitely got ways that we can help you with that (and we have more than one way, whether it's through our Ad Marketplace, Patreon, or Acast Supporter). Reach out to our Customer Success team and we'll help you get moving in the right direction!