Protecting a Premium Podcast


#1

Hello,

I currently use DAP to protect my premium podcast feeds through unique keys that are assigned to individual members and attached to the end of their premium feed URLS. It works great, this key makes sure they have access to only those posts that are part of their subscription.

DAP also does an IP count so that I can limit the number of unique IP addresses that can subscribe to a premium feed.

There are only 2 problems:

  1. The unique key does not stop people from sharing their podcast feed or unknowingly posting it to a public directory. For example, I have had a few users who have subscribed to their premium feeds through PodBean and then PodBean posts the feed to their public directory.

  2. The IP counter theoretically would stop this from being a big problem by limiting the number of subscribers. However, I have found that when you sync podcast feeds over your phone, you can get false positive lock outs, where it appears you are subscribing to the feed from multiple devices, when in fact you are only using one. I think this is due to syncing from different locations over different wifi or via cellular service. Therefore, when someone is locked out. I unlock them once and wait for a response back. If they assure me they are not sharing their feed, I set their account so that it no longer locks them out. (You can eliminate individual users from the IP count.) If I don’t hear back, they may be locked out again.

So, I am wondering if DAP is considering adding password validation to feed protection or if anyone can suggest another solution. Or if anyone else has any input.

Thanks for your time.


#2

Hi @DocMolly,

Are you saying that any feed added by a podcast listener to the PodBean app is then automatically shared by PodBean in their public directory? Maybe that is the default behavior because 99.99% of podcasts are public, so if someone adds a new feed that they haven’t seen before, they feel like they should add it. But you should be able to contact them to have that feature turned off for your feeds.

“Private Feed Link Sharing” is very similar to “Password Sharing” where a member who has authorized access to a special link or password, shares it with others (intentionally or not).

DAP is the only membership plugin that has a feature to mitigate this - and that is by allowing you to set a limit on the number of IP’s that an account is allowed to log in from.

See http://digitalaccesspass.com/doc/unlocking-users/

And http://DigitalAccessPass.com/doc/disabling-ip-security-check/

And that is literally the only way possible to protect a a podcast feed… IF you want the feed to be used via standard podcast apps like the Apple Podcasts app and OverCast and Podcast Addict, etc.

Most podcast apps do not support password-based authorization when you subscribe to a new podcast, which is why DAP was the very first plugin, and probably still the only plugin, to implement a secure key-based RSS feed… AND ALSO provide you with a way to determine how many different IP’s you would be willing to allow logging in from.

So adding password protection to the feed would probably make it impossible for your actual paying customers to subscribe to it.

You have a few options here…

  1. Contact PodBean and let them know to not share your feed without explicit authorization. And if they won’t do it, then switch to Libsyn (use coupon code “subscribeme” to get up to 2 months free - the month you join, and the next one).

  2. Once #1 is accomplished, change the “key” of the shared feed

  3. Let your premium feed subscribers know via the DAP welcome email or autoresponder email, to use a different app other than the PodBean app. And for what it’s worth, you may also want to let them know that they may not share their premium feed URL with anyone else.

Hope this helps.

//Ravi Jayagopal


#3

Ravi,

This does help a ton! I have to say that I have been really, really pleased, over the moon pleased with how DAP is working for my membership site. This is the only problem I have encountered with the premium feeds, but maybe it’s not a problem when compared to other options. I did not realize that most podcast apps did not support password authentication. Right after I wrote my question in the forum I did come across a post by another podcaster who has premium feeds that was changing from the “annoying password authentication” to using unique key ID method as users were having trouble subscribing. I bet this podcaster was using DAP.

I have contacted PodBean, and they removed the feeds for me. I will recommend to my users they avoid PodBean.

So Libsyn gives you the ability to change the key for a specific user? So far, Blubrry’s PowerPress have been working well. But I will keep this in mind. I contacted the user and was able to delete and create a new account for them, so they have new keys now. The user had no idea the feed was being shared in PodBean’s directory.

Do recommend any particular podcast apps for Android users that allow people to subscribe to their premium RSS feeds? I have been recommending Podcast Addict and Pocket Casts.

Thanks again Ravi for your help!

Molly


#4

@DocMolly,

So Libsyn gives you the ability to change the key for a specific user?

Actually, you are using - and should be using - your own PowerPress generated feeds for your premium podcast, along with DAP.

So neither Libsyn nor PodBean can do anything about protecting your PowerPress feed, as your podcast host doesn’t control your feed.

I mentioned Libsyn as an alternative only in case PodBean wouldn’t remove your premium feeds from their directory. But looks like they did - good on them.

As a podcast host, they’re both really good, though I would recommend Libsyn over PodBean for hosting a business podcast, if I had to pick one.

And for an app, I recommend OverCast app if you’re on iOS. And Podcast Addict or PocketCasts are among the best for Android. So that’s something you could recommend to your listeners.

// Ravi Jayagopal
Prettiest Podcast Player on the Planet


#5

Thanks Ravi. Very helpful information.


#6

When some of my premium podcast feeds were showing up on Podcast Addict’s directory, I contacted thm and they swiftly removed them (great custojmer service). I also found out that you can block your premium category feeds made with PowerPress from showing up in public directories by using the iTunes Block tag pictured below. This is found under category feed > Apple, and works for Podcast Addict and likely other directories.

I’ve also want to add that I recently tried to subscribe to a premium podcast feed from another site that uses password protection and could not get it to work. Therefore, I think the unique key is the way to go and I continue to be very happy with DAP + PowerPress for my premium podcast feeds.

Thanks Ravi.

Molly


#7

That’s part of the problem with password-protected feeds - not all podcast apps support it. So, thank you, @DocMolly, for reaffirming that.

– Ravi Jayagopal


#8

The funny thing is… that this website restricted their podcast feed to Apple Podcasts. Even so, I couldn’t get it to work. When I asked them about it, they said they were having trouble with it and were looking for other solutions. I recommended DAP + PowerPress. :wink:


#9

Hi @DocMolly,

Add this “iTunes Block Tag” to PowerPress so that Apple and other directories will know not to add your feed to their directories.

– Ravi Jayagopal
https://SubscribeMe.fm .