STOCKHOLM – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) –A casting, the world’s largest podcast company, today announced the launch of Acast Access. The new product is the technical infrastructure allowing publishers to manage and distribute their exclusive paid content in a secure manner. With Acast Access, for the first time, publishers can lock exclusive content behind their own paywall, while allowing consumers to listen to that content on the podcasting app of their choice.
Until recently, the vast majority of podcasters monetized their content through ad revenue. As more podcast publishers seek sustainable sources of revenue to support their content, the industry will need to evolve by supporting both ad revenue and subscriber revenue while creating consumer flexibility for consumers. listeners. It was in this context that Acast Access was developed – a product that allows publishers to distribute paid audio content via RSS feeds.
Ross Adams, CEO of Acast, said, âAt Acast, we believe the most important thing about podcast media is that it continues to be public, accessible and platform independent. We built Acast to be independent and deliver value to podcasters by allowing their content to be shared on any device, app or player. Acast Access takes this commitment to the next level by working with publishers to do so not only for their ad-supported podcasts, but their exclusive subscription content as well.
Johan Billgren, co-founder and product manager of Acast explains: âAcast Access is based on the concept of having two RSS feeds for one broadcast. One is the norm, public-RSS food. The other is the private version of this show, the RSS-access. The publisher then decides which parts of the content are exclusive and only available through the RSS-access, and which parts are in the two streams. Acast Access then checks the anonymized user data against the publisher’s API to determine which users are approved as publisher logged-in or paid subscribers. From the listener’s point of view, Acast Access is easy to use. It only takes two clicks to replace the public feed with the version viewed in the podcast app of your choice.
Acast began testing paid content when Acast + launched in 2016. The Acast + paywall was only accessible through the Acast app. An editor who has used Acast + runs the British football podcast The Football Ramble. The Football Ramble offered one exclusive episode per month, as well as an ad-free experience for all of their regular episodes, to paid listeners. For listeners who use the Acast app, the conversion to paid content was close to 50%. From listeners who didn’t pay, the feedback Acast received was directly related to the exclusive content of the Acast app: many listeners said they would pay if they could access the paid episodes in the app. of their choice.
These comments led to a crucial element of Acast Access: the ability to protect content behind a third-party paywall while still allowing listeners to access that content in the podcast app of their choice, such as Apple Podcasts. , Overcast, Pocket Casts, etc.
Alastair Mackie, Head of Audio for Ads at the Financial Times, is leading the Acast Access beta test for the Financial Times, with editorial support from RenÃ©e Kaplan, Head of Audience and New Content Strategies at the FT. Mackie said, âThe Financial Times recently announced a milestone of reaching one million paid readers and we continue to look for ways to attract new audiences. We have developed our various forms of audio and are always eager to experiment as we expand beyond a traditional print and online offering. The majority of our podcast listeners are not yet subscribed and Acast Access will help us bring tremendous value to the audio arena, driving conversion for these listeners.
Acast Access is truly a world first audio product. In addition to the ability for publishers to pay for entire episodes, they can also choose to combine private and public content in the same episode for the purpose of driving conversions.
Frank Andrejasich, associate director of The Economist Media Lab, which is also beta testing Acast Access, said, âWe are always working to maximize the value of a subscription payment for our subscribers. We believe Acast Access is helping us take a more innovative approach to audio subscription and expand opportunities for our podcasts, including the recently launched daily Intelligence podcast. We want to give our listeners as many reasons as possible to stay connected to The Economist. ”
Frank Andrejasich, product manager for new product development at The Economist, who is also testing the beta version of Acast Access, said: âWe are always trying to help subscribers get the most out of their subscription to The Economist, and audio has been a key differentiator for us for many years. Acast Access gives us the opportunity to take a more innovative approach to subscription audio content and will allow our subscribers to listen to subscriber-only audio in the same places they listen to our award-winning Economist Radio podcasts.
Acast is the world’s largest podcast company. Since 2014, Acast has been the engine of audio for manufacturers around the world. Basically, Acast connects audio manufacturers with the financial support they need to create amazing content while delivering the audiences they want. Acast works with podcasts around the world, including My dad wrote a porn, off the menu, David Tennant does a podcast with, The Adam Buxton Podcast, Sanspants Radio, Alice & Bianca, Watch What Crappens and Varvet
as well as those of publishers such as The Times, The Economist, Guardian, VICE and Vogue. As a global company, Acast has offices around the world from Stockholm to Sydney and a team of 100 talented audio enthusiasts who work diligently to create a sustainable audio and voice ecosystem to ensure that the audio industry continues to grow and prosper. Acast was founded by Karl Rosander and Mans Ulvestam with co-founder Johan Billgren.