Spotify and Patreon partnered to launch an integration that lets fans listen to subscriber-only Patreon audio directly from their Spotify account. This tool is especially useful for podcasters on Patreon, who often incentivize fans to join their paid membership programs by offering exclusive bonus content.
As it stands, podcast fans generally listen to paywalled content either on the Patreon app itself, or more often through RSS, an automatically updated feed of content. Much to the chagrin of podcast devotees, Spotify is the only major podcasting app that does not allow users to manually add RSS feeds to their library (RSS is a very simple bit of tech that isn’t beholden to one specific platform, which is perhaps why Spotify is averse to it — it’s not proprietary). So, while this feature is incredibly convenient for Patreon subscribers who use Spotify, it’s a pretty basic existing feature on most other podcatchers.
This feature is powered by Spotify Open Access, which is basically Spotify’s way of working around allowing manual RSS uploads.
“Spotify does not support private RSS so we built Open Access as a solution to more securely distribute gated content on our platform,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch.
At a Spotify investor event last year, the company referred to RSS feeds as “outdated tech,” so this refusal to accommodate RSS is not a surprise.
Spotify Open Access will also support paywalled content from other monetization platforms, like Memberful, Supercast, Supporting Cast and others, but Patreon is by far the biggest partner for Spotify’s new program. On the fan end, listeners will see paywalled content with a padlock icon, prompting them to become a subscriber if they aren’t already.
Spotify could’ve had a feature like this long ago, if they only embraced RSS. Regardless, it’s surely helpful for creators if Spotify makes it even easier for fans to find their Patreon.