Google Podcasts is finally getting a feature that’s already standard across most listening apps: private RSS feed support. The head of product for Google Podcasts, Zack Reneau-Wedeen, made the announcement on Twitter today and shouted out some networks that are especially reliant on private feeds, including Patreon, Slate, Red Circle, and Supercast.
To access the feature, tap over to the activity tab in the bottom right-hand corner and slide over to the Subscriptions tab, then tap the plus symbol. You’ll then be prompted to add by RSS feed. You can see the entire process below.
Important milestone in our mission to help creators grow their audience and build sustainable businesses — in whichever ways work best for them!
Add your own RSS feed on Google Podcasts here: https://t.co/Koiqsx2Iex pic.twitter.com/RzcVTrt1EB
— Gabe Bender (@GabeBender) December 3, 2020
This is a relatively standard feature that’s helped prop up the podcasting business for creators. On Patreon, for example, members often pay for access to a subscribers-only feed. To access that content, the creator sends them a private RSS feed they then can insert into their favorite listening app to retrieve the audio. It’s a useful thing to support both for creators and listeners, so it’s not surprising Google would build this in. In fact, it’s been a long time coming.
Still, not every app supports the feature, including, most notably, Spotify. But if Google Podcasts, and even Spotify, wants to become the places where people consume all of their audio, they have to support private RSS feeds, at least for the time being because it’s how creators get their shows out to fans while still getting paid.