Acast is the latest platform to launch a paywall system with the announcement of Acast Access, a toolkit for podcasters who want to offer premium feeds alongside their free shows. I’m going to be writing in a lot more detail about this on Tuesday, but for now I think it’s worth noting the positioning here — Acast has made a big deal of the fact that the premium feeds on their new system will be accessible in any podcast app, in what I see as a deliberate contrast to the closed Luminary-style model. Perhaps this was the intention all along, but I think other players are already seizing the chance to dissociate themselves from the closed system option after Luminary’s botched launch and teething troubles.
ESPN is the latest major publisher to remove their shows from Luminary, by the way, although I’m slightly baffled why, at the time of writing, many PRX and Radiotopia shows still seem to be on the platform despite the announcement that they were being pulled at the start of the week. I’ve also heard expressions of frustration from podcasters outside the Luminary launch areas of the US, UK, Canada and Australia, who would like to check the app to see if and how their shows are being displayed, but are unable to do so because it’s geolocked.