A podcast is a great way to share your message, build an audience and grow your business. But there's also value in having a private podcast, especially if you run a membership site.

In this article, we'll show you three ways to create a private podcast for your membership.

Why Create a Private Podcast?

A private podcast works like a public podcast in that people can listen to your episodes from your website or using a podcast player app such as Apple Podcasts, Castro, Overcast, etc.

But unlike public podcasts, your private podcast doesn't show up in public directories. So no one can listen to your private podcast unless you've invited them and/or given them access.

Creating a private podcast can be as simple as an ads-free version of your public podcast and/or you could create bonus content exclusively for your members.

By providing a private podcast, you give people yet another reason to join your membership. And it can help you retain members for longer because they'll lose access to updates in your private podcast as soon as they cancel their membership.

How to Create a Private Podcast

Here are three ways to create a private podcast for your membership.

1. MemberSpace

If you want to keep things really simple, you can create a private podcast on your membership site using MemberSpace. With this approach, your members can listen to your private content from your membership site, but they won't be able to listen in a podcast player app.

You'll need a MemberSpace account to protect the private podcast page, manage who can access the page, and charge for access. You can also provide free access to your members if you want.

Step 1: Create a private podcast page on your website

Once you've recorded at least one episode, you're ready to create a private podcast page on your website. This is where you're going to embed your podcast audio files.

In your CMS (e.g. WordPress, Squarespace, Webflow, etc.) create a new web page with a headline and brief description of your private podcast.

example private podcast landing page

Step 2: Securely upload your audio file to MemberSpace

MemberSpace's Content Links feature is a super-secure way to share audio files with your members. You can also use it to securely share videos, images, PDFs, and more.

From the MemberSpace backend, click the 'Member Pages' link at the top of the page:

Member Plans on MemberSpace Dashboard

Next, select the 'Manage Content Links' button.

If you're creating a Content Link for the first time, click the 'Add Content Links' button.

Then follow the instructions to upload your audio file to MemberSpace.

Uploading podcast Files

After uploading your file, click the 'Edit Access' link.

Uploading podcast Files

Select who can get access, how, and when.

Grant access to members to podcast Files

If you haven't created any Member Plans yet, we'll show you how to do that in a minute.

For now, click 'Done Uploading' and then click 'Copy' next to your file name.

Step 3: Add your episode to your private podcast page

You will place this link on your podcast page like this:

Add content links to Podcast landing page

Step 4: Protect your private podcast page so only members can access it

Now that your private podcast page is set up on your website, you need to protect it, so only specific people can access it.

If you haven't already set up your website to integrate with MemberSpace, you can find instructions on how to do that here or contact us (support@memberspace.com), and we'll help you with the setup.

Now you're ready to use MemberSpace to protect your private podcast page:

  1. In the MemberSpace backend, select your website from the list
  2. Click the 'Member Page' link in the top navigation
  3. Next click the 'Add Member Page' button
  4. Copy and paste the URL of your private podcast page
  5. Select which 'Member Plans' can access this page (if you don't have an existing 'Member Plan', we'll show you how to create one in the next step).
  6. Click the 'Add Now' button
protect your private podcast page

Step 5: Create a new Member Plan

The MemberSpace 'Member Plans' are how you choose the cost and terms to access your Member Pages and Content Links.

If you need to create a new 'Member Plan':

  1. In the MemberSpace backend, select your website from the list
  2. Click the 'Member Plans' link and then click the 'Add Member Plan' button
  3. Select the type of member plan e.g. free, one-time payment, recurring payment, etc.
  4. Enter the name and description (optional) of your new 'Member Plan'
  5. Under 'Which Member Page(s) can be accessed' select your podcast page
  6. Complete the rest of the form and then click the 'Create this plan' button

Step 6: Add members to your plan

Now you're ready to add members to your plan. You can do this in 2 ways:

  1. Manually inviting people to join and access your podcast
  2. Giving people a link to signup

To manually add a member to your plan:

  1. In the MemberSpace backend, select your website from the list
  2. Click the 'Members' link and then click the 'Invite New Member' button
  3. Type in the name, email and select which plan you're inviting them to join.
  4. Click the 'Invite Member Now' button

Your members will receive an invitation email (which you can customize) and when they click the join link they'll be asked to enter their credit card details (if the plan is not free).

To give people the signup link:

  1. In the MemberSpace backend, select your website from the list
  2. Click the 'Member Plans' link at the top of the page
  3. Click the 'Get sign-up link' button next to the relevant plan and click 'Copy'
  4. Add the link you just copied to your website sales page or share it by email
Copy Plan Signup Links

2. Castos

We've partnered with the folks at Castos (a podcast hosting and analytics platform) to bring you a private podcast solution that fully integrates with MemberSpace, so you can manage all aspects of your membership site including your private podcast in one place.

Setting up your private podcast on Castos and integrating it with MemberSpace is quick and simple:

Step 1: Setup Your Private Podcast

You'll need a Castos account to create your private podcast. If you don't already have one, you can signup here.

Once you've signed up and are logged into your Castos account, you'll need to:

  1. Add a new podcast to your account
  2. Upload your first podcast episode
  3. Update your podcast feed details
  4. Set your podcast page and feed to private

Here's one of our help docs that shows you how to create your private podcast on Castos (just follow steps 1 to 5 in the help doc).

Step 2: Connect Your Private Podcast to MemberSpace

Once you've created your private podcast in Castos, you're ready to connect it to your MemberSpace account. If you don't have one, now's a great time to sign-up. 😀

Here are the steps you'll need to take to connect your private podcast to MemberSpace:

  1. Copy your API token from your Castos account
  2. Paste the API token in the MemberSpace backend
  3. Select member plans that can access your private podcast

Let's go back to our help doc and get more details on how to connect your private podcast to MemberSpace (follow steps 6 to 10).

Connect your private podcast to MemberSpace

If you already have members on the plans you just selected, they will immediately be granted access to the podcast(s) via Castos after you click Update Now.

Anytime you update the checklist of plans and/or the podcasts, the list of subscribers will be synced accordingly.

And that's it your private podcast for your membership is ready!

Step 3: How Members Will Access Your Private Podcast

When a new member joins the MemberSpace plan you selected, they will automatically receive an email invitation from Castos on how to access your private podcast feed.

Here's an overview of what they'll need to do:

  1. Copy the link or click the "Listen Now" button in the email
  2. Select the podcast player from the list of options

You can read more about how this works on the Castos website.

Once subscribed, your members will automatically receive new episodes that you publish in Castos. If a member ever cancels their plan(s) they will automatically lose access to the future updates in the private podcast feed.

3. Transistor

You can also use Transistor to create a private podcast for your membership. We don't have a direct integration with Transistor, but you can use Zapier to connect your membership site with your private podcast on Transistor.

To set up a private feed, you'll need a Transistor 'Pro' or 'Business' account.

Step 1: Create a private podcast in Transistor

The first step is to log in to Transistor and create a private podcast:

Create a private podcast in Transistor

Step 2: Add your first episode to your private podcast

Next, upload your first episode and provide the episode title and description.

Step 3: Connect MemberSpace and Transistor using Zapier

You'll need a Zapier account to set up this integration.

Then click the 'Make a Zap' button.

You'll first need to create a 'Trigger' like this:

  1. Search for MemberSpace and select it as the 'Trigger'
  2. Select 'New Membership' as the 'Trigger Event'
Set upv New Membership as the Trigger Event
  1. Then click the 'Continue' button.
  2. Select your MemberSpace account from the drop-down menu.
  3. Select the Member Plans that can access the private podcast.
  4. Click 'Continue' and then click 'Test Trigger' to make sure it's working

Next, you'll be asked to setup the 'Action' event i.e. what should Zapier do when a new member joins one of the plans you just selected in the 'Trigger' event?

  1. Search for Transistor.fm and select it as the 'Action'
  2. Select 'Create Subscriber' as the 'Action Event'
  3. Click 'Continue' and then click 'Test Action' to make sure it's working
Test action in Zapier

If it all looks good, you can turn on the zap.

Step 4: Setup a Zap for Member Cancellations

When a member cancels, you want to make sure that their access to the private podcast in Transistor is also cancelled.

To do this, click the 'Make a Zap' button again.

Cancel Membership Trigger in Zapier
  1. Search for MemberSpace and select it as the 'Trigger' again
  2. Select 'Canceled Membership' as the 'Trigger Event'
  3. Click 'Continue' and complete the 'Trigger' setup

Next, you'll be asked to setup the 'Action' event again i.e. what should Zapier do when a member cancels one of the plans you just selected in the 'Trigger' event?

  1. Search for Transistor.fm and select it as the 'Action'
  2. Select 'Remove Subscriber' as the 'Action Event'
  3. Click 'Continue' and then click 'Test Action' to make sure it's working

When a new member joins one of your selected MemberSpace Member Plans, they'll also receive an email inviting them to the private podcast on Transistor.

And when a member cancels their membership, they will automatically also have their Transistor private podcast access canceled.

You can get more details on how to set up a private podcast feed on the Transistor site.

4. Bonus: Private Podcast Membership Page + Feed

Do you want to create a combination of a private podcast page on your membership website and give your members access to a Castos/Transistor feed?

No problem - you can do that too! Just follow the instructions in section 1 to setup the private podcast on your membership site. And then follow the instructions in section 2 or section 3 to setup your private podcast feed on Castos or Transistor.

When a new member joins, they'll get access to both the private podcast page on your website and the private podcast feed from Castos or Transistor. And when a member cancels, their access to both the private podcast page and feed will be removed.

As you can see, there are several ways to create a private podcast for your membership. You can create a members-only private podcast page in your membership site, create a private feed for your members or create a combination of the two.

The best thing about a private podcast is that it helps improve your membership offering and potentially grow revenue. And you can manage it all from the convenience of your MemberSpace backend!