How to create a private podcast in 2024

A step-by-step guide

Justin Jackson

4 min

What is a private podcast?

A private podcast is a show distributed directly to subscribers via a unique RSS feed, allowing them to listen in their preferred player but bypassing public directories like Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Private podcasts are tailored for specific audiences – such as paid subscribers or company employees – and offer a more controlled and secure distribution. This format is particularly useful for exclusive content, internal company communications, training, or paid podcasts. Subscribers access these private podcasts through a specific invite or subscription process, ensuring content remains confidential and secure.

How do private podcasts work?

A private podcast isn't publicly accessible or discoverable. Instead, subscribers get a unique RSS feed to add to their podcast player.

How private podcast RSS feeds work diagram

This allows subscribers to:

  • Subscribe to the podcast in their podcast player (Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts)

  • Receive new episodes on their phone

  • Download episodes on their phone for offline listening.

What you can do with a private podcast

A private podcast allows you to give members access to a series of audio files that they can listen to in their favorite podcast app. Here's how companies and organizations are using it:

  • Offer ongoing audio training to your employees.

  • Onboard new employees.

  • Send a weekly "Message from the CEO" to all employees.

Here's how authors, course creators, and online training organizations are using it:

  • Authors are creating an audiobook version of their books and giving folks who purchase the physical copy free access to it.

  • Course creators, colleges, and online training organizations are adding audio lessons to their regular curriculum. Students receive individualized access and can listen to it in their favorite podcast app.

  • Membership sites are doing exclusive private podcasts just for members.

How to create a private podcast for your team

You can use a hosting platform like Transistor to create private podcasts.

To start a new private podcast, click "Add a show." You'll see the option to create an enhanced private podcast when you click "Add a new show:"

After filling out your Show Settings, you must add an episode.

How to record audio for your private podcast feed

You can record your weekly podcast however you’d like:

  • On your desktop, with a fancy microphone

  • Or, record using the “Voice Memos” app on your phone

Once you're done recording, upload your audio to Transistor straight from your phone or computer. Transistor will turn it into a podcast episode and publish it to your private employee feed.

Employees get notified in their podcast app or by email that a new episode is available.

Companies using this find these audio updates are much more personal and human than traditional email updates.

For more information on choosing a microphone, recording software, and editing your podcast, check out our guide: How to Start a Podcast.

How to share the private podcast with your employees

Now that your first episode is published, you can go to the "Subscribers" tab and add subscribers (members, employees, etc) to your podcast.

They can be added manually (one at a time) or via CSV upload.

Once you've added a subscriber, they'll automatically receive a welcome email that looks like this:

When they click the button in their email, they'll receive a list of podcast app options that are supported on their device:

How a private podcast RSS feed is added to Apple Podcasts through an email link

They can choose their preferred option, and it should open the podcast in their selected listening app.

Once they are subscribed, they'll automatically receive new episodes when they are published.

You can also send them this tutorial, which shows them how to add a private feed to their favorite podcast app.

Which podcast apps support private podcasts?

These iOS podcast apps allow you to add private feeds:

These Android podcast apps allow you to add private feeds:

These podcast apps don't support private podcasts:

  • Spotify

  • Google Play

  • Stitcher

  • iHeartRadio

  • Acast

  • Podcast App

  • PodcastOne

  • DoublePod

  • PodcastHD

  • Podcast Guru