The Engineered Network: Subscribe via Apple Podcasts

15 June, 2021

Apple have just introduced a huge change to their podcast-position, shifting from being a search and aggregator to being a podcast hosting provider. As a hosting provider they’re offering two ways for listeners to listen to podcasts: Follow them (same way that ‘subscribing’ used to work) or (NEW) “Subscribe” to them for access to paid content.

For many fans of The Engineered Network, support via Patreon and BitCoin/Lightning isn’t feasible or preferable. Now there’s a widely-available, well-supported alternative via Apple.

To use their system, Apple requires that “subscriber audio” must have DRM applied. To ensure the best possible audio quality via Apples offering, I’ve gone back to the original Ad-Free edits and project files and re-exported them as the highest possible quality WAV format. So when Apple’s system re-encodes them, they are as high-quality as possible for your enjoyment (though now with DRM). It took a few weeks of effort to get the back-catalogue in Apples system, but I think the result is well worth it!

All of the existing Bonus Audio that is associated with a specific show that is currently available on Patreon has been added to Apple Subscriber Channel for TEN. Therefore from Day 1 of launch the channel already has ad-free, high-quality episodes for:

  • 40 of Causality, plus 6 Causality Explored bonus episodes
  • 43 of Analytical
  • 13 of Sleep
  • 24 of Pragmatic, plus 13 After-Show bonus episodes
  • 8 TEN Bonus audio segments

In future, early releases (when available) will be released to Apple Subscribers in step with Patreon Premium early-releases.

To align the Apple Podcasts Subscription/Support with Patreon, the subscription rate is equal to the Premium support level as follows:

  • $4.99 USD Monthly
  • $49.99 USD Annually

TEN will be offered only as a single channel you can subscribe to in the same way as Patreon. There are some pros and cons though if you want to support TEN, between Patreon and Apple:

Patreon Benefits:

  • Multiple support tiers give you more flexibility
  • Able to get additional benefits beyond audio (Raw Notes, Named Mentions, Q&A/Interaction)
  • Bonus audio (whilst in a common/firehose style feed) can be added to ANY podcast client app for listening
  • Bonus Audio files are DRM-free

Apple Benefits:

  • A subscriber can support the network, but can have a different audio feed for each podcast
  • Full integration of the podcast bonus audio is seamless with Apples offerings on all platforms (where they’re available)
  • Full anonymity (may be considered a benefit for some supporters with privacy concerns)

In terms of which method delivers the most end value to TEN (least fees) then it’s:

  1. Lightning
  2. Patreon
  3. Apple Podcasts

Either way if you’re an existing Patreon or BitCoin/Lightning supporter then there’s no reason to shift to a different platform. Then again, if you’re a big fan of the shows and you’re a long-time Apple eco-system user and you’ve been on the fence for a while, then perhaps this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.

As always, thank you everyone for your continued support and I hope you enjoy the additional flexibility in supporting and listening to our shows.