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Podcast hosts and app makers: Let's make it easier for podcasters to surface donate/pay/membership links in our UIs with a standard semantic way to denote payment URLs in HTML show notes. Does such a thing exist already in any useful HTML spec? Maybe an <a rel="something">?
179 replies and sub-replies as of Aug 14 2018

Podcasters and CMS makers: Next version of Overcast looks for a link in every episode's show notes with <a rel="payment">. If present, Overcast adds a nice green "$" button on the Now Playing screen that opens up that donation/Patreon/membership URL of your choice.
Would be amazing if the link could just launch the Apple Pay workflow somehow. Frictionless then.
If they use @stripe I believe it could do just that.
Very cool. That would be great to start seeing
I imagine if payments were taken directly in the app, apple would require 30% or deny the update unfortunately
And maybe some form of documentation for publishers on, because Twitter is a black hole? (You could expand it: what features of RSS/Atom and MP3/AAC/Etc Overcast supports and which it doesn’t)
i'd love to see this in @Breaker
That’s really cool!
If I wrap it in <blink> will it flash the $$$?
I would be super happy if @NPR would use this! @OvercastFM
If detected, do you then strip out the relevant link from the show notes or keep it untouched?
Won’t Apple torpedo this, wanting their 30% cut?
Hopefully not. Since no part of the payment is being processed by him. It’s akin to a peer-to-peer payment processing.
Oh man, this could have a depressing end
quick, hide the blueprints, eddy cue just walked into the room *whistles innocently*
Apple only provides the directory. They don’t host content unlike the App Store so there shouldn’t be an issue.
I’m referring to Overcast showing a payment button at all. They’ve removed other apps for similar things - any kind of donation button or request, or payment outside of the App Store, is subject to rejection.
This is fantastic. 👍
Very cool idea and very practical. We’ll add it next week!
Hacked it together! Added a field for podcasters to add a "support this show URL" to their show. We'll automatically append <a rel="payment"> to every episode's description.
Will Apple be OK with this?
just FYI, this is my podcast app of choice on iOS! @HrishiHirway @romanmars @99piorg @zigzagpod @dearestscooter please spread the word to any podcasters with @Patreon accounts!
Would it theoretically be possible to use this to offer a Safari View Controller with an Apple Pay button inside?
Nice! Hope we can see other apps support this to get it more universally supported to help Podcast creators! @pocketcasts @supertopsquid @downcastapp
Can we please get chrome cast support next
Also, how will you prevent podcasters who simply use this as spam and abuse the tag? Will you be doing some sort of filtering in the app that, e.g limiting the URL’s to a subset (as example… only, etc.).
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Why would they do that? People have to already be subscribed to those podcast, what else could they link to that would be bad? Its like tricking your own user to do what..?
Does Apple Pay work in the in-app browser?
This is great. Love you like a four-song encore!
You should localize it and display £/€/relevant symbols for other countries
Already do! I spent part of today going through world currency symbols to make sure they fit.
OK, so I'm a bit biased... but I think this is a great idea. Marco -- let us know if there's some way we can help. Would love to work with you to make this as awesome as possible for podcasters and their fans.
Absolutely. For one thing, I can auto-detect Patreon URLs that happen to be in the body if no other rel=payment is specified.
Hey Marco! Definitely high time to make this all work better. Your idea makes a ton of sense, and we have a couple others in mind as well. Let us know when you want to chat specifics. (I run BD at Patreon and @buster leads our Platform/API team.)
We'd also love to help make it easier for podcasters to share exclusive/extra/paywalled content to their listeners end-to-end.
We’re discussing this at Patreon and are 100% supportive of helping podcasters make a living while remaining independent and owning what they make. I run platform over here and would love to chat about lightweight ways to integrate with Overcast if it’s helpful.
This is gonna blow up. Next big thing.
You are the man.
okay, this should be added to all Incomparable shows that ask for membership now.
This is actually a really good idea, and I’m getting the feeling this is going to be transformative for podcasters. Good on you, Marco, for getting things rolling. I get so much daily entertainment from podcasts, that I will be happy to contribute to the podcasters this way.
Agreed. I love how seriously and thoughtfully Marco uses the power of his platform. I wish the people who control the dominant social media sites would follow his lead.
You’re wonderful! Great feature!
TweetBot kinda spoiled that.
Hey @NowPlayingPod Overcast is my absolute fav app and I listen to your shows on it - maybe look into this?
Maybe even show the donation of user if they already support on patreon instead of the donate button again 🤔
Or even for <a rel=‘pod-censored’> kid-friendly version… for a show with main feed is not beeped. And an unbeeped version for a show where main feed is beeped 🤔 <a rel=‘pod-uncensored’>
It can also be developed in a way within preferences of the podcast to download ‘censored or uncensored’… if the publisher/creator offers it
What’s the ideal way to put this in notes then? Mind posting an example for the html challenged?
And what about ze Germans with zeir €? 😄
i'm looking for a "social podcasting" platform where I can follow my friends etc... do you know of any?
I’m not a podcast maker, just a keen listener, but I wanted to say thanks Marco for your continued work to support the podcasting industry, helping to provide me with quality indie media. It’s appreciated.
How do you check against them being injected by a malicious third party?
Do you suspect this will run afoul of apples in app payment restrictions
Hey Marco! Is this allowed to do on the App Store? We wanted to do this at @acast a few years ago, but were told by Apple that all monetary transactions had to be done with IAP.
Love this! Curious how Google is doing this and whether it could be applied consistently to avoid doubling the work (cc @ZackRW)
Love this! Curious how Google is doing this and whether it could be applied consistently to avoid doubling the work (cc @ZackRW)
I think @ZackRW is the right contact to make this happen!
Oh sorry didn’t see you already CCed him, pretty sure I didn’t see it before 😣
Yeah, how does Google implement this? I’ve looked in their RSS feed and in the Google Play Music (podcast) portal and didn’t see any mention of it...
Thanks! This is a pilot with a few non-profits including @NPR and @radiotopia. Feedback has been positive, and it would be great to build on this proof of concept and make listener support available to all podcasters in the future.
Maybe goes without saying, but for a lot of podcasters, especially small and medium-sized operations, we think this can help enable more sustainable businesses, replacing or supplementing ad-support and allowing more people around the world to make a living through podcasting.
I agree it makes sense to discuss and try to minimize unnecessary duplication / complexity. It looks like @anchor and our pilot are working at the podcast level (simple, easy to show & manage contribution), whereas @marcoarment is episode level (maybe more flexible / trackable).
I'm sure there are others thinking about and building solutions here, too, so it would be great to learn more about those. Many parts to the full stack (payment, member mgmt, hosting, analytics, etc.), so I'm sure there are a lot of different valuable perspectives out there.
Yeah I'm building a member/payment platform, hence why I'm asking! Hate to have to implement this 100 different ways
How many 1-⭐️ reviews do you expect from people misunderstanding the feature? “I paid for the app, but it‘s still asking me for more!”
Awesome @marcoarment thanks!
Podcasters and CMS makers: Next version of Overcast looks for a link in every episode's show notes with <a rel="payment">. If present, Overcast adds a nice green "$" button on the Now Playing screen that opens up that donation/Patreon/membership URL of your choice.
will you guys be supporting this in some way?
The best part is, even if they don't, it'll still show up as a normal link in the episode description because the "rel" attribute just gives context to a normal link element.
So we're not sure if this is worth doing or not, but we definitely agree that if this problem is going to be solved well, it needs to be done in a way open to all podcast apps. We have some ideas on this front we're working towards. 2/2
How would supporting web payments go? Both from podcast hosting end as well as client end? 🤔🤔🤔🤔
Authors need better ways for people to pay for content, we agree there. This only solves one half of the problem though, the discovery that there is something to pay for. Once you tap that link there's still too many steps to go through to actually pay and get it hooked up. 1/2
This is super cool. Thanks Marco!
any chance in the future for Android users ? Currently I use Pocket Casts
Such a great idea! 👍
👏 good man. Elegant solution that is non-intrusive
Amazing idea, Marco. We’ll be supporting this link / payment attribute in Anchor RSS feeds as early as tomorrow so Anchor creators can start collecting listener supported payments from Overcast and others that implement.
this sounds like a nice easy way to encourage patreon signups - just add one little attribute to the link already in your show notes 😁
When is the next version coming out?
Could we get a screenshot of what that payment button will look like? Will it wrap if the text is too long? Or use ellipsis?
No text. Just "$".
Cool, thanks! 👍
We (@Flattr) is about to launch a new podcast payments solution based on adding a url. For simplicity for caster you can parse a bunch of payment domains. And check in the podcast description too so there is no need to add it in every show note?
I'm making a FOSS CMS in Swift, which I'll also use for hosted podcasts (kinda like libsyn), and this tag makes me go 🤤🤤🤤🤤 Anything I can do to help this tag come to life? A podcast consortium should be made, and I'll gladly join!
are you going to support '<atom:link rel="payment" href="..." />' in rss feeds as well?
Blubrry PowerPress feed has had a tag for this for years be great if you could support it as well. for details! FYI podcaster control content aka PayPal link etc we take no $$ cut
Love this! I had a similar idea a while back for a "magic button" - it could link to donate pages, merch pages, or whatever - this feature is ripe for hacking so might as well let it point to anything from the get-go
Awesome! Please make sure to support the `bitcoin:` protocol so that we don't have to kick our listeners out to a third party platform.
this is amazing see you, @jackconte, @mignano and others collaborate 💪🏼 I have no idea how any of this works but as a new podcaster THANK YOU 🙌🏼
You’re amazing @marcoarment. @anchor will now support it too!
has just released this!
Well not exactly what you’re after but close with payments support from listeners!
Great idea! I hope @getpinecast will support this as well and tie it to their "tip jar" link. Also, you guys should speak with @adamcurry (the creator of podcasting) about a new censorship-free podcast directory. I assume you guys use @Apple's currently?
We plan to update our Flair link to support this soon. We also currently add RadioPublic and RawVoice's RSS elements to feeds where a tip jar is available 💸
I knew you guys would be on top of this!
this is an awesome idea, love to some sort of “that was an awesome episode, here’s a $1 / quick support” button in overcast
rel=“payment” exists but I doubt anyone actually uses it
It was used by Flattr users at some point and it's supported by some applications
Indeed, `rel="payment"` is defined for this very purpose. For future reference, IANA is the arbiter of link relations and they’re all documented here:…
rel is a good idea, perhaps data attributes for additional context? Donate / subscription / store, etc?
<a rel=“giveusyourfuckingmoney”/>
Hasn’t been touched in a long time -…
Using rel=payment would be great! There's some research and documentation on that here
(Possibly sensitive)
This made me wonder if ATP accepted any donations. 1) Guess not? 2) See image...
This is probably not setup for https. The cert served is a wildcard cert for * hence the warning.
Didn’t Instacast had a Flattr integration?
Right. And it hat problems with Apple because of that (app got rejected afair). I don’t recall exactly but they did not like the payment part. Hence instacast moved the flattr part to its backend, our of the app.
I loved the @Flattr model. I’d be happy to donate $x/month and have it divided up over the podcasts i listen to. And @OvercastFM knows the podcasts...
There are several microdata vocabularies that could be employed for this, like Action > TradeAction > DonateAction & Enumeration > PaymentMethod. Full list:
It’d be super interesting to add Apple Pay option within the app.
That sounds like hell to implement, but should prove interesting 🤔🤔
How would that work? Wouldn’t Overcast work as a middle man in that scenario. Marco spoke with several podcasters who all spoke out against Podcasting apps as middle men to payments.
See, I’d wonder if you could embed an Apple Pay link within the feed of individual podcasts within the show notes and give the podcaster control, just like how they could embed an Apple Pay link on their own web page. (There’s probably an App Store restriction prohibiting this.)
I guess the $ icon, can be a hyperlink to a payment portal, and then the podcaster themselves can choose their own implementation, as long as they include the <a rel="payment"> tag, and listeners can highly encourage Apple Pay, Android Pay and Web Payment API :D
Caveat: microdata is definitely too complex to do by hand though
A meta tag would probably be the standard way of doing this? Similar to those used for Twitter's article unfurler.
Would love to do this with Anchor Listener Support. We can leverage any standard that already exists in our RSS feeds or create a new one as a community that anyone can use for their own donate links.
We recently released to surface open source projects that an app or org is using and that need funding. Would love to have a standard way for them as well to expose where they accept donations. Maybe <meta name=“donation” value=“” />
Some HTML sanitizers will strip meta tags I think
I would go with rel=payment. Are you talking about a publisher putting it/them in the item/description content, the feed’s description, or someplace new in the rss?
If you wanted to use a field in the rss you could use… - with link having the rel attribute. But i guess it would be unclear what the text input field would contain.
Flattr has been using rel="payment" for their links from the beginning. It always lacked semantics and I am not sure there is enough spec available to cover alle possible and necessary payment paths (like SEPA).
I would gladly pay Apple a 30 percent fee for the privilege of merely sending a one time donation via in app purchase, no matter what your arguments against this might be. Convenience, less friction.
I would rather suggest a non-html extension for RSS covering donations which could in turn show up in podcast clients. We have been thinking about this at @podlove_org for a while but so far haven't seen support from client devs.
Link relations aren’t bound to HTML. IANA has the list of registered link relations and they can be and are used in any format or protocol, such as HTML, JSON and the Link HTTP header.…
Not sure this is the right path but another approach could be a top level or episode level XML tag on the feed URL.
Something like <podlove:donation> with proper attributes to serve PayPal, SEPA and other payment channels would be easy to implement and could be evolved independent from HTML.
We’re going to do it! Likely shipping tomorrow.
With `rel="payment"` of some sort then, I hope?
That’d be the most awesome thing ever 💪.
Seems like putting it into the RSS using an atom:link rather than in an HTML description would also make sense, what would upside of keeping in description be? Concerns about Apple App Store guidelines re: links to payment options in apps?
P.S. we have been quietly working on this for non-Apple platforms for a bit and would love to see an industry standard form.
Link relations aren’t HTML-only.
Link relations aren’t bound to HTML. IANA has the list of registered link relations and they can be and are used in any format or protocol, such as HTML, JSON and the Link HTTP header.…
Yes, and there's an established way to add channel-level link tags to RSS feeds using the atom namespace. I see some of the appeal of extracting semi-structured data from an existing field but there are too many drawbacks for me to think it's worth it.
I agree a Link HTTP header, atom:link or HTML <link/> would be preferable to <a>, but they all would mean the same. Overcast should support all link mechanisms, imho.
Maybe a paypal button?
What does Apple Pay HTML syntax look like in HMTL? Or is it some silly .js thing with an ID hook?
I’ve had this thought for adding to the RSS spec. Would be great to see implemented widely.
A standard A element in the episode description with rel=payment would have the added benefit of falling back to a normal link on non-supported platforms.
Also, surface limited-time merchandise. So sad when I am behind on a podcast and I get to the first episode when shirts are announced one day after the sale actually ended.
I would happily opt-in to a push notification for when shirts/stickers go on sale. Could limit to 2x/yr/feed in player.
It looks like the proposed standard is rel=“payment”…
This is going to be such a big cross-platform need over the next few years. It would be so awesome to have a standard like this as part of an open schema. I could imagine seeing links like this in Google knowledge graph cards, etc. as well.
this is literally the business model of a startup I'm quitting my job to found!
I worked on rel="tag" back in the day and I think this is a great idea. My vote is for rel="support" and not an extension to the RSS as others suggested. Because I can have links to Patreon, PayPal, etc in my notes.
We’d support something like this @FeedPress. Would love to talk to you more about this.
Maybe something for @podlove_org to spec out/standardise?
What about making it easier to leave iTunes reviews? It’s another thing that is constantly stated during episodes as being important.
Why not in the RSS Feed?