A vanity search for my podcast happened to turn up a page on the Podbean website where someone had shared a private Patreon feed. I was able to “take control” of the feed and request Podbean remove it from their system, but I had to go through their help system, I couldn’t remove it myself.
A search of their system found 56 feeds containing “Patreon” and 25 containing the word “patron”, most of which are private Patreon podcast feeds. Some of the feeds there have dozens of followers–and that’s just the people accessing the content through Podbean.
When I emailed Podbean about this, here was their response:
Hi Nobilis Reed,
Thanks for contacting us. Your podcast was removed from our directory. Please check again.
When we investigated how your paid premium content could be available in Podbean, I found that your podcast feed (https://–URL REDACTED–) and mp3 files are available for public access.
In Podbean app, any user can add a podcast into the app by “Adding the Feed URL”. Probably, someone knows your podcast feed then added it to Podbean.
We’d suggest you make your mp3 files protected, otherwise, you could run into a similar problem where users can get your podcast on various Podcast Apps, such as Overcast, Downcast etc.
Feel free to contact us for any other inquiries.
The team is correct, that anyone can share the private RSS feed with others and allow them to download the podcast mp3 files. IMHO this is facilitating a much wider dissemination of the feed than that.
I have contacted Patreon support to see if there is any way to see who might have shared this feed (i.e. is the auth token unique to a particular patron).