Privacy Policy for Listeners

Captivate.fm (“captivate”) is a website owned by Captivate Audio Ltd, a registered company in England and Wales with a registered address of 30 Leicester Square, London, WC2H 7LA and company number 11840222.  For the purpose of UK Data Protection laws we are the data controller.

Captivate cares about privacy – not just for the people who use us to publish their podcasts, but for all their listeners, too. We’ve published our full, legal, Privacy Policy, and clearly link to it from every page. Our Privacy Policy is for everyone who uses Captivate, and it’s our legal document.

Just as we don’t hide our main privacy policy, we also proudly publish this additional information for listeners: and we believe every podcast hosting platform should have a clear Privacy Policy for Listeners like this one.

If you listen through a podcast app to podcasts hosted on Captivate, for example through Apple Podcasts or Pocket Casts, here is what happens:

Most apps or devices download our audio directly from our servers. Just like most other podcast hosting platforms, when you listen via a podcast app to a podcast hosted with us, we get to know five things about you:

  1. Your device’s user-agent (the name of the app you’re using, and often the type of device you’re connecting with).
  2. Sometimes we learn a referral address, showing us the website or path you took to listen to the podcast.
  3. Your IP address. This is a 12-digit number, from which it is possible to work out your approximate location, often down to your suburb, and the name of your ISP or mobile provider. 
  4. The date and time of the download.
  5. What file you downloaded, and whether you downloaded all of it or just a little bit.

We use this data for our own analysis, and to help our podcasters understand the consumption of their podcasts. We do not get any personally-identifiable information from your download: we don’t know who you are. We can’t work out your name or address just from an IP address. We do not combine any information from our download servers with any access data from our website or any other source – with two exceptions: like every other podcast hosting platform, a) we use a geo-database to turn your IP address into a rough location (down to a city level); and b) we compare your IP address with a blocklist to work out if you are an automated download from a server that we should ignore.

Even though this data is not personally-identifiable:

  • we don’t share it with our podcasters. Instead, we give them aggregated analytics data showing total numbers of downloads, geo-location like state or country, and device categories. They can’t see your IP address or any personal detail about you; and
  • we do not share our raw download data with anyone. While we need the raw data for analysis, fraud detection and other things, we automatically delete the raw data as soon as we can, and always within 26 months of download.

Our podcasters are free to say what they want in their podcasts; they’re free to link to whatever website they want to in their episode notes; and in the same way, they may insert a so-called “prefix” or “prepend” service into their RSS feed, which may allow them access to further functionality. It’s up to our podcasters if they use them: we don’t control these services. We actively work with the industry to ensure best practice. We encourage all our podcasters to use “Full Transparency Mode”, where we automatically add each service they use into podcast episode notes, and directly link to their privacy policies.

Whatever app you listen on, your playback data may also be collected by that app, and you should check the privacy policy of the podcast app that you use.

We provide a tipping functionality via Stripe Connect, which allows podcasters to receive money (“Tips”) directly from listeners and subscribers. 

To send Tips to your favourite podcasters you will need to create an account with Stripe. Podcasters will have access to a dashboard on which your name and any message will be visible, along with the amount of your Tip, unless you have opted to Tip anonymously. 

To find out more about how Stripe processes personal data, see Stripe’s privacy policy.

If you have any questions on this, we’d love to help. We’re at support@captivate.fm.