My premium lapsed very recently, but prior to that I had used to switch on the site to turn podcasts into premium versions. This meant no ads, playable on the site, usable in the API. I opened a direct link to an episode of the Beastcast (episode 184) from someone and the "YOU NEED PREMIUM TO VIEW THIS" showed up over it, but I could click the episode image to have it play the episode in the background without any controls. Clicking it again paused it.
After hitting the switch to view the free version, controls return and I get ads.
I can still switch it back to premium and it will let me play the episode ad-less again without any controls.
Thought I'd let you know.