Finally, Apple starts in-app subscriptions for Podcast

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Image: Apple – Next week, Apple will launch podcast subscriptions to podcasters obtained by the Verge according to an Apple e-mail. From June 15, you will receive a timely and ad-free subscription to select displays and networks.

At Apple’s Spring Loaded event in April, the Podcast Subscription service was announced and plans were launched in May. The launch was delayed, so the analysis portal where podcasters submit sampling for endorsement was discovered after problems with Apple Podcasts Connect. Apple also pointed out that it would address some other back end issues, including “further improvements” to its library interface.

The new service will allow hosts and networks to set prices, benefits and bonus content for early and ad-free feeds. Naturally, Apple will get some money from this, with a 30% share of first year subscription fees and 15% in future years. The fee that has been reduced after a few years provides Apple with an incentive to keep podcasters in the ecosystem.

Subscriptions have become a good way for podcasters to support. Complete disclosure: I’m a podcaster, and I host 2 shows on two ad-free-level podcast networks. Podcast affiliations and bonus content with podcast networks like Earwolf have been provided by services like Stitcher, and Patreon is now seemingly at the height of the fan-only feeds market.

Spotify also announced that it will adopt paid podcast subscriptions and it already pushes an indie list with upcoming NPR titles. A waitlist for podcasters is available, and Spotify will not have to pay transaction fees for two years. Spotify’s solution doesn’t allow individuals to subscribe to the app. (Apple also requires a $20 annual fee.) Instead, the micro-podcasting service it purchased in 2018 requires navigating to an external webpage at Anchor.

The fight is about to monetize and make it easy for people to click and pay. The Apple In App Podcast Service is not the first one to be released on the market, but it helps normalize the idea to pay podcasters. It is interesting to see whether more independent designers flock to Spotify, who has pushed podcasts with his algorithm-driven playlists more earnestly. Or if the legacy of Apple as the Podcast supplier—it helped to coin the term, didn’t that? —will get people to stick with it on account of the promise of better discovery.