Spotify’s podcast subscriptions tipped to launch next week to take on Apple
It’s a busy time in podcasting at the moment: Apple just unveiled new subscription options for podcast creators – enabling listeners to pay a regular fee for bonus content and early access – and it sounds as though Spotify is about to launch something very similar, as previously rumored.
That’s per The Wall Street Journal, with sources saying that plans and prices are going to be announced in the next few days – so don’t say we didn’t warn you. As with the Apple model, you’ll be able to get subscriptions for your favorite podcasts to get at whatever extra goodies the podcast creators want to offer.
However, there’s apparently one crucial difference: Spotify won’t be taking any cut of the income that podcasters make, while Apple is slicing off 15-30% of subscriptions on its platform (a similar approach to the one Apple takes with the App Store).
Given Spotify’s waiving of fees, its huge userbase (345 million users and counting) and of course it’s availability on Android – something Apple Podcasts doesn’t offer – its podcast subscription options are likely to find their way to more people.
Payments and features
There’s nothing to suggest podcast makers won’t be able to sign up for both the Apple and Spotify subscription services, but until Spotify makes all of this official, a lot of the details are still unclear. Podcast subscriptions on Apple’s platforms will launch in May.
None of this means that your favorite podcasts are going to disappear behind a paywall. However, a lot of podcasts are likely to start offering bonus episodes and early access to downloads for paying members – something that creators already do through platforms such as Patreon.
In a sense, this is nothing new, with a lot of podcasts already offering paid-for extras for a select few. However, it’s a sign of Apple and Spotify wanting to take more control over a previously open and even ecosystem (while making more money at the same time).
As for how much you’re going to have to pay, again that will be up to the podcast makers themselves – but it’s unlikely that listeners are going to want to stump up for another big subscription on top of their ones for cloud storage, video streaming, music and so on.
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April 24, 2021 at 04:05AM