Spotify Launches Paid Podcasts Accessible Through Anchor
Spotify is ramping up its focus on podcasts, with the announcement of a new paid podcast subscription service, launching in the United States on April 27—with other international markets arriving in the near future.
The feature allows selected partners who host their shows on Spotify’s Anchor platform to charge listeners for their content.
A Rival to Apple Podcasts Subscriptions
The previously rumored feature is reminiscent of Apple’s recently announced Apple Podcasts Subscriptions, which lets creators charge a subscription fee for listening. However, unlike Apple, which charges 30% in commission for the first year, and 15% for subsequent years, Spotify will charge creators nothing for the first two years.
In a post announcing the news , Spotify writes:
This feature will be available to creators through Anchor, allowing podcasters to mark episodes as subscriber-only and publish them to Spotify and other podcast-listening platforms. For the next two years, this program will come at no cost to the creator, meaning that participating creators receive 100% of their subscriber revenues (excluding payment transaction fees). Starting in 2023, we plan to introduce a competitive 5% fee for access to this tool.
Initially, there will be 12 independent podcasters offering premium podcasts on the service. According to Spotify, these creators will publish subscriber-only bonus content as part of their existing podcast feeds. Podcasts include the likes of Mindful in Minutes, Tiny Leaps, and others.
Spotify is also teaming up with NPR to publish a selection of shows—including How I Built This with Guy Raz, Short Wave, It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders, Code Switch, and Planet Money—for paid subscribers. Spotify will additionally open up a waitlist for podcasters who want to offer premium content as part of the wider rollout later this year.
Allowing Creators to Monetize Their Work
Interestingly, none of Spotify’s big podcasts acquisitions—such as its $100 million Joe Rogan podcast—are among the initial titles with content going behind a paywall. Whether that changes in the future remains to be seen. For now, though, it seems the company is keen to trial this new approach to podcasts with independent creators.
Spotify says that it currently enjoys 345 million monthly listeners. This opens a whole lot of potential for, as the streaming giant notes, "creators to monetize their work."
For the most part, premium podcasts have yet to take off in a big way, largely due to the massive amount of free content that’s available for listening. If anyone can pull it off, however, it’s going to be a company with the reach and ambitions of Spotify. Watch this space.
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April 27, 2021 at 02:27PM