There is a monumental change in the business of Apple Podcasts: the company is launching subscriptions within the Apple Podcasts app. At today’s spring event, the company announced that people can subscribe to content from the app for additional benefits, such as ad-free and bonus content, as well as early access. It will be launched next month in 170 regions and countries.
Initial partners include Pushkin Industries, QCODE and NPR. It appears that content creators have to pay Apple $ 19.99 per year to offer subscriptions.
Apple has mainly focused on creating RSS-based companion shows for TV Plus and Books content so far. However, this step suggests that the company sees an option for subscriptions.
The app will also be redesigned with channels to help people find new content from their favorite creators.
Apple has been the de facto platform on which people listen to podcasts for years, partly due to the pre-installation on iPhones. That is, until Spotify got serious in 2019. Since then, the company has conquered Apple’s market share, backed by flashy exclusive deals, acquisitions and its own podcast creation funnel. The strategy seems to be working. eMarketer reported last month that this year 28.2 million people will be listening to podcasts in the US on Spotify, compared to 28 million from Apple Podcasts. A separate report from Voxnest last year also found that Spotify was gaining ground in the US, particularly New Jersey and California, where the player is said to have overtaken Apple.
Developing … we’re adding more to this post, but you can follow us Apple ‘Spring Loaded’ live blog to get the news even faster.