Spotify Announces Paid Podcasts to Take on Apple Podcast Subscription Service

BY Sanuj Bhatia

Published 27 Apr 2021

Just a day after Spotify announced a price hike in Europe and the UK, the company has introduced its own podcast subscription. Spotify aims to go head to head with Apple with the launch of the new podcast subscription service.

Last week, it was reported that Spotify’s launch of podcast subscriptions was ‘imminent,’ and the news has been confirmed today by the company. Apple also introduced its own podcast subscription service at its ‘Spring Loaded’ event earlier this month.

Spotify’s new subscription would entitle you to exclusive podcast shows from twelve providers, initially, including Tiny Leaps, Big Changes, and Mindful in Minutes. NPR will also launch ad-free versions of its popular shows. These paid shows on Spotify would be demarcated by a lock icon, where the play button usually shows up.

After the user clicks on the lock icon, it will take the user to the dedicated Anchor webpage where the creator can show things like show notes, episode descriptions, or bio. Notably, Spotify will not have a big subscribe button at the top of every podcast. If a user wants to subscribe to a podcast, he/she will have to do it via the web.

Spotify is doing this to get away with Apple’s in-app purchase cut. But, this will make subscribing to a paid podcast a bit troublesome task.

For Podcast creators, a waitlist will open soon where they can sign up for their podcast to be shown as locked. Podcasters won’t have to pay Spotify anything for the initial two years. It is only after 2023 when the company would start charging a 5 percent cut of the total subscription revenue. On the other hand, Apple plans to charge 15 percent to 30 percent of the revenue from podcasters on its service.

Spotify also says it has plans to “eventually launch a way for podcasters who already run a subscription business outside Spotify to bring it into the app.”

[Via Spotify]