Well, Apple had a week to enjoy most of the spotlight for its new Apple Podcasts Subscriptions service. After Apple announced plans to launch a service in May where users can pay for ad-free content and bonus episodes, Spotify announced plans to bring its own paid podcast subscription service to users.
In an even louder shot across Apple’s bow, Spotify has already taken its podcast subscription service live, at least in the U.S.
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Spotify’s podcast service isn’t a surprise if you’ve been paying attention. The company said in February it was going to test out paid subscriptions. One can only conclude that Apple’s announcement pushed Spotify to conclude the time to test was over.
Spotify is launching its new service with 12 podcasters, though it promises to add more down the road, with other podcasters encouraged to apply to a waiting list. Podcast prices will range from $2.99 to $7.99 with the podcasters themselves setting the fee.
One big difference between the podcast services launched by Spotify and Apple — Spotify’s not planning on taking any fees from subscription revenue for the first two years of the service. After two years have passed, it will start taking 5% from any revenue generated through subscriptions. In contrast, Apple plans to take a 30% cut from subscriptions initially, with the fee dropping down to 15% in the second year.
Paid podcasts on Spotify can be found on the platform through searches just like free episodes. The differences is paid content will be locked if you don’t have a subscription. Spotify plans to administer its paid podcast program through the podcast production platform Anchor, which it bought in 2019. Subscribers support paid shows via the Anchor profile page and outside of Spotify.
Podcasters will be able to choose which episodes they'd like to upload for subscribers on Spotify only before publishing. There will also be support for those who use other publishing platforms to use their login information to stream shows exclusively for Spotify subscribers. Spotify plans to roll out additional details for interested parties soon.
It will be interesting to contrast those details with Apple Podcast Subscriptions, which is launching next month at undisclosed prices. Apple promises its service will deliver ad-free episodes, exclusive content, and early or exclusive access to new series.
Apple Podcast Subscriptions will launch in 170 countries and regions, Apple says. That’s a stark contrast to Spotify, which is limiting its subscription podcasts to the U.S. for now.