Spotify counters Apple with new podcast subscriptions feature, but without in-app purchase support

Last week, Apple announced a new Apple Podcasts Subscriptions platform that will launch next month, likely as part of iOS 14.6. To counter Apple’s announcement, Spotify announced today that it too will allow podcasters to offer subscriptions to their shows on its platform.

As reported by The Verge, Spotify “will initially allow select partners who host their shows on Anchor to charge for content. Twelve independent shows, including Tiny Leaps, Big Changes and Mindful in Minutes, will offer bonus subscriber-only content, and NPR will launch ad-free versions of popular shows.”

According to the streaming service, podcasters won’t have to pay Spotify anything for the first two years, but starting in 2023, the service will begin taking a 5% cut of total subscription revenue. Apple, on the other hand, will take 30% in the first year and a 15% cut after the second year. Podcasters will also have to pay Apple a $19.99 fee annually to use the subscription function.

Spotify is giving podcasters three monthly pricing options to choose from: $2.99, $4.99, and $7.99.

“Paid content on Spotify will be demarcated by a lock icon where a play button typically shows up. To unlock the show, potential subscribers will have to navigate to the program’s dedicated Anchor landing webpage. Podcasters can choose to point them to that link wherever they want — such as their show notes, episode descriptions, or bio. Basically, they want to put the link anywhere and everywhere to ensure people can find it.”

The Verge also notices that Spotify won’t have a “big subscribe button at the top of every podcast page.” In fact, the service won’t show the ability to subscribe to podcasts within its app, which means Spotify won’t have to pay Apple for any subscription sold under its App Store terms.

To subscribe to a podcast, users will have to use the Spotify web version, which could ultimately reduce the conversion rate.

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.”

On Monday, the streaming service also released its partnership with Facebook, so people can listen to music and podcasts within the app.

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Avatar for José Adorno José Adorno

Brazilian tech Journalist. Author at 9to5Mac. Previously at Rede Globo, the main TV broadcaster in Latin America.

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