Apple announced many things at its Spring Loaded event, one of which was its new podcast subscription service.
We’ve had streaming subscriptions, meal subscriptions, even toilet paper subscriptions. So what’s so great about Apple’s podcast subscription service?
What is Apple’s new podcast subscription service?
The new premium subscription service will apparently give listeners a new marketplace for podcasts offered by their favourite creators alongside millions of other free shows with Apple Podcasts.
In terms of features, subscribers will get ad-free listening, access to additional content and early or exclusive access to new series.
Content will come from notable brands including Tenderfoot TV, Pushkin Industries, Radiotopia from PRX, QCODE, NPR, The Athletic, Sony Music Entertainment and more.
The Apple podcasts app will also be launching a channels feature that will group shows curated by creators with unique titles and artwork. There will be paid exclusive channels that provide additional benefits for subscribers.
What does it mean for podcast creators?
Apple is launching a new Podcasts for Creators website which will help creators learn more about podcasting, explore guides and stay on top of the latest news.
From today, creators can use the Apple Podcasts Connect dashboard to enrol in the Apple Podcasters Program which will provide all the tools needed to create and distribute premium subscription podcasts.
This service will provide a new way for podcasters to monetise their content so it’s only logical that Apple will take a cut of the profits too. The Verge reports this will be 30% of revenue for the first year and 15% for the following years.
When will it be available?
Apple says its new subscription service will be available starting in May in more than 170 countries – including Australia.
How much will it cost?
Monthly pricing will be determined by the creators of each podcast and annual billing can be offered.
This means instead of subscribing for one flat monthly or annual fee that gains you access to all paid podcasts, you can pick and choose the shows you want to subscribe to.
Apple podcast subscribers will also be able to share their subscriptions with six others via Family Sharing.
For creators to become part of Apple’s Podcasters Program and be eligible for paid subscriptions, it will cost $27.99 a year.
Is it worth it?
So, is this new service worth a spot in your growing monthly streaming subscriptions?
Really, it all comes down to the content. The choice Apple is giving by not charging a flat fee is for listeners to subscribe to as little or as many shows as they want. This is great if you only have a few podcasts you’re really into, but you could clock up a big bill fast if you’re a fan of lots of paid podcasts.
On the other hand, this is also a way to financially support your favourite podcast creators, so in that sense, you might feel better about where you’re putting your money.
Apple’s rival Spotify is yet to add a paid platform to its podcast integration, but we can only assume it’s coming soon. Get ready for the podcast wars.