UPDATED 23:07 EDT / APRIL 27 2021


Spotify’s podcast subscription service may pose serious challenge to Apple Podcasts

Spotify AB today announced it’s launching a paid podcast subscription service, something that may look more enticing to anyone thinking about using Apple Inc.’s similar product.

In a blog post today, Spotify said the product will be available first to select podcasts in the U.S., but the plan is to roll it out globally in the coming months. Through its podcast creation platform, Anchor, creators will be able to publish subscriber-only content.

Some of the early select podcasts will include NPR, which will release shows for a price with no ads. Other independent podcasts such as “How I Built This with Guy Raz” and “It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders” will publish special content for subscribers only. More creators will join the paid service soon, said Spotify.

The news comes on the back of Apple announcing its own podcast subscription service, Apple Podcasts, which at first sight might not look as though it offers a deal quite as tempting as Spotify’s. The latter won’t charge a penny to creators for the first two years, other than transaction costs via its payment partner, Stripe Inc.

After the two years is up, Spotify will then start charging creators 5% of what they make from subscription revenue, while Apple’s service will take 30% of revenue for the first year and 15% after that. As for the subscriptions themselves, Spotify said there will be three options for pricing: $2.99, $4.99 and $7.99, per month. Creators then have the option to select which episodes they want to make available for the paid subscribers only.

There will also be a Q&A service available for what Spotify called creators’ “most loyal supporters,” which means subscribers will be able to interact with the creators. The company said it also expect to add features to enable creators to contact their subscriber base directly and offer perks such as merchandise and promo codes.

Photo: mormondancer/Flickr

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