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Spotify podcast subscription is here, and it already has an upper hand over Apple

By Nadeem Sarwar April 27, 2021, 12:36 pm
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Apple introduced podcast subscriptions earlier this month. Now, Spotify is also throwing its hat in the ring, following a report last week that predicted the same. The music streaming giant has today announced paid subscriptions for podcasts, but is taking a different route than what Apple has put into place when it comes to revenue sharing.

The paid subscription for podcasts starts rolling out for creators in the US starting today, with plans of expansion into more markets in the coming months. But unlike Apple Podcasts that offer in-app subscriptions, Spotify will offload the subscription process to Anchor. What this means is Spotify will also be able to avoid the 30% fee Apple charges for in-app payments.

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Paid content in the Spotify app will be identifiable with a lock icon on play button

As for the paid podcast content, it will be discoverable in the Spotify app just like regular content, but it will stand out from the free content with a lock icon on the play button. For now, there are 12 partners who will be rolling out paywalled podcasts, but Spotify has already started accepting submissions from the waitlist to add more creators who can charge users for their content.

Another key difference between Spotify and Apple’s approach to podcast subscription is how revenue is shared. Apple will charge creators a fixed annual fee and will also take up to a 30% cut of the revenue. Spotify, on the other hand, won’t charge any fee, and will not take any cut of the subscription – not until 2023 – which is when the streaming service will start taking home a 5% share.

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So, how much will podcast subscriptions on Spotify cost? Well, creators have the freedom to choose between three pricing tiers – $2.99/month, $4.99/month, and $7.99/month. They can also choose which episode remains free, and which one is paywalled. Aside from Spotify, users will be able to enjoy paid podcasts from their RSS feed as well. All subscription management can be done from Anchor, and the changes made there will instantly reflect in the Spotify app.


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