Spotify launches podcast subscription service

The podcasts subscription battle has begun

Apple and Spotify have both launched similar podcast subscription models this week in an effort to become the de facto home of podcasts on the internet.

Sadly, it seems like Spotify jumped the gun a little bit with its offering to keep up with Apple. Still, it’s nice to know that the company is going to have similar features.

The streaming giant is going to allow podcasters to lock certain features like ad-free listening and bonus content behind a subscription. This is the same as Apple’s new podcasting subscription method.

Spotify’s podcast subscriptions are going live in the U.S. first and only allow 12 select creators that host their shows via Anchor to take advantage of it. More markets are going to get the feature in the coming months. The company has started a waitlist so more creators can join. That said, no Spotify-owned shows will go behind a paywall, at least for now.

I’d also expect this to launch in more markets soon since Spotify seems to be building it out aggressively to keep up with Apple.

To win over more podcasters, Spotify is making it free to sign up and use these features for the first two years, but users need to cover the transaction fees whenever someone pays them. Plus, in 2023, Spotify will start taking a five percent cut. This is still less than Apple, which is charging creators in Canada $25 a year to use the payment platform and takes a 15-30 percent cut of revenue.

On Spotify, podcasters will be able to lock their extra features behind $3, $5 and $8 USD pricing tiers (roughly $3,75, $6.20, $9.90 CAD).

The one oddity is that you won’t be able to subscribe to podcast content directly within Spotify since the company needs to move its payments to the web to make sure that Apple and Google don’t take a cut of the revenue.

Overall, it seems like hosting and finding paid content on Spotify isn’t going to be super straightforward, which I’m worried might harm the fledgling future in the long run.

Source: Spotify


  • Brad Bennett

    I’ve been a lover of the internet since I got my first dial-up connection at seven-years-old. Since then, I’ve been captivated by weird gadgets, weird technology and the beautiful culture that surrounds them.