Apple announces new podcast subscription service

Among its barrage of other announcements today, Apple has revealed its plans for a new podcast subscription service. The name of it is—you guessed it—Apple Podcasts Subscriptions, and the company says it will be a ‘global marketplace for listeners to discover premium subscriptions offered by their favorite creators.’

Starting in May, listeners in more than 170 countries and regions can sign up for premium subscriptions that include a variety of benefits curated by creators scubas as ad-free listening, access to additional content, and early or exclusive access to new series. Here are some words from Apple SVP Eddy Cue:

“Fifteen years ago, Apple took podcasts mainstream, offering creators a premier, open platform to inform, entertain, and inspire hundreds of millions of listeners around the world,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “Today, Apple Podcasts is the best place for listeners to discover and enjoy millions of great shows, and we are proud to lead the next chapter of podcasting with Apple Podcasts Subscriptions. We’re excited to introduce this powerful new platform to creators around the world, and we can’t wait to hear what they make with it.”

Of course Apple isn’t first to the premium podcast space. Companies like Patreon, Supporting Cast, and several others have been putting podcasts behind paywalls for years. But this is a major move by one of the (if not the) biggest players in the space, and it’ll be interesting to see how both creators and listeners respond.

We haven’t seen any indication of what monthly pricing tiers will look like to customers, but Apple will be charging $20 per year for the Apple Podcasters Program backend. Additionally, it sounds like the company will be taking its customary 30% surcharge from creator profits, moving to 15% after the second year.

Again, apple Podcasts Subscriptions launch next month. Also it wouldn’t be a podcast post without a shameless plug of our podcast, Downtime, which we release every Monday.