Apple Podcasts has launched paid subscriptions and channels

The Apple Podcasts service has now debuted paid subscriptions that enable listeners to support their favorite creators with monthly subscriptions, and it supports free trials as well.


  • Apple Podcasts subscriptions and paid channels have launched.
  • A subscription may include ad-free listening, extra content, etc.
  • Subscriptions let fans support their favorite creators.
  • Free trials may be available for some paywalled shows.

An image showing three iPhone 12 units with Apple Podcasts subscriptions highlighted on each

Apple Podcasts adds subscriptions and paid channels

Following a brief delay and the original announcement in April 2021, the Cupertino technology giant officially launched support for podcast subscriptions in the Apple Podcasts app on iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS and the web on June 15, 2021. At launch, Apple Podcasts offered paywalled shows from major podcast networks such as Wondery and Luminary.

This follows similar moves from Spotify and other platforms.

If a podcast creator has decided to put their show behind a paywall, the user will see a new option to subscribe right on the show page in the Apple Podcasts apps.

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How Apple Podcasts subscriptions work.

Aside from subscriptions, users can now browse different shows grouped into channels (these things have custom branding and artwork). When you subscribe to a channel, you automatically gain all the shows and subscriptions carried in that particular channel.

Creators get to pick the subscription price themselves. On top of that, creators are free to decide whether they’d like to offer a free trial option, which can be up to seven days.

Apple wrote this:

 As listeners subscribe to channels, the Listen Now tab expands with new rows that provide easy access to all of the content included in the channel and with their subscription. Listeners who subscribe to two or more channels will see a My Channels row in the Listen Now tab, where they can browse and follow all of the shows offered.

Here’s what happens when you subscribe to a paid show.

When listeners purchase a subscription to a show, they automatically follow the show and the page is updated with a Subscriber Edition label so they know they have access to the premium experience. Listeners can discover channels for their favorite podcasts from each show page and through Search, explore recommendations from the Listen Now and Browse tabs and share channels using Messages, Mail and other apps.

On the downside, any subscription perks like extra content will be unavailable in third-party podcast clients. Like with other digital sales on Apple’s platforms, Apple keeps to itself thirty percent of the proceeds from subscriptions sold through the Apple Podcasts platform.

Further information is available in a press release on the Apple Newsroom website.

Image Credit: Apple