3 new Apple Podcasts features: Delegated delivery, storage management and more

Apple Podcasts is getting some handy controls when downloading new episodes, as well as annual memberships and other new features and tweaks.

  • Apple’s Podcasts app has picked up new storage management tools for cleaning up unwanted content and keeping your storage consumption in check.
  • Delegated delivery, another new Apple Podcasts feature, lets creators distribute their shows through participating hosting providers rather than through Apple.
  • And lastly, listeners will now see how much money they may save by signing for an annual subscription to a show instead of a monthly subscription.

3 new features coming to Apple Podcasts

Apple has introduced several improvements to its Podcasts app for the iPhone, iPad and Mac, including new controls when downloading episodes, tweaks to annual subscriptions and support for delegated delivery through participating hosting providers. Aside from those three big improvements, the Podcasts app has a few quality-of-life improvements such as filtering episodes by status and browsing shows by season, as detailed by TechCrunch.

Storage management tools

Two device screenshots showcasing new storage management tools on Apple Podcasts for iPhone
Image credit: Apple

The Podcasts app on your iPhone, iPad and Mac now includes a new setting to limit episodes stored on the device and automatically delete older ones.

With the new clean-up tools in Settings → Podcasts, you can now set a limit on how many episodes downloaded automatically are kept on the device. Automatic downloads are supported over cellular and Wi-Fi connections, with new options available to keep only x latest episodes per any show (1, 2, 3, 5, or 10). Alternatively, you can ask Podcasts to keep all new content downloaded in the last 24 hours, 7 days, 14 or 30 days (or keep all new episodes). This setting won’t touch any episodes you’ve saved or downloaded manually to the device.

Turning off automatic downloads completely will prompt the app to stream episodes, meaning you won’t be able to listen to your favorite shows offline. The new storage management tools are provided on a per-show basis. For instance, you may want to configure a certain show to only keep the latest episode, with all the others set to stream only. Read: How to play Apple Podcasts on Alexa and Amazon Echo

Delegated delivery

Creators can also bypass Apple’s infrastructure if they’d like to host free or paid shows elsewhere. According to a post on the Apple Podcasts for Creators page, Apple’s partnered up with the following third-party hosting providers:

  • Acast
  • ART19
  • Blubrry
  • Buzzsprout
  • Libsyn
  • Omny Studio
  • RSS.com

Additional partners will be announced in the future. Delegated delivery is not yet live, it will arrive in the fall with supported hosting providers.

Tweaks to annual subscriptions

Two device screenshots showcasing tweaked annual subscription plans on Apple Podcasts for iPhone
Image credit: Apple

Creators can choose to show annual subscription plans alongside monthly ones. The annual subscription option will need to clearly inform the user how much money they will save by subscribing annually rather than monthly. Apple has said that annual subscriptions will become the new default setting on the platform.

How to get the new Apple Podcasts features

Apple provides the aforementioned improvements as part of the iOS 15.5, iPadOS 15.5 and macOS Monterey 12.4 software updates, which the company released to the general public on Monday, May 16, 2022. For further details, read Apple’s support documents detailing all the enhancements, new features and fixes:

To update your iPhone, go to Settings → General → Software Update. To download macOS updates, choose System Preferences → Software Update on your Mac. Read: How to create a macOS 12 Monterey installer on an external drive