Apple launches new Podcast Subscriptions service

Apple has unveiled its Apple Podcast Subscriptions, set to launch with a wide range of updates to its podcasting services for both consumers and creators.

The move looks to strengthen its position in the podcasting industry, providing its users with early access to premium, ad-free content, with direct subscriptions to consumers’ favourite podcasters.

The Apple Podcasters Program was also announced, which will support the creators, providing access to all the tools needed to build and distribute premium subscriptions on Apple Podcasts.  It will costs A$27.99 inc. GST per year. Creators can enrol in the Apple Podcasters Program through Apple Podcasts Connect.

Eddie Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services said: “Fifteen years ago, Apple took podcasts mainstream, offering creators a premier, open platforms to inform, entertain and inspire hundreds of millions of listeners around the world. 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.”

New interface for the Apple Podcasts app

The service will launch in May to listeners in over 170 countries, with iOS 14.5 listeners having access to a redesigned Apple Podcasts app, with enhanced interface features for searching and discovering new podcasts.

Apple says that this new service will offer creators “a way to tighten the bond with their most engaged listeners,” with pricing for each subscription set by each creator and billed monthly by default.

This launch of this service comes with great timing for Apple, as Mumbrella reported the number of podcast downloads in Australia hit 50 million in March, a new high.

Facebook has also announced an update to its audio services in response to the industry’s growth, with podcasts now able to be accessed directly on the Facebook app.

Acast launched its Acast+ subscription tools for podcast creators last month, however the new Apple Podcast Program would seem to deem this service unnecessary for those looking to provide content exclusively through Apple.


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