Spotify will launch subscription options for podcasts

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Apple may not be the only tech giant with paid podcast subscriptions any time soon. A Wall Street Journal source reported that Spotify will unveil its own paid podcast system next week.

Quoted from Yahoo, Sunday, unlike its rivals, Spotify will not charge fees or cut any membership. So called podcasters can set their own prices.

In contrast, Apple will retain up to 30 percent of the cost of podcast subscriptions under its program, which launches next month. Most platforms including YouTube, Twitch, Facebook and Patreon, also cut subscription fees and / or payments from fans or listeners.

Spotify has not confirmed the plans, but head of content and advertising business Dawn Ostroff said there is “room for everyone” in the audio room.

On the other hand, Patreon, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Amazon Wondery have offered paid podcasts before. Apple and Spotify can quickly corner the market through strong leverage, however, provided there’s enough interest in paying for podcast content.

While the timing may not be intentional, the plans that Spotify reports show how fierce competition is from Apple on podcasts. The two saw this as an opportunity to expand their services and dominate pop culture with exclusive events.

For Apple, there’s also a symbolic must to win – given that the “podcast” genre owes its name to the iPod, and the company doesn’t want to lose influence in the format it inspires.

Citing Variety, at this time, Spotify does not allow customers to pay its subscription fees through Apple’s in-app purchases – and Spotify has been a very vocal critic of Apple’s App Store policies, including filing a formal complaint with the European Union alleging “anti-competitive” behavior.

Spotify said it would test paid subscriptions for podcasters to allow them to offer exclusive content to subscribers, officially announcing that during its “Stream On” event in February. But did not provide further details.

Meanwhile, in conjunction with the launch of a Spotify podcast subscription, Facebook plans to launch an integrated version of the Spotify audio player – a project called “Project Boombox” – starting next week to provide access to songs and podcasts directly within the Facebook app.

On the other hand, Apple Podcasts Subscriptions, like under existing App Store policies, will withhold 30 percent of podcast subscription fees in the first year and 15 percent in subsequent years.

Additionally, creators have to pay US $ 19.99 (approx. US $ 20) per year to gain access to the Apple Podcasters Program, which includes the tools necessary to offer premium subscriptions to Apple Podcasts.

Pricing is set by the creator (and billed monthly by default). Podcaster can also choose what features come with each plan – for example, ad-free listening, exclusive bonus content, and early or exclusive access to new series.

Why doesn’t Spotify do the same? According to Variety, Spotify wants to make it as attractive as possible for creators to make it their platform of choice – and to prevent them from participating in Apple Podcasts Subscriptions.

Spotify itself has spent a lot of money on exclusive podcast programming, from Joe Rogan to Obama to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Spotify can sweeten the profits for these partners by letting them keep all the money from any premium subscriptions they offer on the platform.