Podcast Producers: Apple and Spotify Launch Paid Subscriptions

You can now ask your faithful fans to support your podcast by charging monthly fees through Spotify or Apple. You can even get 100% of the subscriber income for the first two years.

These are just three possible ways to use it:

  • You can keep your podcast, but you can also offer bonus content for paid subscribers. Want even more? Get more? Upgrade now and join our inner circle.
  • For paid subscribers, launch an ad-free version of your show. You want an ad-free experience. Register here.
  • Pay subscribers get access to your podcasts earlier than others. Stock tips as soon as I learn about them, not waiting for the next podcast. Register here.

You could also make a podcast for a fee. This might work well if you have an established online reputation. If you don't have a website or a reputation online, it might be a good idea to give away downloadable copies to help people get to know you.

These paid-subscription podcast creator programs work in this way:

Spotify is fast becoming a podcaster's paradise: You will not pay any creator fees for your paid subscribers for the first two years. This means that you will keep 100% of subscriber revenue, minus any payment-transaction fees. Spotify will take a small 5% cut on subscription revenue in 2023.

You don't have to subscribe to Spotify, so there's no exclusivity. Spotify has three pricing tiers for its subscription: $2.99, $4.99, and $7.99 per month.

Imagine 1000 subscribers in the first tier. It's almost like publishing a paid newsletter, membership site, or newsletter without having to create one. Talk to your listeners, record your podcast and interview your guests... this is a great way for marketers to make residual income.

Here's what Apple has to offer: Apple retains 30% of the podcast subscription fees, just like other App Store subscriptions. The 15% drop in the second year is due to a decrease of 15%.

Apple charges an annual $20 fee for podcast subscriptions.

Apple Podcast Subscriptions, unlike Spotify, will only be available on Apple's podcast-listening app.

Here's more stuff you need to know...

Spotify's Paid Subscription Program

  • Spotify currently has a waiting list for podcast producers, according to our last check.
  • Stripe is Spotify's subscription partner. Podcasters will be responsible for Stripe's transaction fees.
  • Spotify will display a lock icon to indicate that you have paid for content.
  • Potential subscribers will need to navigate to the Anchor landing page for the show's unlock button. Yes. Spotify won't have a subscribe button on each podcast page. Listeners can also subscribe via the app. This could make it harder for podcasters and listeners to sign up new subscribers.
  • Spotify has a good reason: Spotify won't pay Apple for subscriptions sold under its App store terms.
  • Anchor hosting is completely free, and we intend to keep it that manner.
  • Podcasters can point listeners at the sign-up link from anywhere they like - show notes or episode descriptions, bios, etc.
  • Subscribers have the ability to listen to paid podcasts within Spotify or third-party apps via a private RSS feed.
  • Important: Podcasters will not receive names or email addresses from paid subscribers. According to Spotify, there is a good chance that this will change as Spotify seeks to strengthen the bonds between listeners and podcasters in the future. We'll have to wait and see.
  • Spotify does not require content to be exclusive.
  • Spotify's paid content will increase your chances of being discovered on Spotify. Spotify, for example, has stated that paid content will be preferred in search results if someone searches a topic.
  • Spotify will eventually offer a way for podcasters to integrate their subscription businesses into Spotify. However, for the moment, it's hush-hush about how it might work.

Apple's Paid Subscription Programme

  • Apple's subscription podcasts will let listeners subscribe from within their app.
  • Apple will pay $19.99 per annum to subscription providers for content creators. Apple will receive 30% and 15% of each subscriber's revenue for the first year, respectively. Apple claims that this is an incentive for podcasters to retain their subscribers longer. However, I don't know anyone who would deliberately lose paid subscribers.
  • Podcasters should upload their subscription content via Apple and not RSS or their hosting provider. RSS can be used to maintain their regular feed.
  • Apple has the information, and podcasters will not receive their subscribers' names, email addresses, or contact information. This is a problem that Apple does not intend to fix, and this is unlike Spotify.
  • Apple's Smart Play button allows users to start their shows automatically from either the latest episode or the beginning. You can also save individual episodes and download them for offline playback.

Patreon could be considered a competitor by Apple and Spotify. Patreon subscribers will likely not switch to Apple Podcasts, as they charge up to 12% of their subscription revenue.

Apple Podcasts has been the leader in podcast apps for years, largely because it was preinstalled on iPhones. In 2019, Spotify took over Apple's market share. Now, they are neck-and-neck, with 28.2 million Americans listening to podcasts on Spotify, compared to Apple Podcasts’ 28 million.

These new offerings suggest that I think the 0-5% charge for paid content will outweigh the 30/15% + 20 dollars per year. But we'll wait and see.

If you have a podcast already, I recommend that you explore the possibility of offering a paid version via Apple or Spotify. It's a trial. After six months, you can evaluate whether it's working.

A paid podcast may not be the best option if you are promoting products or services.

Last thought: 10,000 subscribers paid at $2.99 per, or 1000 subscribers at $4.99 or $7.99. This is the math I love.

What about you?

Stay connected with the most current Marketing News, Strategies, Tips , and Case Studies!

Join our monthly marketing magazine to receive the latest news and updates from our team of professional marketers and copywriters.
(Don't worry, your information will not be shared.)

Subscribe to the Monthly Marketing Magazine