In a move that has been widely rumoured ever since Apple acquired podcast publisher Wondery at the end of 2020, the iPhone maker has now unveiled ‘Apple Podcasts Subscriptions’ — a global marketplace where listeners can subscribe to their favorite creators and gain access to exclusive content from them.
Podcasts Subscriptions is set to debut in May and will be available in 170 regions across the globe. The platform will peddle ‘premium’ subscriptions to podcast creators, which will afford subscribers a number of perks curated by the creators themselves.
Podcasts Subscriptions will feature both free and subscription-only podcasts, and ‘channels’ will also be introduced to group shows curated by creators together.
According to Apple, subscription perks will include listening to podcasts ad-free, access to additional subscriber-only content, and early or exclusive access to new podcasts.
Subscriptions will be available from both independent creators and studios, with Apple naming Tenderfoot TV, Pushkin Industries, Radiotopia, PRX, QCODE, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, The Athletic, and Sony Music Entertainment to kick things off.
A subscription mode, which many marketplaces are moving towards, is theoretically supposed to put more money in the pockets of creators and encourage production.
“Today, Apple Podcasts is the best place for listeners to discover and enjoy millions of great shows, and we are proud to lead the next chapter of podcasting with Apple Podcasts Subscriptions. 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”, said Apple’s Senior VP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue.
Podcasts Subscriptions was announced during Apple’s ‘Spring Loaded’ event today. Also announced was a redesigned Apple Podcasts app included in iOS 14.5, featuring a more streamlined design, the ability to save individual episodes for offline playback, and more.