With the release of iOS 14.5 this week, Apple has introduced a way for creators to offer subscriptions through its Podcasts app. Spotify hasn’t wasted any time following suit, bringing new podcast monetization tools to its platform.
Spotify on Monday introduced paid podcast subscriptions, allowing creators to make money off their shows. The new program is rolling out to the U.S. first and will be available to creators through Anchor. Podcasters who use that platform can mark their episodes as subscriber-only and then publish them to Spotify. Interested creators can join a waitlist starting today.
The new program is launching with 12 independent shows and will expand to more creators in the coming months. As Spotify gets into a groove, subscriptions — and those who can offer subscriptions — will expand to the rest of the world in the coming months. In addition to the initial launch group, Spotify also said it’s collaborating with NPR to publish a selection of its upcoming shows sponsor-free for paid subscribers.
“Five shows will be available starting May 4—How I Built This with Guy Raz, Short Wave, It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders, Code Switch, and Planet Money—with more to come in the following weeks,” Spotify said. “Look for NPR shows marked as “Plus” (for example, Planet Money Plus) to subscribe to sponsor-free content from NPR and support the shows you love.”
Spotify’s new podcast subscription program will offer creators 100% of revenues for the first two years. Starting in 2023, however, the platform said it will take a 5% fee. The aggressive launch plans are no doubt in an effort to attract creators to its platform — and a way to convince creators to avoid Apple’s Podcasts platform, which takes 15 to 30% of revenue. Creators can choose from three monthly pricing options: $2.99, $4.99, and $7.99.
“By enabling wide distribution of subscriber-only content, our aim is to help podcasters maximize their subscription audiences and grow them from their existing listener bases,” Spotify said. “Within Spotify, this content will be searchable and discoverable like any other podcast episode.”
When a podcast on Spotify has subscriber-only content, it will be clearly marked. Listeners who do want to subscribe to a podcast can do so through Anchor or by following a link that’s available on a show’s Spotify page. Critically, listeners won’t be able to subscribe directly from the app, otherwise Apple and Google would take a cut of the profits.