Apple rolls out Podcasts premium subscription, channel features for all creators: Everything to know

By: |
June 15, 2021 8:31 PM

Apple had announced the rollout of this feature back in April, and after some delays due to creators facing issues in uploading episodes, the feature is finally here.

The feature has been mass rolled out to about over 170 countries and regions.

Apple Podcasts: Apple has rolled out the premium subscription and channels model for its Podcasts. Apple offers Podcasts app for iOS users on its devices as a platform for content creators. Now, the tech giant has released a premium subscription model for the service. With this, the content creators would also be able to generate earnings from their podcasts. In order to make things easier and flxible, Cupertino has facilitated three different types of models – Free, Freemium and Premium. While the free model would allow the followers of a podcast to listen to the content on it for free, the premium model would need followers to pay to be able to access the content. On the other hand, as the name suggests, the freemium model is an amalgamation of the two, where users would be able to listen to the content for free but would be able to get access to additional benefits.

Apple had announced the rollout of this feature back in April, and after some delays due to creators facing issues in uploading episodes, the feature is finally here. In a blog post announcing the release, Cupertino said that creators would be able to offer subscriptions on a monthly or annual basis, and would also be able to set the price for this subscription. The feature has been mass rolled out to about over 170 countries and regions, it said.

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Among some of the benefits of the paid subscription model would be ad-free listening, which is usually the first benefit that users seek in exchange for the price they pay. So far, so good. However, apart from this, users would also be able to provide paid subscribers benefits like additional episodes, early access to upcoming episodes, and even allowing them to access archived episodes.

Much like for Apple’s App Store payment gateway, though, Apple would deduct a 30% commission on subscription price, with users getting 70% of the subscription price minus any taxes that may be applicable. However, after the accumulation of a year of paid service, this revenue would increase to 85% of the subscription price minus any taxes, Cupertino said. Apart from this, any other revenue generated from the podcasts, including that from advertisements, would go entirely to the creator.

However, just like Epic Games had done over the App Store policy, some users have criticised Apple’s payment model for Podcasts due to the high commission that Cupertino charges. At the moment, though, it is not clear whether that would snowball into any significant change in Apple’s policy.

Along with the subscription mode, Apple has also rolled out the Channels feature to all creators, using which creators would be able to group their shows in a dedicated space which they can also brand in a customised manner. All the creators, whether offering free or paid shows, would be able to create channels and would need to list their shows on that channel. While a creator could make multiple channels, one show could only be linked to one channel.

Users wishing to offer shows on a subscription model would need to set up a single subscription price for a channel, and the channel could include exclusive paid content, free content or a mix of both. However, a listener paying the subscription price for the channel would be able to unlock all of the content of the channel and would not need to pay individually for each paid show listed on the channel.

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