at its spring loaded eventApple said its podcast subscription service would arrive in May. It missed that launch window, but it appears the delay won’t be long, with the service launching this month.
In an email to podcasters seen by ledgeApple said that the global launch of subscriptions and channels will now take place on Tuesday, June 15. In a previous email, Apple told content creators that the delay was “to ensure that we are providing the best experience for creators and listeners.”
We’ve reached out to Apple for confirmation of the new launch window and to ask more about the nature of the delay. We will update this post when we hear more.
The changes – dubbed by CEO Tim Cook as “the biggest change to Apple Podcasts since its debut” – introduce channels to help listeners find new podcasts and alternative paid subscriptions to help creators avoid dangerous ad-finance May help move away from the cherished model that has persisted in the industry.
For the listener, without the constant interruption of web hosting and mattress ads the benefit would be not just podcasts, but potentially additions like early access and subscriber-only bonus episodes.
Apple isn’t the only company looking to see if the public has an appetite for paid podcast content. Spotify has also introduced its own paid service, currently available in the United States, with subscription prices ranging between $2.99 and $7.99 per month. The company has previously spent big on podcasts, buying podcasting companies Gimlet and Percast, as well as making the platform the exclusive home of The Joe Rogan Experience.
While Apple has the advantage of getting its Podcasts app on over a billion iPhones worldwide, Spotify has its own perks for creators as well. For one thing, the music streaming company isn’t planning on taking any fee cuts for the first two years, while Apple will take 30% of sales for the first year, dropping to 15% after that.
While it’s not certain that paid podcasts have much of a future, given the medium’s long association with being free to enjoy, it’s hard to imagine two more formidable backers for experimentation than Apple and Spotify. is. We’ll get our first idea of how viable the business model is for iPhone users starting June 15th.