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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple may announce a podcasts subscription service at its "Spring Loaded" event tomorrow, according to Vox's Peter Kafka and findings in the beta of iOS 14.5.


Kafka remarked in a tweet, spotted by 9to5Mac, that he is "pretty sure Apple is prepping its own podcast plan - a paid subscription service - on Tuesday." MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has now said that Kafka's claim lines up with findings in the beta of iOS 14.5.

The Podcasts app in iOS 14.5 features a new account button on the "Listen Now" tab, just like in Apple Music. Notifications settings have been moved to this new area, which will presumably include other account and subscription information.

Apple has not yet announced a release date for iOS 14.5, but with eight betas having been released, iOS 14.5 is nearing the end of the testing process. It is likely that a release candidate of iOS 14.5 will follow the Apple event, along with an update on when iOS 14.5 will fully roll out.

Apple has been rumored to be planning to launch a podcasts subscription service for some time. A report by Loup Ventures analysts made the case for a new Apple service tentatively titled "Podcasts+." According to the report, Podcasts+ would form a tier in the existing Podcasts app, offering a selection of exclusive premium shows.

The service is speculated to be bundled as a part of Apple One as well as ‌Apple Music‌, with no added charge for existing paid subscribers. Podcasts+ would help to "drive incremental interest" in ‌Apple Music‌ and ‌Apple One‌ as a result, "generating high-margin, recurring revenue."

The Information and Bloomberg have reinforced the rumor, explaining that talks between Apple and production companies for a new podcast service were ongoing.

Apple held talks to purchase podcast network Wondery before it was bought by Amazon, and completed the acquisition of podcasts app Scout FM in September 2020, indicating the company's movement in the podcasting space.

Apple has already begun launching a number of original podcasts such as "The Line," some of which focus on its Apple TV+ output, which may be similar to how the company began experimenting with original programming on Apple Music before announcing Apple TV+.

Spotify has moved aggressively into podcasts, acquiring the exclusive rights to popular shows and removing them from other services. A podcasts subscription service would enable Apple to claw back space within the field.

According to Kafka, the new service could be announced as soon as tomorrow, presumably to accompany iOS 14.5, at Apple's "Spring Loaded" event. The event is also expected to see the debut of new iPad models and potentially redesigned iMacs with Apple silicon chips.

MacRumors will provide live coverage both here on and through our MacRumorsLive Twitter account.

Update: AppleInsider reports that Apple is no longer accepting new podcast submissions on iTunes connect. Reports of Apple refusing to accept new podcast submissions for review began emerging yesterday, and may indicate that a major podcast-related change could be set to arrive imminently, which has fueled speculation around an Apple podcasts subscription service being announced tomorrow. It is also possible that the podcast submission block may simply be a consequence of scheduled maintenance.

Article Link: Apple May Announce Podcasts Subscription Service at 'Spring Loaded' Event [Updated]
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macrumors 6502
Nov 27, 2011
Subscription radio shows eh?

it would be nice if apple allowed you to subscribe to their Apple Music shows so you get an alert when a new episode is available to listen to, but this seems to be beyond their technical skill.

If Podcasts+ causes the already poor podcasts app to be full of paywall adverts / visual noise then I guess I'll move back to Overcast.


macrumors regular
Mar 4, 2006
If they want to be taken seriously for podcasts they need to scrap the app and start over. It’s been hot trash since it came out. And maybe for once fix it’s syncing issues and properly removing played episodes. You shouldn’t have to mark as played/mark unplayed/mark played again just to remove a podcast episode. Then repeat on Mac and iPad and Apple TV…. Oh and after all that, tell HomePod to play your podcasts and it starts playing episodes from 2 months ago that have long been marked as played.


macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2011
Who's asking for this? From the comments it seems like the answer is no one.

I'd only use this if it was wrapped into Apple One. I maybe use 50% of the services included in the family plan (apple music and the family storage were the main reasons i got it)
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macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2015
I can see Apple throwing it in together with Apple TV+, Music, and News+ subscriptions to give us more value and make leaving the ecosystems a tiny bit harder. I really believe Apple wouldn’t charge us extra just for exclusive podcasts, I do. I know everyone is skeptical, but let’s see tomorrow ?


macrumors regular
Jun 19, 2007
Seems like there's really two possible models. 1) Same product, just Ad Free. 2) Premium Product, only available with subscription.

1) would be interesting, and a model that a few podcasting networks use. 2) Could also be interesting, especially if they end up generating _new_ podcasts. It's less interesting if they take existing podcasts and put them behind a paywall.

I'll suspect it's a little of both. Ad-free (but podcasters still get paid), and drawing new, larger talent to do podcasts that didn't previously exist.


Jul 18, 2011
Just another Apple service I won’t get. Apple has run out of ideas for cool products. It’s now just about how to get their users to pay them more. Marketing 101 these days. Why create something cool that people want when it’s easier to get current customers to move up packages.
It's optional, and I don't see what's wrong with paying more for more features. Not to mention that service revenue is what helps keep hardware prices a little lower than what they should be, given that hardware margins have been decreasing of late.

I just wish Apple would roll them out to more countries.
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macrumors 604
Mar 3, 2010
So then what’s the difference between a paid podcast and an audiobook?
Very different. An Audiobook is usually a single-author text that is read out loud. It's usually static in time, there is no rebuttal, and there is no discussion on current events/topics.
Podcasts are continuous, cyclical, often with rebuttal and or Q&A.

However, I like what David Goggins did with his "Can't hurt me" in which the book is read as a regular audiobook but at the end of the chapter there is a long Q&A and discussion between the author and the audiobook reader.
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