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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

As was rumored last week, Spotify today announced a new paid subscription platform for podcasts. The service will begin rolling out in the United States today and then expand internationally in the coming months (via Variety).

The announcement comes exactly one week after Apple announced its own Apple Podcasts subscription platform at the "Spring Loaded" event.


The new Spotify feature will be available to creators through its partner Anchor, allowing podcasters to mark episodes as "subscriber only." Spotify says that it will come at no cost to the creator, and they'll receive 100 percent of subscriber revenue (excluding payment transaction fees). Beginning in 2023, Spotify plans to introduce a 5 percent fee to access the tool.

Podcasters can select from three different price tiers for their subscriptions: $2.99/month, $4.99/month, or $7.99/month. The rollout will begin with 12 independent podcasters on Spotify, and will expand to more creators in a few months.

All of the new subscriber-only content will be fully searchable within Spotify like other podcasts. They'll be marked with a lock icon on the play button, until listeners pay to subscribe to the podcast.

Apple's version of podcast subscriptions won't debut until May, and similar to other App Store subscriptions, Apple will collect 30 percent of podcast subscription fees that creators generate in their first year. Afterwards, Apple will collect 15 percent. Creators will also have to sign up for the Apple Podcasters Program by paying $19.99 per year.

According to Spotify podcast service lead Michael Mignano, the company is trying to show creators that Spotify has "the best terms" for publishing their podcasts.

“We really wanted to come out and show creators that we are offering the best terms… and two years [of no fees] is a great way to do that,” said Michael Mignano, Spotify’s head of podcaster services and tools. He added, “There’s no exclusivity. We’re not locking you into terms.”

To start, Spotify has partnered with NPR to be among the first media companies to launch podcast subscriptions. There will be new ad-free paid shows on May 4, including "How I Built This with Guy Raz," "Short Wave," "It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders," "Code Switch," and "Planet Money."

Article Link: Spotify Announces Podcasts Subscription Service to Rival Apple Podcasts


macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
Curious on how many people will actually go to a 3rd party to subscribe.

edit: well, this article seems to suggest you can do it from the Spotify app. Others I have read said you cannot.
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macrumors member
Aug 14, 2019
Management says we need new revenue streams, Marketing says lets copy Apple, enough people think Apple is ripping them off to jump ship, and we just made a few more bucks. Boss says, get er done. :D


macrumors member
Nov 2, 2016
Good move by Spotify, this would have made a lot of people rethink their subscription with Spotify, but since Apple already introduced this, they will receive less backlash.
I'm all for content creators getting their fair share, but in the end, us consumers are just paying more for the same content we are currently enjoying for free. Farewell to the era of free podcasts?


macrumors regular
Jun 21, 2008
If you are not a Spotify music subscriber, are you still going to see pop up ads when you open the app? I've been using Spotify as just a podcast player but there was a period where I was getting so many of those pop up ads that I stopped using the app.

I wouldn't mind paying a small subscription fee to use Spotify as a podcast player just to avoid the pop up ads. Similar to the many other podcasts players that have a $9.99 a year subscription fee for their player.


macrumors 601
Feb 24, 2009
Good for creators to be able to make it easier to fund their projects. Bad for Patreon who had a monopoly on this until recently.


macrumors 6502
Nov 3, 2018
So is this an additional subscription or is it possible to subscribe without the $10 subscription (for music)?


macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
Management says we need new revenue streams, Marketing says lets copy Apple, enough people think Apple is ripping them off to jump ship, and we just made a few more bucks. Boss says, get er done. :D
Spotify is going after Patreon here, not Apple.

Every independent podcast I listen to relies on people paying for various premium features via Patreon. I've supported a few of them a few times, but I always stop because it's an awkward relationship... you listen to most episodes in one podcast app, but then you have to use the crappy Patreon app to listen to the paid content.

Having it all in one app sounds like it should be a better experience. Maybe I'll more consistently subscribe.

Although... I don't love those prices. It'd be nice if my Spotify Family Premium plan ($16/month) allowed me to pick up to 3 podcasts where I get all their premium content or something at no additional charge.


Why stop at Podcasts? Lots of musicians do this same kind of thing on Patreon, where they let people pay to listen to early drafts of their upcoming albums.


macrumors regular
Mar 31, 2011
Northern Virginia
Maybe someone can explain this better...

I see at least 4 newer monetization models, but I could be mis-understanding or maybe just missing something.

Original model: Completely free podcasts with monetization derived almost entirely from advertising.

Innovative model 1: Similar to above, but with added content derived from private memberships (e.g., Slate) or Patreon
Innovative model 2: Curated subscriptions (is that the actual model? I don't use this service) - Luminary
Innovative model 3: Subscription per podcast, but with e-commerce support "baked into" the service (Apple)
Innovative model 4: Similar to Apple, with the added wrinkle of pricing tiers (Spotify).

Does that sum it up? Do others see it differently?

I wasn't a fan (and still am not) of a curated model, such as Luminary's model, but if subscriptions become the rule instead of the exception (we are nowhere near "there" yet), I think I'd prefer a curated package (assuming the offering is diverse and quality) as opposed to paying per podcast (someone up-thread mentioned "subscription fatigue" and I totally agree that is a thing and with no apparent end in sight).

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macrumors 65816
Sep 8, 2009
Spotify only has themselves to blame for not making money if they keep giving everything away.
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