After Apple announced its paid podcast subscription platform last week, reports began to circulate that Spotify may soon announce details of a similar service of its own. The company had said in February that it was testing paid subscriptions, but today it officially announced a paid subscription system that allows podcast users to charge additional fees for exclusive content.
The big difference between Spotify and Apple is that the former will not deduct a percentage during the first two years with the exception of transaction fees, and when it requests its share, it demands 5 percent of the revenues only.
Spotify's podcast subscription can be accessed via Anchor, the podcast production platform purchased in 2019. Content creators can make certain episodes private to subscribers only before publishing them on Spotify and other platforms.
And for content creators hosting podcasts elsewhere, the company is working on technology that allows existing listeners to use the login information to broadcast exclusive items to subscribers. The company doesn't provide much information in this area, but it says more details about partners and features are coming soon.
On Spotify, the paid content will be searchable and discoverable like any regular podcast episode, while episodes that require a subscription will still appear in the feed, but are labeled with a lock icon via the play button. If you choose to support content, you can do so via the content account page within Anchor or via the link provided in the content notes via Spotify.
Listeners will not be able to directly subscribe to the Spotify app, which means Spotify will not have to pay Apple a portion of in-app purchases. Most podcast makers rely on advertising money to generate revenue unless they publish exclusive content to their listeners who directly support them through sites like Patreon, and Spotify now offers its own alternative.
The company also has its own advertising platform that it has spent years building, which is another part of the podcast revenue options it can offer. Apple launches paid podcast subscriptions in May and is available in 170 regions and countries at launch, while Spotify launches podcast subscriptions in the United States today, and plans to expand the program internationally in the coming months.