As previously announced in April, Apple today launched its new Podcasts Subscriptions feature on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. The system allows users to subscribe to podcasts (or groups of podcasts called channels) for additional benefits.
Benefits can include early access to episodes as well as ad-free listening. Some shows may also offer bonus content for subscribers. You can subscribe to a podcast through Apple’s payment system with just one button.
Podcast creators can charge whatever they want, with a minimum subscription price of $0.49 per month. Apple takes 30 percent of that amount for the first year, but if a subscriber remains active for more than 12 months, Apple will switch to only 15 percent of that subscription fee.
Fortunately, Apple has no rules against other ways to monetize podcasts that offer these subscriptions, such as asking listeners to also support a Patreon.
When you subscribe to a podcast, the show page will be labeled “Subscriber Edition”. You can also try subscriptions to participating podcasts to see if they’re worth paying for. The duration of these trial subscriptions varies, but it usually seems to be a few days or even a week.
Channels are basically podcast bundles curated by someone. However, channels aren’t limited to podcasts that take advantage of Apple’s new subscription offerings. If you follow more than one channel, a new “My Channels” section will appear in the Listen Now tab of the Podcasts app. When you start a paid subscription to a channel, you get subscriber status with all podcasts from its members.
Podcasts subscriptions are available in 170 countries and regions on devices running iOS 14.6, iPadOS 14.6, and macOS 11.4 or later.
List image by Apple