Podcast app

Apple’s paid podcast subscriptions to join the redesigned podcast app

Apple’s podcast app offers millions of podcasts.

Apple; screenshot by Sarah Tew / CNET

Apple will add paid podcast subscriptions in its dedicated podcast app, which it has also redesigned with new image upload pages for each show and episode and with channels to help discover new titles, the company said on Tuesday. company. The news fell to The Apple event revealing new iPad tablets, iMac computers and more.

The podcast subscription option “allows you to unlock new content as well as additional perks such as ad-free listening, early access and more – now you can help your favorite podcasters grow their business and to fuel their creativity, ”said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. .

Apple podcast subscriptions will launch in 170 regions and countries in May. The redesigned podcast app will be part of Apple’s next update for its mobile operating system, iOS 14.5, which is expected to roll out from next week.

For years Apple has dominated podcasts, even down to the name of the format – it’s derived from Apple’s iPod. But in recent years, Apple has largely neglected to take giant strides in its role in podcasting, even amid a surge in interest in non-musical audio in recent years. Almost a decade has passed since Apple separated podcasts from its iTunes software into its standalone app, perhaps its last major change so far.

Meanwhile, renewed interest in podcasts has propelled new competitors, especially the streaming service Spotify, to invade Apple’s podcast territory. Spotify’s pursuit to become a premier destination for non-music audio like podcasts has helped it reach over 345 million listeners at the World level.

The move also affects Patreon, a startup valued at $ 4 billion that helps creators of all stripes set up recurring subscriptions. Patreon is a popular platform for podcasters to set up paid rewards for their most loyal fans.

Apple will take a 30% commission on the price of a podcast subscription each billing cycle during that person’s first year of membership; after the first year, the commission drops to 15%. It’s the same pricing structure Apple already has in place for apps selling digital goods or services – think gaming gems and streaming service subscriptions – with an in-app purchase on an iPhone or iPad.

But the 30% commission compares to the lower fees on Patreon, which range from 5% to 12% depending on the level of service, plus a lower fee for processing credit cards, transferring income to a bank or foreign currency conversion.

Correction, April 23: An earlier version of this story distorted Patreon’s assessment. It’s $ 4 billion.

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