During its Spring Forward event in April, Apple announced that paid subscriptions would be offered for Podcasts, with a global launch expected in May. The launch did not materialise and now that we’re in June, new details have surfaced as to when the company will be ready to make the paid subscriptions feature available.
According to internal emails obtained by The Verge and shared with selected podcast producers and publishers, the global launch is reportedly set for 15th June.
Apple has not officially confirmed the launch at the time of writing, so it remains to be seen if it is true, but should it happen next week, it will afford podcast creators the opportunity to offer paid subscriptions to long time listeners and potentially add an additional revenue stream.
That said, it should be noted that in the first year that they sign up to paid subscriptions, Apple will be taking a hefty 30 percent cut of profits from creators, with it dropping to 15 percent after 12 months. As such, it is unclear whether smaller creators will be willing to sign up initially.
While the company has not detailed fully the reason behind the move for paid subscriptions, the recent push for more podcasting content on Spotify is likely a reason, with the platform also launching a paid-subscriber option recently.
“Today, Apple Podcasts is the best place for listeners to discover and enjoy millions of great shows, and we are proud to lead the next chapter of podcasting with Apple Podcasts Subscriptions. We’re excited to introduce this powerful new platform to creators around the world, and we can’t wait to hear what they make with it,” noted Eddy Cue, Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services back in April.
It remains to be seen whether listeners will be willing to pay to subscribe, but the benefits of opting for such a system will include the addition of features like ad-free listening, as well as early access to content and exclusive content.