Apple Podcasts Subscriptions has a lot going for it, but its limitations reinforce that this is really just a first attempt, podcaster Jason Snell writes for Six Colors.
Starting in May, listeners in more than 170 countries and regions can sign up for premium subscriptions that include a variety of benefits curated by creators, such as ad-free listening, access to additional content, and early or exclusive access to new series. Listeners will be able to enjoy premium subscriptions from independent voices and premier studios, including Tenderfoot TV, Pushkin Industries, Radiotopia from PRX, and QCODE, to leading media and entertainment brands, including NPR, the Los Angeles Times, The Athletic, Sony Music Entertainment, and many more.
The most important feature of Apple Podcasts Subscriptions is that it meets people where they live. Perhaps the most important lesson I’ve learned in more than a decade of podcasting is that for all your presence on the web, on social media, in email, or in private communication channels like Slack and Discord, the single best place to reach podcast listeners is via the podcast. Not everyone does Facebook or Twitter or visit your website, but the entire podcast audience is listening to the podcast.
Apple Podcasts Subscriptions isn’t inside the podcast itself, but it’s the next best thing: the app that plays the podcast. (And the most popular app in the world for playing podcasts, at that.) A few taps later, using the same mechanism (and credit card) Apple uses for in-app purchases and subscriptions, money is flowing…
And while I don’t love the fact that Apple’s taking 30% of the proceeds for the first year of any subscription, its eventual 15% cut is not too far off from many competing services that podcasters use. And presumably the ease of subscribing within the Podcasts app will improve overall subscription numbers, which means Apple’s providing some real value for that cut…
But here’s the worst thing about Apple Podcasts Subscriptions: Apple’s own App Store policy… because Apple is the platform owner, Apple Podcasts is literally the only iOS app that’s allowed to offer a feature like Apple Podcasts Subscriptions.
MacDailyNews Take: This is a version 1.0 product, so we expect Apple to listen to podcaster’s feedback and implement improvements and changes as the company’s premium podcasts subscriptions services grows. There’s much more from Snell in the recommended full article.