After a number of delays, Apple has officially announced that they're launching their new Apple Podcasts Subscriptions platform next week. The confirmation comes by way of an email sent to the podcasters that discussed how both the subscription and channels in the Apple Podcasts app will go live on June 15th.
The email also included links where podcasters can learn about subscription best practices and content guidelines. Apple has also shared some advice with the podcasters that will make their subscriptions and channels even better.
This is what Apple Podcasts Subscriptions will offer at launch:
- Apple Podcasts Subscriptions will be available to listeners in over 170 countries and regions in May. Specific software requirements for Apple Podcasts Subscriptions and channels will be shared ahead of availability.
- Pricing for each subscription is set by creators and billed monthly by default. Creators can additionally offer annual billing, which subscribers can manage from their Apple ID account settings, now accessible from Listen Now. Listeners will also be able to access free trials and sample episodes offered by creators.
- Through Family Sharing, up to six family members can share a subscription.
- Listeners will be able to access the enhanced Search tab with Top Charts and categories, new show and episode pages with the Smart Play button, and Saved Episodes on iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and macOS 11.3. Saved Episodes are also available on watchOS 7.4 and tvOS 14.5. These software updates will be available next week.
- The Apple Podcasters Program, which includes all of the tools needed to offer premium subscriptions on Apple Podcasts, is available to creators in over 170 countries and regions for $19.99 (US) per year. Creators can enroll in the Apple Podcasters Program today through Apple Podcasts Connect.
- Apple Podcasts features more than 2 million free shows and is available for free on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, HomePod mini, CarPlay, iTunes on Windows, and other smart speakers and car systems.
The Verge noted in their report that "Apple’s big idea is that putting a subscribe button in the podcast app could draw more premium listeners to various services, like Luminary and Wondery Plus. Starting this month, we’ll finally see how powerful a subscribe button might be." For more, read the report by The Verge.