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Apple Podcasts Subscriptions is launched

Apple Podcasts Subscriptions is launched

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What you need to know about the Apple announcements


The details of the subscription

    • Apple Podcasts will take a 30% commission of the subscription price for a subscriber’s first year, dropping to 15% for additional years. As a podcaster, if you want to list Freemium or Paid podcasts, there’s also a US $19.99/year fee (there’s a $99/year fee to sell apps with Apple already).

      Apple Apple Podcasts
    • There is no exclusivity clause: so you can make your show available for subscription on other platforms as well, if you choose to, and assuming they don’t have exclusivity themselves. See Luminary’s announcement for an example of a company doing just that.

    • Want to offer a free trial? Sure, you can do that (there are a set of durations offered by Apple).

    • Paid podcasts are hosted by Apple, not by your podcast host. “Subscriber audio is only accessible on Apple Podcasts and is protected by Digital Rights Management”. You’ll be uploading uncompressed WAV or FLAC files; Apple will do the audio compression, and will also handle analytics.

      Apple Apple Podcasts
    • They’ve made no announcement about Apple Podcasts going onto additional platforms; however, clause 2.3 of the Apple Podcasts Program Agreement discusses rights for Apple Podcasts “on any platform”, and specifically mentions Windows and Android.

      Apple Apple Podcasts
    • They’ve made no announcements about transcripts, either, but clause 2.2 (c) lets them make transcripts, and lets you opt out.

    • Podcasters can set pricing, and availability, by country. Apple Podcasts is available in 170 territories.

      Apple Apple Podcasts
    • Unlike Patreon, Supporting Cast or similar models, Apple Podcasts will not give you access to any personal data about your paid subscribers, like their emails or names.

      Apple Apple Podcasts


    • Some have suggested that this screenshot on Apple’s site shows you can set up “hosts and guests” for your show; something previously not changeable without being specially chosen. However, the hosts and guests feature isn’t showing for our incredibly successful podcast about time, PodClock; or for Podnews which does have hosts and guests enabled.

    • The iTunes API will continue to be supported. (“Supported”, the pedant would note, is not the same as “unchanged” - see below why many podcasts are appearing in their API without the RSS feed URL).

    • None of these changes were communicated ahead of time to any podcast host we’ve spoken to.

    • Apple’s marketing guidelines still tell us to use “Subscribe”, not “Follow”.

    • What should you do next? You don’t need to do anything. And - read on - you probably don’t want to.

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    A new feature - and a serious bug??

    UPDATE: After a few hours, and after we contacted Apple Podcasts support, it mysteriously came back again. Which is good, but a bit concerning.

    Apple Apple Podcasts

    Who’s in for subscriptions?


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