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Spotify Launches Subscriptions for Podcasts

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

Spotify recently announced the launch of its paid podcast subscription platform that will give creators the chance to monetise their work and grow their reach and audience.

Spotify, Podcasts, Music and other Apps on iPhone screen

Credit: stockcam / Getty Images

The audio streaming and media services provider stated that its new platform will “come at no cost to the creator” for the next two years. This means that participating creators get to keep all of their subscriber revenue until 2023. After which, Spotify plans to charge creators a competitive 5% fee to maintain access to its platform.

The company’s subscription platform was previously mentioned on 22 February 2021, when Spotify said that they will begin exploring new revenue streams that a creator’s listeners can support through paid subscriptions.

Spotify’s paid subscription platform will be available through Anchor, a podcast creation platform that the company acquired in 2019. This allows podcasters to mark content as subscriber-only and publish them to Spotify and other podcast-listening platforms.

podcasters stock photo

Creators will be able to choose one of three tiers as their price for a subscription Credit: Kate Oseen on Unsplash

Although Spotify did not mention how much a subscription to a particular creator will cost, TechCrunch reported that the price will be up to the creator. According to their report, the cost will be one of three tiers: US$2.99, US$4.99 or US$7.99 per month.

Participating creators’ subscriber-only content will also be easily discovered through the platform’s wide distribution feature. This feature was designed to “help podcasters maximise their subscription audiences and grow them from their existing listener bases.” Users will be able to tell if a particular content requires a subscription if a lock icon is displayed above the content’s play button.

Users who wish to subscribe to their favourite podcasters can enjoy sponsor-free shows from NPR, with more to come within the next few weeks. Spotify mentioned that five shows from NPR will be available starting 4 May 2021. These shows are: “How I Built This with Guy Raz”, “Short Wave”, “It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders”, “Code Switch” and “Planet Money”.

Spotify also stated that although its paid subscription platform will roll out in the US on 27 April 2021, it will eventually expand internationally in the coming months.

spotify OAP

Credit: Spotify

Aside from its paid subscription platform, Spotify also announced it’s currently testing its new Open Access Platform (OAP) for creators with content uploaded in other places. The company stated that the OAP will let creators with existing subscriber bases have the option of delivering paid content from other podcast platforms to their existing subscribers using Spotify.

Another feature Spotify announced is its Audience Network, a first-of-its-kind audio advertising marketplace. The network allows advertisers of any size to reach users that consume a broad range of content. The company also said that it will begin opening the network to select independent creators using Anchor on 1 May 2021, giving more people access to it.


Written by John Paul Joaquin

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