Apple announced an update to its podcast service during its Spring Loaded event in Cupertino, California.
Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed a premium podcast subscription service, Apple Podcasts Subscriptions, would be launching next month, set to bring early access and ad-free listening to subscribers.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A premium subscription service for Apple Podcasts
- When is it out? Sometime in May
- What will it cost? Pricing dependant on creators
Release date and price
Thanks to rumors, we had been expecting the arrival of a premium Apple Podcasts service for some time. Announced at Apple’s Spring Loaded event, Apple Podcasts Subscriptions will become available for Apple users sometime in May.
Pricing for each subscription is set by creators and billed monthly by default. Creators can additionally offer annual billing, which subscribers will be able to manage from their Apple ID account settings. Listeners will also be able to access free trials and sample episodes offered by creators.
What is it?
A new Apple Podcasts service that will bring early access, exclusive content and ad-free listening to subscribers, curated by creators.
Apple says listeners will be able to enjoy premium subscriptions from independent creators, studios and media brands, including NPR, the Los Angeles Times, The Athletic, Sony Music Entertainment and more.
This doesn’t mean you’re going to have to pay for the podcasts you already know and love all of a sudden, though – a million of which are available for free via Apple’s dedicated Podcasts app – rather the service will be an optional extra for users.
Tim Cook also hinted at a new design for the Podcasts app, with shows and episodes getting special pages, and the introduction of channels, which are groups of shows curated by creators with unique titles, descriptions and artwork.
Just as you can with shows, you’ll be able to browse free channels, which Apple says will make it easy to find more shows from your favorite creators, as well as paid channels that provide additional benefits for subscribers.
The redesigned Apple Podcasts app will also feature an enhanced Search tab that provides quick access to Top Charts and categories.
What else is new?
As well as offering an exciting update for podcast listeners, Apple Podcasts Subscriptions will now give creators the opportunity to build and distribute premium content.
The upcoming Apple Podcasts for Creators website will help creators learn more about podcasting, stay informed about the latest news and features and explore in-depth guides with best practices.
They’ll also be able to access an updated Apple Podcasts Connect dashboard, which has new features that make it easier to manage shows on Apple Podcasts, including the ability to edit metadata, schedule and manage show availability, organize shows into channels, manage multiple users and learn how listeners are engaging with their shows through new performance metrics and visualization tools.
It’s from here that creators will be able to enroll in the new Apple Podcasters Program, which provides access to all the tools needed to build and distribute premium subscriptions on Apple Podcasts.