In-App Subscriptions Finally Coming to Apple Podcasts

Now launching on June 15

Apple Podcasts Subscriptions will allow listeners to subscribe to their favorite paid podcasts from directly within the Podcasts app, itself.

Revealed in April and planned for a May 2021 launch, Apple Podcasts Subscriptions suddenly was delayed at the end of its intended release month. In an email to creators, Apple wrote, "To ensure we are delivering the best experience for creators and listeners, Apple Podcasts Subscriptions and channels will now launch in June."

Someone using Podcasts on an iPhone with a laptop in the background.

Austin Distel / Unsplash

In a more recent email obtained by The Verge, Apple has revealed that the new intended release date is June 15.

This addition will allow users to subscribe to their favorite podcasts without having to exit the Podcasts app—a convenience that Apple most likely hopes will result in more premium listeners.

Having a single subscribe button is much more straightforward than having to search for a Patreon page or navigate a creator's personal subscription systems, but there is a trade-off. Handling subscriptions from within the app, itself, also means that Apple will be able to apply its 30% commission fees, which will then drop to 15% after one year.

Apple Podcasts

Apple

Another trade-off with the ease of a one-click subscription is the cost of a podcaster's deeper connection with their audience. When using the Podcasts app, creators won't have the same level of access to their listeners that's afforded by more open-ended platforms such as Patreon. They won't be able to engage with newsletters, use direct messaging to troubleshoot or encourage community participation, and so on.

Whether it helps or hurts (which likely won't be obvious for some time yet), Apple Podcasts Subscriptions should be available to all next week.

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