Apple unveils new Podcasts subscription service going live next month

Apple Podcasts Subs Iphone
Apple Podcasts Subs Iphone (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple just announced the rumored podcast subscriptions.

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Apple today announced a new Apple Podcasts app alongside a new Apple Podcasts subscription service that will give listeners perks like early access to podcast episodes and more.

As part of the new rollout of subscriptions, Apple is also launching a new Podcasts app to go with it. Users can look forward to new channels to make it easier than ever to find content from their favorite creators, while each show will have a new look in-app, complete with new artwork and more.

Apple says that the new feature will go live in a ton of countries next month, but so far we don't have pricing or exact availability. We'll be keeping our eyes peeled for when that kind of information is made available – hopefully later today. Apple does say that Podcasts subscription payments go directly to creators, so it's possible we can expect the people recording the podcasts to be the ones setting pricing.

Starting in May, listeners in more than 170 countries and regions can sign up for premium subscriptions that include a variety of benefits curated by creators, such as ad-free listening, access to additional content, and early or exclusive access to new series. Listeners will be able to enjoy premium subscriptions from independent voices and premier studios, including Tenderfoot TV, Pushkin Industries, Radiotopia from PRX, and QCODE, to leading media and entertainment brands, including NPR, the Los Angeles Times, The Athletic, Sony Music Entertainment, and many more.

Podcasters can sign up to be part of the Apple Podcasters Program and build their subscriptions from there, Apple said in a statement.

The new Apple Podcasts for Creators website helps creators learn more about podcasting, stay informed about the latest news and features, and explore in-depth guides with best practices. Starting today, all creators can 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 roles, and learn how listeners are engaging with their shows through new performance metrics and visualization tools. From Apple Podcasts Connect, creators can enroll in the new Apple Podcasters Program, which provides access to all the tools needed to build and distribute premium subscriptions on Apple Podcasts.

Apple has long been rumored to be working on a podcast subscription service, likely to be called Podcasts+. If that is indeed the new name, Apple isn't telling anyone just yet!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.