Creators complain about Apple Podcasts subscription teething problems

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

What you need to know

  • Apple announced a podcast subscription service earlier this year.
  • A new report says the platform is off to a rocky start.
  • Creators complain of long upload times and other issues.

A new report says that Apple's Podcast Subscription service is off to a rocky start.

From The Verge:

But in the months since Apple Podcasts' announcement, podcasters say the platform has failed them in various ways. For a company that prides itself on functionality, design, and ease of use, the new backend's bungled launch is a mess. Podcasters say Apple Podcasts Connect, which they're required to use in order to take advantage of subscriptions, has a confusing interface that often leads to user error scenarios that have them pinging Apple at all hours of the day in a panic — one podcaster's entire show was seemingly archived until Apple stepped in to help and explain what happened.

Apple announced its Podcasts subscription service in April, which lets users sign up for premium podcast subscriptions to access benefits offered by creators such as ad-free listening. Since its launch, however, there have apparently been some issues.

According to the report, an auto-download bug in the app caused a 31 percent drop in downloads in the summer, with other problems reported concerning podcast libraries and subscriptions. Creators also say that uploading to Apple is troublesome:

"Apple is coming at it from the lens of a big corporation," says a podcast manager of an independent show, who prefers to remain anonymous because of the sensitive nature of their relationship with Apple. "I think it's harder for them to think about smaller independent shows that have so few people on staff. It's such a foreign concept to them; they're Apple."This manager says they've spent days troubleshooting the platform, and at one point, waited a full night for an episode to process on the backend, at which point it was already dated content. On another recent evening, they say they uploaded their exclusive content to Patreon within five minutes, but then waited hours for it to process on Apple Podcasts.

Apple recently announced that creators using the platform will earn 100% commission on every subscription sign-up they get through November, double the usual 50% one-time bounty.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9