Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Apple’s New Podcast Subscription Will Change How You Listen to Podcasts Forever

Image used with permission by copyright holder

On Tuesday, Apple announced a redesign of its popular Podcasts app during its Spring Event, offering a premium service package to content creators and overhauling user-facing search features for a more navigable experience. Most significantly, it adds new compensation options for creators that directly compete against third-party creator support platforms like Patreon while also raising the question of creator oversight and potential control of what has been a longtime free-speech space.

Related Guides

Podcasts, launched in 2006, currently hosts more than two million podcasts and over 48 million episodes. Despite its runaway popularity, it has always been a free app for both users and creators. Creators may sell ads within their podcasts, but Apple, to date, does not receive a percentage of this revenue, and it currently hosts these podcasts on its own dime. With the announcement of its Apple Podcasters Program, which includes the Subscriptions feature, Apple will begin harvesting some revenue from its longtime investment.

“Today, Apple Podcasts is the best place for listeners to discover and enjoy millions of great shows, and we are proud to lead the next chapter of podcasting with Apple Podcasts Subscriptions,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We’re excited to introduce this powerful new platform to creators around the world, and we can’t wait to hear what they make with it.”

The Podcasters Program is an annual subscription plan for creators that in turn allows them the offer premium subscriptions to listeners. For $19.99, creators may now extend subscribers a seamless means of support in an Apple ecosystem with which they’re already familiar, as well as an all-inclusive experience in which users can unlock ad-free or pre-release episodes without leaving the app. Additional announced features for Podcasters Program creators include greater metadata about their podcasts’ performances, new “Engaged Listeners” to “Listeners by City” functions, and new visualization tools, including the new Episode Performance chart.

In preparation for the announcement, many large podcasting networks and creators, from Tenderfoot TV to The Athletic to Malcolm Gladwell, issued quotes to Apple in support of this new service. “[NPR supports Apple’s] plan to enable a new revenue source for content creators on their platform,” said John F. Lansing, president and CEO of NPR, in the Apple release. “Apple Podcasts Subscriptions will provide another opportunity for listeners to support their favorite podcasters at NPR and our Member stations in our mission to create a more informed public.”

Of course, this is significant for services like Patreon, which have acted as third-party financial support platforms for independent creators while taking a percentage of subscriber fees. With Apple’s new subscription feature, it essentially cuts out these third-party platforms, creating an existential crisis for them. For larger podcasting networks, many of which have developed their own subscription models, it will be interesting to see which migrate to Apple and which retain their own infrastructure.

However, the question remains as to how, with Apple handling its creators’ finances, the company may extend greater oversight over what its creators can and cannot say. Patreon has famously clashed with users when their content, sometimes not even hosted by the platform, has crossed its boundaries. As they say, he who holds the gold makes the rules, and through its Subscriptions program, Apple is entering into the business of being a conduit to its creators’ funding. This becomes a powerful bargaining chip.

On the same day as Apple’s announcement, Facebook announced a slew of new features, which includes a podcasting feature complete with a creator compensation model.

One might believe this is a long-overdue change within the Podcasts platform, which has seen little intervention or innovation in its 15-year history. Creators meanwhile have seen peers like Joe Rogan grow into million-dollar brands. With Apple’s new Subscriptions program, the next generation will have a more seamless way to increase their own revenue.

Editors' Recommendations

Topics
Jon Gugala
Features Writer
Jon Gugala is a freelance writer and photographer based in Nashville, Tenn. A former gear editor for Outside Magazine, his…
This is what would happen if an asteroid hit Earth
Watch this scary video simulation of an asteroid's impact on earth
Earth as seen from outer space

You've seen the scenario in movies and TV shows: There's an asteroid headed for the planet, and it's threatening to wipe out all life on the planet. Of all the mysteries of what's out there in space, there's something uniquely terrifying about the prospect of a chunk of rock heading toward us fast enough to smash into Earth. Now you can enjoy a lovingly rendered video showing the destruction that might occur if such an impact were ever to happen.
Watch what would happen if an asteroid collided with Earth
A now-removed viral post on the Absolute Units subreddit shows what would happen to the planet if the largest known asteroid were to collide with the planet. Unsurprisingly, the 338-mile/545-kilometer-wide space rock would totally annihilate every living thing on Earth, destroying vast landscapes and covering the planet in smoke and fire. You can also view the full video (set to Pink Floyd’s “The Great Gig in the Sky.”)

https://www.themanual.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2022/11/asteroid.mp4
Massive destruction
An asteroid hitting Earth is called an impact event. And while these are rare, the effects of one would be massively damaging to all life on the planet—and the asteroid wouldn’t need to be 338 miles across to do so. Even smaller asteroids can cause incredible destruction.

Read more
Do UFC fighters wear cups? A rule that changed UFC forever
Israel Adesanya fighting at UFC 234.

Before he appeared as the character Random Task in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and California inmate #AI7266, Joe Son was just an up-and-coming mixed martial arts fighter. The Ultimate Fighting Championship was only a few years old, and making it into the quarterfinals of UFC 4 was a big deal. Son was confident facing off against Keith Hackney. But a recently changed rule was about to end Son's run, contributing to the reformation of the sport and the establishment of all UFC men wearing cups. After the events of the evening, it was definitely for the better.
History of UFC's Cup Rule
When the UFC debuted in 1993, it only had a few rules, one of which was outlawing groin strikes. What would happen if a fighter struck his opponent in the Tractor Supply? It's hard to say, as it never happened. But with pre-internet viral fame of the UFC and its no-holds-barred bad boy image came an even more lax set of rules, and beginning at UFC 2, punches and kicks to the Orange Julius were fair game. It's with this switch that Son and Hackney met head on.

The fight started with the pair exchanging shots, but soon they clenched and Son, the stronger man, cinched a headlock around Hackney's neck, pushing him across the ring. As the two jockeyed for control, they fell to the mat, and Hackney, with his head still trapped in Son's armpit, ended up on top. Son did not want to open himself up to strikes, so he held on, while Hackney made it his priority to escape and take advantage. Thus, the stage was set for the most brutal ground-and-pound ever filmed.

Read more
F1 Bahrain GP live stream: How to watch Formula 1 for free
Formula 1 driver exiting turn.

Formula 1 is back with the first race of the championship underway later today. The Bahrain Grand Prix is sure to be a fantastic start to the 2024 F1 schedule. If you’re keen to check out the F1 Bahrain live stream, you’re in luck. We’ve got everything you need to know about how to watch the Bahrain Grand Prix for free today, along with some insight on what to do if you’re traveling.
How to watch Bahrain Grand Prix for free
If you’re based in Austria or Luxembourg, you can check out the Bahrain Grand Prix for free along with all of the 75th F1 World Championship. That’s thanks to there being free streams through ORF in Austria and RTL Zwee in Luxembourg. If you’re from either country and traveling abroad, you can still access these by using a VPN like NordPN (one of the best VPNs). It’s a good solution for ensuring you can catch the race in your first language rather than being stuck with it in English. It’s entirely safe and legal to do so for residents of the country in question.

If you’re in the US and want to stream it in English, you can sign up for a Fubo free trial. The streaming service is perfect for sports fans with plenty of options including ESPN which is the channel showing the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Fubo free trial lasts seven days so there’s plenty of time to see what else it has to offer with dozens of channels to choose from. Just remember to cancel it before the free trial ends so you don’t pay a cent. Fubo has sports channels like CBS Sports Network, NFL Network, NBA TV, NHL Network, Fox Sports, along with dozens of other TV channels to suit your mood.

Read more