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Spotify Expands Podcast Subscriptions To All US Creators

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Spotify is expanding podcast subscriptions to all creators in the US. Launched in April this year, the program was initially available to just a dozen creators as a new means of monetization on the platform. The music streaming biggie is now opening this monetization program to anyone in the country.

The broader availability is accompanied by additional pricing options. There are now 20 different price tiers starting from 49 cents per month. This would give publishers more flexibility in curating their content according to what their subscribers are willing to pay.

Spotify is further letting publishers download their subscribers’ email addresses (after the subscriber has opted in). This is to help them better engage with their listeners away from the platform. Creators can listen to their listeners’ needs, or perhaps promote their content over emails. And should they ever decide to leave the platform and start podcasting somewhere else, they can invite their subscribers there as well.

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“We understand that creators want to own their relationships with listeners, and we intend to empower that,” Spotify said in a blog post announcing these changes.

On that note, Spotify is also making the paid podcast subscriptions available to listeners outside the US. The expansion will begin on September 15. International creators will also be able to publish subscriber-only content “shortly after.”

Spotify podcast subscriptions service is now available to all US creators

The podcast subscriptions service on Spotify is available through Anchor, a podcast creation platform the company acquired in 2019, alongside podcast network Gimlet. The program lets podcast creators publish subscribers-only episodes that are available within the Spotify app and are shareable on other platforms as well, including private RSS feeds.

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As Spotify had promised before, it will not charge any commission from the creators until 2023. So they will keep 100 percent of the revenue they earn on the platform, excluding any applicable payment processing fee. Starting in 2023, the company plans to take a five percent cut from the total revenue. That’s still a lot lesser compared to what Apple charges for its Apple Podcasts’ subscription service launched in June. It charges a $20 annual fee and 15 percent commission from subscription revenue (30 percent for the first year).

But Apple’s service is better implemented as well. Users can subscribe to a creator’s channel with a one-tap button. There’s no such button inside Spotify. Users need to visit an external link provided by the publisher in an episode’s notes to subscribe to their channel. Hopefully, Spotify will work on this sooner than later and make things easier for users.