Spotify has invested heavily in the podcasts business by signing several exclusive deals with big-ticket publishers. The streaming platform is now announcing a wider rollout of its podcast subscriptions service. This allows creators to provide paid subscriptions for their content with the promise of exclusivity or other bonuses.
Podcast subscriptions first came to Spotify in April this year. However, the feature was only available in the U.S. With this new expansion, listeners can access podcast subscriptions in 33 countries.
The newly supported countries include Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Spotify won’t take a cut from podcasters’ revenues for the first two years
Meanwhile, Canada, Germany, Austria, and France will support podcast subscriptions in a week. Separately, the core Spotify app is making its debut in regions like Iraq, Libya, Tajikistan, Venezuela, the Republic of the Congo, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The company said that users in these countries can now access a more extensive library of local music.
Several podcast platforms already use a similar subscription model to offer creators more control. As XDA points out, podcasters who rely on platforms like Patreon for exclusive content can now switch to Spotify (or Anchor).
Interestingly, Spotify said it wouldn’t take a slice of the creators’ revenue for at least two years. However, starting in 2023, the platform would charge podcasters a 5% fee on subscriptions. This move could help attract several creators to the platform.
During its initial rollout in the U.S., podcast subscriptions were offered in three price points. But following feedback from the creators, Spotify decided to introduce 20 pricing tiers ranging from $0.49 to $150.
Spotify faces stiff competition from a number of podcast providers in the business, including Apple. The latter also offers a podcast subscriptions feature, although it takes 30% of the creator’s revenue, which comes down to 15% in the second year. By stark contrast, Spotify won’t take commissions for two years, and even when it does, it’s only 5%.
While Spotify currently enjoys a big share of the music streaming market, the platform could soon position itself as the leader of the pack in the podcasts industry.