Spotify offers subscription publishing to all U.S. podcasters, in direct competition with Apple

Bringing an end to a testing period begun in April, Spotify now allows any U.S. podcaster to offer a subscription feed to listeners. It’s the latest benchmark in a growing trend of pay-to-listen in podcasting, where consumers can buy into a monthly fee for membership benefits that include ad-free listening, bonus exclusive episodes, and other attractions.

Our model is built to maximize creator revenue and offer the widest possible reach so creators can grow their audiences and develop deep connections with listeners,” Spotify said.

Spotify’s feature is executed in its Anchor subsidiary. “Creators will now find that in Anchor, they’ll be able to mark episodes as subscriber-only and publish them to Spotify and other platforms,” according to the announcement.

Spotify is sharpening the competitive thrust of this program in at least one important way: The company will take zero commission on subscription sales, at least through 2022. Starting sometime in 2023, the company plans to collect a 5% share of revenue — that is exceptionally conservative by this still-young industry standard. By comparison, Apple launched with a 30% cut, a hefty demand which is characteristic of that company’s revenue-share business model as executed in its iOS app store.

Spotify hopes to sweeten the proposition by offering 20 price points at which creators can price their offerings. Spotify also lets creators download subscriber emails for follow-up and further business development.

The Spotify/Anchor platform allows private RSS feeds of their subscription lines, which can be used by listeners on other platforms. That is helpful in creating a cross-platform marketing plan; creators don’t need to drag potential subscribers into Spotify from other apps.

The following explanatory video is from Spotify’s newsroom:




Brad Hill