After initial delay, Apple has now officially launched Podcasts Subscriptions and channels in the Podcasts app on iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
Podcasts Subscriptions is a new service announced at Apple’s Spring Loaded Event. Unlike its other services, Apple isn’t charging a monthly fee for Podcast Subscriptions, but rather letting content creators set their own pricing and terms, and taking its customary 15-30 percent cut like any other in-app purchase. Podcasts Subscriptions is available in more than 170 countries and regions, and listeners will be able to subscribe to the podcasts they choose through the app.
Apple spotlighted several new seasons of popular shows and series that are now ad-free, including Chameleon: High Rollers ($2.99/month), Revisionist History ($4.99/month), and To Live and Die in LA ($4.99/month). Podcasts cost as low as $0.49 a month for exclusive content and ad-free listening.
According to an email obtained by 9to5Mac back in late May, Apple told podcast creators that the service was pushed back to June “to ensure we are delivering the best experience for creators and listeners.” Apple didn’t give a firm date for the launch at the time but said it would “communicate further updates on availability, and best practices to help you prepare your subscriptions and channels.” Last week, Apple told podcast creators that the service would be launching on June 15.
Apple also said it would be tweaking the app further. iOS 14.6 brought some interface changes based on listener feedback, and Apple said it will “introduce additional enhancements to Library in the coming weeks.” Those changes could arrive as part of iOS 14.7, which is currently in beta testing. The Podcasts Subscriptions service requires iOS 14.6, iPadOS 14.6, and macOS 11.4.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.