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Spotify reportedly won’t take a cut from podcasters who sell in-app subscriptions

Spotify reportedly won’t take a cut from podcasters who sell in-app subscriptions


It might be coming next week

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Spotify is reportedly planning to debut its in-app podcast subscription offering next week. The Wall Street Journal reports today that the company will not take a cut from podcasters who choose to sell in-app subscriptions and also will allow them to set their own pricing. Listeners on its iOS app will be routed through a website to purchase the subscriptions, thereby allowing Spotify (and podcasters) to skirt around Apple’s fees.

The news comes right after Apple Podcasts debuted its own in-app subscriptions. The company will allow podcasters to sell access to ad-free, bonus, or early-access content at whatever price they choose to set. Unlike this reported Spotify plan, however, Apple requires podcasters to pay $19.99 per year to even list their subscriptions, as well as a 30 percent cut for each subscriber’s first year. That drops to 15 percent for every following year.

It’s increasingly likely podcasters will have to manage their subscriptions across multiple platforms’ backends. Apple doesn’t allow podcasters to use RSS to distribute their exclusive content — it has to be uploaded manually through Apple’s system. Spotify has never accepted RSS, and presumably, podcasters will have to do something similar to get their subscription content on the service.

The things we still don’t know: what kind of data, if any, Spotify will provide podcasters; how long this no revenue share agreement will last; if all podcasters will be able to participate; and whether content has to be exclusive to Spotify. We’ve reached out to Spotify for comment and will update if we hear back.