Apple has announced the rollout of Apple Podcasts subscriptions nearly two months after the official announcement. The company says that listeners in more than 170 countries and regions can now purchase subscriptions to unlock additional benefits such as ad-free listening and early access directly on Apple Podcasts. Notably, users can also have access to exclusive podcast series through Podcasts Channels that allow creators to group shows. Apple Podcasts subscription were slated to roll out with iOS 14.6 that released last month, but the company decided to postpone the launch. Previously, select podcast creators had issues with delays in their shows appearing after uploading.
In a blog post, Apple says the Podcasts subscriptions will help creators “grow their businesses" and continue to make podcasting an important source of information and entertainment. Notable international subscriptions and channels accessible via the paid plan include ABC, LiSTNR, and SBS from Australia and Broccoli Productions, The Bugle, Content Is Queen, the Guardian, Immediate Media, and Somethin’ Else from the UK. Creators who are interested in offering subscriptions and channels must visit the Apple Podcasts for Creators website. Customers can purchase subscriptions with iOS 14.6, iPadOS 14.6, and macOS 11.4 or later. Customers can play subscription content on Apple Watch with watchOS 7.5 or later and with HomePod, HomePod mini, and CarPlay. Pricing for each subscription is set by creators and starts at $0.49 (roughly Rs 35) per month. Listeners can manage their subscriptions and switch from monthly to annual billing if offered from their Apple ID Account Settings, accessible from the top of the Listen Now tab in Apple Podcasts. Apple says each paid Podcasts can be shared among six family members through Family Sharing.
Apple also redesigned its Podcast interface with iOS 14.5. It features new pages for every show and episode to make it easier to follow, listen to, and share. The new Smart Play button helps listeners automatically start episodic shows from the beginning of each series. Listeners can now save individual episodes, which are downloaded for offline playback.