Apple is rolling out a system that will help writers and small publishers monetize podcasts. It announced the release of Apple Podcasts Subscriptions today at the Spring Loaded event,
according to Nieman Lab.
Listeners in over 170 countries and regions can sign up for premium subscriptions, starting in May.
The benefits include ad-free listening, access to additional content and early or exclusive access to new series, Apple says.
“Fifteen years ago, Apple took podcasts mainstream, offering creators a premier, open platform to inform, entertain, and inspire hundreds of millions of listeners around the world,” states Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services.
“We’re excited to introduce this powerful new platform to creators around the world, and we can’t wait to hear what they make with it,” he adds.
Creators can use Apple Podcasts Connect to enroll in the Apple Podcasters Program. This provides access to the tools needed to provide premium subscriptions on Apple Podcasts, Apple says.
On the audience side, listeners can discover channels — groups of shows curated by creators with their own titles, descriptions and artwork.
In addition, listeners can browse free channels, and find paid channels from their favorite creators. Using iOS 14.5, listeners can also access a redesigned Apple Podcasts app featuring an enhanced Search tab. This provides quick access to Top Charts and categories.
Apple is highlighting premium subscriptions from Tenderfoot TV, Pushkin Industries, Radiotopia from PRX, and QCODE and other independents.
It also will include such media and entertainment brands as NPR, the Los Angeles Times, The Athletic and Sony Music Entertainment.