Spotify is adding podcast subscriptions: What that means for listeners

Spotify has built itself up as a substantial podcast platform and now is back with the latest evolution in this effort: paid podcast subscriptions. The company announced the new platform today, stating that podcast creators can now roll out premium paid content (in the US, at least) for listeners who want to financially support their favorite shows.

Podcasts come in two varieties: free, typically with advertisements, and paid, which have a paywall for access. When it comes to paid podcasts, creators have found various ways to monetize their work; in some cases, the core podcast episodes are free while extended or bonus episodes are limited to paying listeners. In other cases, entire podcasts are locked behind a paywall.

The options for launching paid podcasts have grown substantially in the past few years and now Spotify is counted among them. According to the company, the option to list podcast episodes as exclusive to subscribers is available to creators who use the Anchor podcast creation platform.

Spotify says this new option will be free for creators for the next two years, after which point there will be a 5-percent revenue fee for using the tool. On the user side of things, these podcast episodes will still appear in search results but will feature a lock icon where the play button is usually located.

Users will be encouraged to support the podcast to get access to the locked content. A dozen indie podcast creators are among the first to participate in this new premium content feature, according to Spotify, which says that it is also now accepting previously submitted creators from its waitlist.