Spotify’s paid podcast subscription service arrives in New Zealand

If it wasn’t obvious from the fact that podcasts have slowly been taking over the UI, Spotify really wants you to get into podcasts. Hardly surprising when it keeps buying podcast makers

And now it’s making it easier for said creators to make a bit more money off them, as its paid podcast subscription service for iOS and Android is rolling out to 29 new markets today including New Zealand via its podcasting distribution acquisition Anchor. No doubt Barack Obama will be chuffed

Not only is it a pleasure to see New Zealand given parity with the likes of the UK, Australia and Hong Kong, it actually means Kiwis are ahead of Canadians, Germans, Austrians and the French, all of whom won’t get the opportunity to throw extra money at Spotify until November 22. 

Whether you’ll want to, of course, is another matter, but it’s nice to have the option. For those unaware, subscriptions allow podcast creators to charge a fee in return for special or ad-free episodes, early access or other perks at their discretion. Creators can set costs at one of 20 price points ranging all the way from US$0.49 (~NZ$0.70) all the way up to US$150 (~NZ$213). 

Eventually the hope for Spotify is that this will be a strong revenue stream for a service that only managed to turn a profit for the first time ten years after launching, but in the short term, creators keep all of the fee, with Spotify only charging 5% as of 2023.

That appealing offer is clearly to put tanks on Apple’s lawn. Apple has had paid subscriptions as part of its Podcasts app since May, but it is far more aggressive in what it takes from creators, with a rate of 30% for the first year and 15% for every year after that.

It’s safe to say that those of us that want to use Spotify exclusively for music are going to be increasingly bugged by podcasts taking up more and more of the UI. At the time of writing, there’s still no way to hide them — believe me, I’ve looked. 

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