Spotify is expanding the number of people who can offer subscription podcasts and have their games played on the service. Today, the company announced that all US-based podcasters can use Anchor, its podcast creation and distribution platform, to sell exclusive episode subscriptions that will be available both through a private RSS feed and in the Spotify app, which otherwise does not support private shows via RSS.
Along with the expanded rollout, Spotify says it also adds more pricing options – 20 up from three – and gives podcasters the ability to download paying subscribers̵
International users will be able to sell subscriptions in the future, says Spotify, and they will have access to content with a payment wall from 15 September.
As it has been since the subscription product was first launched in April, Spotify will not cut revenue until 2023, when it will take 5 percent. However, there is still no button to subscribe to programs directly on Spotify, which means that if a listener wants to subscribe to an Anchor podcast, they will have to navigate to an external site, probably through a link in a program’s notes, for to do it . This means that podcasters must continue to shout out where listeners can find the link to subscribe, which gives the process friction.
In contrast, Apple Podcast’s subscription product, which was launched in June and takes a much higher revenue cut, with a button in the app. However, Apple will not provide podcasters with any specific contact information for their subscribers. All of these solutions lead to a world where podcasters can use multiple backends, just to be present on each platform. Apple Podcasts require podcasters to use the backend and manually upload episodes to it if they want to take advantage of the in-app button, while Spotify requires people who host Anchor to listen to Spotify.
Spotify also works with technology called Open Access, which works with third parties to bring payment wall content into the app, but these partnerships are currently tentative, with most partners still developing the technology and integrating it.