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Apple fires up the podcast war with subscriptions and an app redesign

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Apple fires up the podcast war with subscriptions and an app redesign
Callum Booth
Story by

Callum Booth

Editor of Plugged by TNW

Callum lies somewhere between an abrasive gadget nerd and thinky art boy. He's the Editor of Plugged, TNW's consumer tech vertical. He wr Callum lies somewhere between an abrasive gadget nerd and thinky art boy. He's the Editor of Plugged, TNW's consumer tech vertical. He writes about gear, gadgets, and apps — and also makes the occasional odd video.

At today’s ‘Spring Loaded’ event, Apple fired a shot that could remodel the whole podcast industry. And, damn, I’m excited.

Tim Cook announced two major things that’ll have a large impact on the industry.

The first is a long awaited redesign of the Podcasts app. Cook mentioned that each show will have a dedicated page, as well as a browsing function that will help people discover more shows.

This is sorely needed — as anyone who has uses the current Apple Podcasts app is well aware of its limitations.

apple podcasts subscriptions app redesign
An example of what the Apple Podcasts redesign will look like.

But the big news is the launch of Apple Podcast Subscriptions. This service will allow creators to monetize and grow the business side of their shows.

For users, this will open up things like advert-free episodes, early access to new series, and premium content.

This is a hugely important step that’s set to shake up the whole podcast industry.

Currently, there are three major ways for podcasters to earn money: adverts, services like Patreon, and selling out to Spotify.

With Apple entering the market with Podcasts Subscriptions, it’s bound to shake up the industry.

Alongside this, the company has rolled out a new Apple Podcasts for Creators website. This will help those in the industry stay updated with news and features, as well as making it easier to manage podcasts.

apple podcast for creators
This is what the Apple Podcasts for Creators site looks like RIGHT NOW.

For example, creators will be able to edit metadata, manage show availability, and access more listener metrics. On top of this, there are new tools available for users to organize the aforementioned subscription program.

In other words, Apple is getting closer to being a one-stop shop for podcast creators.

The release of Apple Podcasts Subscriptions and a redesign of the app have been sorely needed — and other movers and shakers in the industry must take note.

It might have taken some time, but Apple has shaken up the entire podcast industry.

The new redesign will launch in May across 170 countries.

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