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Spotify to launch paid podcast subscriptions, while sticking it to Apple – report

Spotify is preparing to launch its own podcast subscription service as soon as next week, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Following Apple’s decision to launch a Podcasts Subscriptions service in iOS 14.5, Spotify is about to reveal its already-announced plans to offer paid subscriptions of its own.

However, distinguishing itself from Apple according to the WSJ sources, podcasters will be able to set their own fees, but Spotify itself won’t take a cut, or charge a fee.

Apple will take a 30% cut from content creators, as it does for all in-app purchases, but Spotify intends to forego that revenue. Apple won’t benefit from Spotify’s move either.

It plans to by-pass App Store regulations by guiding potential podcast subscribers to its website in order to complete the transaction, according to the report. Spotify is already in a potential antitrust dispute with Apple about paying the 30% cut, which the former calls out as anti-competitive.

Related: Spotify, please ditch the podcast spam

The company has preciously revealed it plans to test paid podcasts but hasn’t gone into detail on how it would work yet. During the Stream On event in February, where it announced a podcast with Bruce Springsteen and Barack Obama, Spotify said it was working on ways for podcasters to add paid subscriptions for fan-only content.

The move is likely geared to foster loyalty from podcasters, with Spotify making a major push to sign up some of the audio format’s biggest names in the last couple of years. The move should also enable Spotify to move towards its aim of becoming the most popular podcasting app, to match its status in music streaming.

Apple and Spotify going head-to-head for paid subscriptions is likely to create another media streaming war. We hope doesn’t pan out like video streaming, where viewers need to subscribe to 5-6 services in order to see all of the big shows and movies. Spotify has already snapped up exclusive access to popular podcasts like the Joe Rogan Experience and we can envision more joining the fray, especially if they don’t have to give up 30% of any new revenue.

Spotify has been flooding user’s app experiences with podcast recommendations in recent months, detracting from the experience for those focused on music. We can only see this spam growing now the company is planning on adding paid subscriptions.

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