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Opening Up Podcast Subscriptions to All U.S. Podcasters

August 24, 2021

We have long believed that creators should have a variety of options at their fingertips when it comes to deciding how to monetize their work. That’s why, as more creators than ever are now publishing their content on Spotify, we’ve begun rolling out tools that power those choices: from better advertising models to direct monetization from listeners. 

In April, we shared that we would begin testing Podcast Subscriptions as a way for creators to offer paid subscriber-only content on Spotify and other platforms, using Spotify’s podcast creation platform, Anchor. In the testing period since, we’ve activated over 100 podcasts and found that shows across genres and content styles have a massive opportunity to build paying subscriber bases. Now, we’re ready to expand this model to everyone.

Starting today, we’re making Podcast Subscriptions available to all U.S. podcasters. Our model is built to maximize creator revenue and offer the widest possible reach so creators can grow their audiences and develop deep connections with listeners. Creators will now find that in Anchor, they’ll be able to mark episodes as subscriber-only and publish them to Spotify and other platforms.

Today, we’re also rolling out some updates to the product based on learnings during the testing period: 

  • We will be expanding the number of pricing points to 20 options that can be chosen by the creator, offering increased flexibility. 
  • We now offer the ability for creators to download a list of contact addresses for their subscribers so they can further engage with their subscriber bases and offer even more benefits.

When we talk about maximizing creator revenue and powering wide reach for subscriber-only content, there are a few specific ways we’re following through on that intention. 

First, our terms offer an industry-best revenue percentage that podcasters take home from their subscriptions. Until 2023, this program will come at no cost to the creator—they’ll receive 100% of subscription revenue (excluding payment processing fees). Starting in 2023, we plan to implement a 5% fee on subscription revenue.

We’ve included elements of this philosophy directly in the product as well by offering ways for creators to offer their content to listeners everywhere, not just on Spotify. In addition to publishing subscriber-only content directly to Spotify, Anchor will also provide creators with private RSS feeds that can be used by listeners on other platforms. And because Spotify is available on iOS and Android, as well as a number of devices (speakers, gaming consoles, cars, etc.), creators using Podcast Subscriptions can reach listeners wherever they are.

We believe that offering subscriber-only content on Spotify, where it can be discovered by our user base of 365 million monthly listeners, will enable more of that content to gain audiences and make real connections with them. That’s also why we’re providing creators with contact information for their subscribers: We understand that creators want to own their relationships with listeners, and we intend to empower that.

Podcast Subscriptions will continue to evolve and grow as we learn from creators who succeed with this model. We plan to expand internationally very soon: Starting on September 15, international listeners will gain access to subscriber-only content, and shortly after we’ll make the feature available to creators around the world—so stay tuned.

For more information on how to get started, check out the Anchor blog.