Spotify could counter Apple with its own podcast subscription service

Apple may not be the only tech giant with paid podcast subscriptions in the near future. the Wall Street newspaper sources says Spotify will unveil its own paid podcast system “next week.” Unlike its rival, Spotify would not charge a fee or take a share of each subscription. Podcasters could set their own prices, the tipsters added.

People using Spotify’s iOS app would be directed to a website to complete the transaction, denying Apple’s usual share of App Store transactions. We can’t imagine Apple taking this approach kindly, although Spotify can count on antitrust investigations to cool down Apple’s response.

Spotify has not confirmed the plans, but Dawn Ostroff, head of content and advertising affairs, said there was “room for everyone” in the audio space.

Patreon, Pocket Casts, Stitcher and The wonder of Amazon have all offered paid podcasts before. However, Apple and Spotify could quickly corner the market with their weight, provided there is enough interest in paying for podcast content in the first place.

While the timing is probably not intentional, the plans reported by Spotify show how fiercely it competes with Apple in podcasts. Both see it as their chance to expand their services and dominate the cultural zeitgeist with exclusive shows. For Apple, there is also a symbolic imperative to be won: the podcast genre owes its name to the iPod, and the company wouldn’t want to lose weight in the format it inspired.

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