As Spotify Podcasts continues to grow, a survey sent out by Spotify detail some potential features and price point for a podcast subscription service.
Podcasts are huge business for Spotify. In fact, according to MIDiA, Spotify Podcasts represented 42% of all podcast listeners in Q2 2020. Spotify have no intention of slowing this growth, hoping to take as many listeners away from radio as possible. As mentioned in this article, Spotify have funnelled a hell of a lot of money into podcasts, acquiring exclusive access to some of the biggest shows and personalities, such as Joe Rogan, Michelle Obama and Kim Kardashian West, estimates say Spotify paid $100 million for The Joe Rogan Experience. Podcasts have the potential to make Spotify a lot of money, as there are no licensing fees or royalties that need to be paid, however with ads and sponsorships as the main source of income for podcasts, it may be a while until Spotify can see any sort of return on their investments.
With the recent news this may change soon, as Spotify hints at a subscription podcast service. Andrew Wallenstein noticed a survey from Spotify, detailing screenshots in a Twitter thread.
Spotify may give users access to exclusive interviews and episodes, high quality original content, and early access to episodes for a monthly fee. Think the bonus content some podcasters offer via Patreon. The proposed prices in the survey are between $2.99/month with ads or $5-8/month ad-free, with the line “the prices stated are for these stand alone services only and that the price of the music streaming service is not included in these offers.” Hopefully there will be a lower additional cost for existing Spotify Premium subscribers.
It may seem nonsensical to pay for an ad-free podcast experience. Why would I pay for no ads on podcasts, when I can tap the ‘skip 30 seconds’ button a few times to avoid them? Well it may not be so easy to skips ads in the future once targeted upskippable ads are rolled out across podcast platforms. Think Spotify Free or YouTube ads.
Of course being a survey means Spotify have no obligation to bring premium podcasts to the masses, but shows they are undoubtedly looking into it. A spokesperson from Spotify said to The Verge:
“At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of surveys in an effort to improve our user experience. Some of those end up paving the path for our broader user experience and others serve only as important learnings. We have no further news to share on future plans at this time.”The Verge