Podcast supremacy is one of the biggest markets to get a hold of right now. With thousands of people tuning into podcasts at every hour of every day, finding a home for all your listening has become a pretty concrete and weighty decision for those who make the podcasts. Apple’s been mostly losing the fight in this grand monopoly war of the digital age, with Spotify taking the lead in the last few years, leaving dusty names like Pandora in the…well, dust.
About a week or so ago, some tech news outlets began reporting on some interesting news regarding this very subject. It was reported that Apple is planning to launch a subscription service for an ad-free podcast. Like we said before, Apple had been playing a loser’s game to Spotify. Maybe this new service launch will turn the tides? We can only guess at the outcome with what we know.
Let’s see below in this article, if Spotify shareholders should be worried.
Why would an Apple based podcast subscription service work?
First off, let’s start with Apple. They’ve been ultra-secretive about the product any anything related to it launching. As far as exact details go, we won’t be getting much until the service itself gets going. However, the leak that this entire article is based off of did give us a few details to glean from. For one thing, we do know that the service will be exclusive. In other words, the podcasts you see on Apple’s service aren’t going to be on Spotify or anywhere else. Additionally, this place will be ad-free. No annoying things interrupting you. Instead, the service will charge you a fee monthly to keep the subscription.
This model of how podcasting has worked has been in the books for a long time. It’s nothing new. In fact, the new kid on the block, startup podcasting service Luminary, holds this business model as well. They claim to be “the Netflix of podcasts” however, they supposedly only hold about 80k subscribers as of last May. While this was, in terms of subscription influx, a long time ago, if they don’t pick up the pace, Luminary may be left in the dust.
As far as this model goes, it has a somewhat weakened track record. Something about it only being podcasts just doesn’t make it worth the price. Take a look at movie and show streaming services, as an example. They’re even having trouble keeping the numbers down. However, Apple has emerged with a few ways that they could make their version of this service work.
First off, they do have a lot of money to back it up. The sheer force they can offer, even if no one buys into this (which won’t happen) is massive. It can pay creators to be exclusive on their site, and nothing can change that. Then you have what they’ve already gotten done in terms of the podcast service. They have an ad-supported service that has been in the lead for years upon years, with no signs of stopping. However, Spotify, as you may have noticed, is gaining lots of ground.
Should the Spotify lovers be worried?
This may seem a little cheeky in comparison to what we’ve said so far but, no. Spotify has more than prepared for this sort of situation. They’ve obtained things like Grimlet, the Ringer and Parcast. Additionally, it has invested in many shows, making it an internal studio all its own. Among all the things it owns, it has access to a bunch of exclusives. Additionally, much of the content is not locked away behind any sort of paywall.
So while Apple may be launching something that is nothing to sneeze at, Spotify has good, set-in roots. For now, there is no need to worry much.