Spotify seems to be considering a podcast subscription service

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Illustration from the article titled Looks like Spotify is considering a subscription service for its podcasts

Photo: Martin Bureau (Getty Images)

Spotify seems to be playing with the idea of ​​launching a subscription package for its podcast content where users would pay a monthly fee to listen to original shows or exclusive episodes. Not to be confused with its existing ad-free paid tier, Spotify Premium – no, that would be a separate subscription just for podcasts.

Since the company has paid plus what $ 600 million over the years to bolster its podcast repertoire, it’s no surprise that now its leaders are trying to slap a paywall on it. Raw, of course, especially since listening to podcasts is currently free (with ads, if you don’t have Premium). But no wonder.

As Variety’s Andrew Wallenstein shared on Twitter This week, Spotify recently launched a user screening survey through its mobile app to gauge opinions on multiple potential subscription formats ranging from $ 3 to $ 8 per month. The cheapest plan would feature “Access to exclusive interviews and episodes only available to subscribers,” but still include ads. The more expensive plan would drop ads and give subscribers early access to some content as well as “access to high quality original content.” And, of course, the cost of any of those packages doesn’t seem to include access to Spotify’s premium music subscription service, which would presumably still be an additional $ 10 per month.

It should be noted that Spotify only issues probes with this survey, so none of this is set in stone. A spokesperson for the company made this clear in a statement to the edge:

“At Spotify, we regularly conduct a number of surveys to improve our user experience. Some of them end up paving the way for our wider user experience and others are just for important learnings. We have no news to share on future projects at this time. “

That’s right, companies are constantly asking users about the potential changes they’re up to. There is no guarantee that the specific plans listed in the survey will materialize, but rolling out any type of dedicated subscription package would make sense given Spotify’s aggressive push into the podcast realm. Over the past two years, the company has spent a lot of money picking up several top podcast producers, including The ring (nearly $ 200 million), the Joe Rogan experience ($ 100 million), as well as the Gimlet and the anchor networks (approximately $ 340 million).

Dude, this all sounds weirdly like the streaming wars except it’s even more frustrating. If I’m already paying for a Spotify subscription, why should I pay another one just for podcasts? Would video podcasts even be included in this (the survey makes no mention of this), or would that be yet another fee? I understand Spotify is looking to make its money after sinking millions of dollars, but it has also made over $ 2 billion in returned in the last quarter only, so forgive me if my sympathy is boring.



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