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Apple Podcaster Program Everything You Need to Know

Apr 22, 2021
Enterprise Podcaster
Apple Podcaster Program Everything You Need to Know

Today you may have heard that Apple has introduced the Apple Podcaster Program that gives podcasters the ability to offer premium podcast subscriptions. Yes, that is right!

Apple has gotten into the podcast subscription game and is allowing regular podcasters the ability to sell and manage premium subscriptions for your podcast for their, listeners and subscribers. They are opening the doors for anyone to be able to monetize their podcasts through Apple podcasts.

Now, before you run off and say, Oh, I'm joining the Apple podcast program, there are a few things that you need to understand. In this series of audios and posts, I'm going to walk you through the entire process and program as I and the entire podcast industry learn more about it, the advantages, the disadvantages, what you can do, what you can't do.

You'll also learn about some of the things you need to be careful of when you're signing up. So don't get rid of your third-party hosting just yet, and if you're offering subscriptions through another platform, I suggest that you stay and keep that going for a while because the Apple Podcaster Program is still in beta and it's very early to throw your podcast listeners into this basket. The release full release to the beta community starts in May as mentioned in the next section.

How to Sign Up

One of the first things you need to know to get into the program, you must be enrolled in Apple's beta software program. That's the only way you're going to be able to participate when the program goes live in May.

Features Podcasters Want

Managing podcasts, subscriptions are great. Here are a few of the options you'll receive when joining the App Podcaster program.

  • Administrator users and Access assignments do get users and access, so you can create separate channels which give you the ability to manage and monetize multiple shows.
  • Granular controls - Grant rights to various managers and assign roles like admins and show managers and analysts.

Program Cost and Ad Insertion

Participation is pay-to-play and will be $19.99 per year to have access to the Apple Podcaster Program. The revenue split is 70/30. So you get to keep 70% of what you charge your listener. So for instance, if you were charging $3.99 per episode, you're going to keep $2.79 and Apple gets the rest minus taxes, etc. Once your subscriber reaches one year of subscriptions you get a bump up to 85% of the subscription minus appliable taxes. They also are not taking any of the additional revenue you make with the podcast that's 100% yours.

If you have a sponsorship or something like that, you can still do it! However, if you're using ad insertion (the ability to insert an ad in pre-roll mid-roll or post-roll of your podcast.) you probably won't be able to do that on the Apple subscription podcast. So what that means is that if you have an ad that you're running on your podcast, and you're using ad insertion to serve that ad you may lose that ability.

Meaning you are creating an evergreen ad. It's not clear at this point if you'll be able to use ad insertion. So there are some concerns with what you'll be able to do for third parties that you have advertising agreements with for your podcast because once you record an ad into your show, it's going to be there permanently. Meaning if your relationship with whoever the advertiser is ending, they're going to get free advertisement from on those premium episodes unless you re-record that episode.

If you were to use Apple, I don't know that they've come up with a solution for that yet, because all that information quite honestly is not yet available. since this just launched, there's a lot of things we just don't know yet.

However, As I mentioned earlier, I would not run and go get rid of anything that you're currently doing, or even plan to. I would recommend using Apple as an added way to introduce new users to your podcast on the Apple platform.

Platform Distribution

These additions to Apple Podcast, don't affect Google Podcast or any other distribution. I don't know if Apple is going to provide an RSS feed that could be used for submitting a podcast to other directories, but they may.

Apple is going to give creators the ability to upload podcasts directly to Apple. So you will be able to use Apple as somewhat of a podcast host at least for shows that are hosted on the platform. Podcasters still can import a current RSS feed and convert it to premium. However, if you share that RSS feed out to any of the other platforms, those shows will be available on those platforms for free, because you have to remember, Apple is a podcast aggregator.

It is not a hosting platform, at least not in the traditional sense. Apple may provide an RSS feed for you to distribute to other networks for free content, but that's not clear at the moment.

So, maintain those relationships with all third parties that you're doing business with that hosts and secure your RSS feeds for you so that you can truly have a private podcast program.

No Listener Data Ownership

Yes, that's right, you will have no access to the listeners that are subscribing to your show. The data is locked to Apple's platform, which is a huge disadvantage for podcasters. Leaving the podcaster not able to message users or take that listener data with them when they leave.

Of course, with a public podcast you don't have a way to collect listener data, in most cases but when you move into the private realm of podcasting, knowing who is listening is one of the main advantages and allows you to remarket to those listeners for additional services you may offer. So there are some trad-offs to strongly consider about the Apple Podcasters Program.

Who Should Sign-Up for Apple's New Platform?

I think this platform is good for larger podcasts that want to reach more listenership at scale because of Apple's industry position as one of the largest podcast directories. Large podcasts get promoted on the front page of Apple which for popular shows could increase organic subscriptions for that show.

Keep in mind, Apple is only one of the largest directories. There's Spotify, Google Podcast, and Tune-in to name a few however you have to look to the companies that specialize in private podcasting if you want full control of the private podcast experience. This is especially true for companies that want employee-based private podcasts.

Subscription-based content is here to stay and as a podcaster, it's getting easier to take advantage and start collecting subscriptions for your premium content. To find out more about securing your podcast and offering premium content or securing your company podcast hit us up here via the contact us button below.

 Podcast Resources

Check out the podcast resources I use and recommend below: 

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