22 November 2021
UPDATE (August 25th, 2021):
Spotify has now expanded paid podcasts subscription to all creators in the United States. All podcasters can now use the Anchor platform to create and share paid podcasts. They will be able to choose the option subscriber-only to specify a particular episode as a paid one. Once it is published, they can choose to share paid podcasts via Spotify as well as other podcast platforms.
The company further has plans to offer even more pricing points in the future. It is planning to offer as many as 20 pricing points to content creators so that they can be flexible.
Original (April 28th, 2021)
As it was reported last week, Spotify has officially announced paid podcast subscriptions. The move is aimed at helping creators offer paid content so that they can earn money while doing what they love to do. The new feature is currently available only in the United States and that too to a handful of select podcasters on the platform. It will be expanded to everyone gradually with time.
It should be noted that Spotify is offering paid podcast subscriptions through Anchor. It means users will not be able to subscribe to a paid podcast from the main app. They will have to do so by clicking on the Subscribe link which will take them to Anchor's page for completing all the formalities. This has been done to ensure that the company does not have to pay any cut to Apple which is also the reason you cannot subscribe to the app's premium plans directly from the app.
All content creators will get to keep all of the revenue made through paid subscriptions until 2023. They will only have to pay nominal transaction charges to Spotify's payment handling partner Stripe. After two years, the company says it will take only a 5% cut from creators which is significantly lower in comparison to Apple's 15% to 30% cut. As for the subscription pricing, the buyers will be able to choose from $2.99, $4.99, and $7.99 per month plans.
Even though paid podcasts are available only to select podcasters, for now, all other creators can choose to join the waitlist. These subscriptions also do not affect Anchor's free hosting usage functionality. If you are someone who offers your premium podcasts somewhere else but also wants to offer through Spotify, then you will have to host that podcast on Anchor as well. Lastly, none of the Spotify-owned podcasts will become paid for the time being.