Apple is expanding its podcast subscriptions with two premium offerings – BBC and Slate now on board.
BBC Studios is offering US and Canadian listeners access to shows produced in the UK. As an American, trying to access any BBC Studios content will give you a warning “This content is not available in your location.” It’s not available on Spotify, Stitcher, or even any other podcasting service. But with a BBC Podcasts Premium subscription on Apple Podcasts, anyone can access those programs.
“Audio storytelling is where the BBC first began almost a century ago,” Louise la Grange of BBC Studios told Digital Music News. “And we’re proud to expand on that tradition with the launch of BBC Podcasts Premium.”
“We are incredibly excited to collaborate with Apple on its subscription product that offers a compelling and seamless way for audiences in the U.S. and Canada to enjoy the very best of our global audio journalism and storytelling, all ad-free, along with never-before-heard titles this side of the pond.”
Slate has also launched a paid Apple podcast subscription for listeners.
Slate Plus already offered ad-free listening and bonus content, but this subscription is for Slate’s audio-only products. The Slow Burn podcast has been a significant attractor for its paid subscription program, so adopting the Apple podcast subscriptions program makes sense for the company.
Apple’s podcast susbcriptions are a way for brands to monetize the platform – and gives competition to Spotify. Spotify is diversifying its streamable portfolio of content into live audio shows and podcasts, putting much less of the focus on music.
That’s because podcasts are much more profitable than music – where multiple parties must be paid from pennies per stream. Most podcast users are familiar with paying extra for ad-free listening – but not even Spotify offers that for Spotify Premium members.