apple is making it easier for podcasters to get their subscription shows on the platform. Creators on select podcast distribution platforms such as Acast and Libsyn will soon be able to automatically upload their premium shows to the Apple Podcasts app instead of publishing episode by episode through Apple’s platform.
Currently, those who offer subscription programs through the Apple Podcasters program must publish episodes through Apple Podcast Connect. The company says the new Delegated Delivery system will allow creators to skip that extra step and publish shows on Apple directly from their host’s dashboard. In addition to Acast and Libsyn, the first group of partner hosts includes Buzzsprout, Omny Studio, RSS.com, Blubrry, and ART19. The feature should launch “this fall.”
The new distribution feature also applies to free shows, which are distributed via RSS feed. Even with the new distribution system, podcasters offering subscriptions will still have to pay for the Apple Podcasters program, which costs $19.99 per year.
Apple Podcasts spokesperson Zach Kahn said the new feature isn’t meant to compete with Spotify’s Anchor, which allows creators to host and distribute subscription shows directly on Spotify. The intent, he said, is to create a more open podcasting ecosystem so open that Anchor and Megaphone, also owned by Spotify, can become delegated delivery partners if the company so chooses. Spotify did not respond to the request for comment as to whether this would happen.
Spotify already has its own partner hosts who have streamlined the publishing of subscription shows through its Open Access program, including Supercast, glow.fm (owned by Libsyn), and Apple partner Acast. (Note: Vox Media is also a partner in Spotify’s Open Access program).
Apple has also announced a new feature for podcast listeners. With a new software update for iPhones, iPads and Macs, users can choose how many podcast episodes they want to download in the app for offline listening, with options like “five newest episodes” or those from the “last 14 days”. Older episodes that have not been downloaded manually will be deleted automatically. The new download configuration may solve a major annoyance for heavy podcast listeners who can quickly accumulate downloads that eat up their device’s storage space.