According to surveys spotted by Spotify users, the music streaming service could be contemplating charging additional fees for ad-free podcasts.
Rumors are circulating that Spotify may be considering implementing a premium podcast plan to its subscription service. Podcasts, of course, have become an increasingly popular genre on Spotify and other music streaming services. Up to this point, however, users have not had to pay extra to access their favorite podcasts.
Coincidentally, Spotify recently inked a major deal to bring one of the most popular podcasts in the country, the Joe Rogan Experience, to the platform exclusively by the year 2021. The Joe Rogan Experience had previously been a YouTube-based series, offered for free to anyone with access to the website. But, if swirling speculations are to be believed, the pricing options for listening may be set to change.
The rumors stem from tweets by Andrew Wallenstein, the Chief Media Analyst and President of Variety, who posted screenshots of a survey Spotify prompted him to fill out upon opening the app. The screenshots suggested that Spotify was trying to gauge the level of interest that users would have in paying for their favorite podcasts. Wallenstein speculated that this “premium plan” would be ad-free versions of the podcast with exclusive extra content that comes at a price between $3-$8.
Current Spotify Prices & Plans
There are several tiered plans for Spotify already in place, with different price points at each level. A free version of the service available with ads does not allow for listening without an internet connection and only allows users to choose certain tracks to play on mobile when accessing select playlists. The $10 per month premium plan, meanwhile, is ad-free and allows users to listen to any song they want, with or without an internet connection.
The Spotify Premium Student plan is 50 percent cheaper at $5 per month and is available with the same perks as the standard premium plan, but only for students and for up to four years. The Spotify Premium Duo plan bundles together two premium accounts for $13 per month, and the Premium Family Plan offers service for up to six people living together for $15 per month. The Family Plan also offers parental control over explicit music for younger users.
Spotify has done a good job of creating different plans that support the needs of different groups of people. However, the streaming service may very well be met with pushback if it tries to charge additional fees for listening to ad-free podcasts. Many users may be fine with continuing to listen to podcasts that feature ads, so it could end up being a non-issue. But others would likely not take kindly to having to pay an additional cost to their existing Spotify subscription. It will be interesting to see if Spotify chooses to roll out such an extra paywall for ad-free podcasts and, if so, how it would implement and market it.
Next: Spotify Video Podcasts: Everything You Need To Know To Start Watching
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