Apple Podcasts App Lets Users 'Follow' New Content Instead of 'Subscribe' in iOS 14.5

Apple is making a small but notable change to the way listeners can sign up to get updates on new podcast content, with the company changing the word "Subscribe" to "Follow" in the Podcasts app in iOS 14.5.

ios 14 5 podcasts
The wording shift in the Podcasts app was highlighted by podnews, with the site pointing out that the word "Subscribe" could have misled Podcasts users into thinking that the podcasts cost money to listen to.

In the current iOS 14.5 beta, tapping on the three dot menu item when viewing a podcast allows users to opt to "Follow" a podcast rather than to "Subscribe" to a podcast. The large "Subscribe" button has also been eliminated in a design changes introduced to the Podcasts app in the iOS 14.5 update, in favor of a "Latest Episode" button.

podcast app ios 14 4

Podcast app interface in iOS 14.4

When you tap on "Latest Episode," the app now alerts you that you have "Followed" a podcast instead of "Subscribed" to it.

podcast app ios 14 5

Podcast app interface in iOS 14.5

Other apps like Spotify, Audible, Amazon Music, and Stitcher also use "Follow" wording instead of "Subscribe." Edison Research's Tom Webster told podnews that Apple's shift from subscribe to follow could have an impact on the rest of the podcast industry.

"Today, Apple, Spotify, and YouTube are the three most widely used services to play podcasts, and now the word Subscribe means 'automatically download for free' in exactly none of them. Podcasters will have no choice but to adapt their language accordingly or risk confusing listeners."

Right now, the Podcasts app is free and Apple has no paid podcast content, but rumors have suggested that Apple is working on a paid podcast subscription service that would charge people to listen to podcasts.

With a paid subscription service, Apple could potentially lure high-profile creators with the promise of more money, stealing them away from other platforms like Spotify. The change in language facilitates the later introduction of a podcasting subscription service and will prevent confusion in the future.

Apple has made small wording changes in the past to clarify how purchases and downloads work. In the App Store, for example, the "Free" label was replaced with "Get" in 2014 to make it clear that apps with no-upfront purchase costs could have in-app purchase options.

Top Rated Comments

DerHexer Avatar
19 months ago
As dumb as this change may sound for us tech-people. We are not the only users and I have to clarify for my grandma multiple times when she was afraid about the „subscribe“-buttons in apps like YouTube when following certain channels on her iPad. She is indeed afraid that it could cost money. This naming of subscribe has a totally different meaning for older people then us - and I am not only talking bout grandmother-old!
So makes sense for podcast as well to change this naming.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
shapesinaframe Avatar
19 months ago

Subscribers and followers are the same thing.
Not when one of them has a subscription payment attached to it. They’re setting up the mechanisms for paid content in the podcasts app.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
johnmacward Avatar
19 months ago
I hope they fix more than just that, such as a the overall navigation of the app which I find to be a nightmare. Trying to re-listen to an already heard episode means an enormous scroll to the bottom of the podcast list to both “Previously Played” and “See All Episodes” - why is this so hidden and far away?

Secondly, searching in the podcasts app is a travesty. Keywords are clearly in the description or title and STILL the search engine doesn’t show the correct results.

Podcasts needs a major upgrade.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
19 months ago
Sweet! Awesome feature. IOS 14.5 cannot come soon enough!!!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jamalien Avatar
19 months ago

There's no difference between this. Subscribers and followers are synonyms. So there is really no point to this.
Podcast’s ‘subscribe’ in this new world of subscriptions can be misconstrued to mean payment. ‘Follow’ is universally known as the generic social media term, which usually doesn’t incur payment.

It’s a logical change
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coffeemadmanUK Avatar
19 months ago

Sweet! Awesome feature. IOS 14.5 cannot come soon enough!!!
Excited much? ?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

Podcasts Feature

Apple Podcasts Subscriptions Launching on June 15

Wednesday June 9, 2021 10:10 am PDT by
Apple will make Podcasts subscription options available starting on Tuesday, June 15, Apple said today in an email that was sent out to podcasters (via The Verge). Support for Podcasts Subscriptions was introduced with the iOS 14.6 update, but in late May after releasing the update Apple said that the rollout of the feature would be delayed until June to make sure that the "best experience"...
the macrumors show

Introducing 'The MacRumors Show' Podcast

Wednesday December 29, 2021 7:28 am PST by
MacRumors has launched a podcast – "The MacRumors Show," featuring discussion about all of the latest news and rumors from the world of Apple, and the first episode is available now. Supplementing our daily coverage here on MacRumors, the podcast takes a fresh look at the latest news and rumors. In this first episode, Dan, Hartley, and Sami talk through Apple's product launches in 2021 and...
Apple Podcast Alternate

Apple Announces Apple Podcasts Subscriptions

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:18 am PDT by
Apple today announced Apple Podcasts Subscriptions, allowing users to unlock additional podcast benefits such as ad-free listening, access to additional content, and early or exclusive access to new series. Apple says that users will be able to enjoy a range of premium subscriptions from NPR, the Los Angeles Times, Sony Music Entertainment, and more. Listeners will also be able to access...
apple podcasts connect followers

Apple Podcast Creators Will Soon Be Able to Access Follower Metrics

Tuesday March 22, 2022 9:12 am PDT by
Apple today announced a Podcasts update for creators, introducing follower metrics and other features that are designed to help podcast makers track their audience and monetize their shows. Under the Analytics tab in Apple Podcasts Connect, creators will be able to view followers per show and track followers across shows. The interface will display new followers gained over the last week,...
spotify vs apple podcasts feature

Spotify Set to Rival Apple Podcasts Subscriptions With New Service That Won't Charge Content Creators

Friday April 23, 2021 4:25 am PDT by
Apple this week announced a new subscription feature coming to the Podcasts app in May that will let podcast publishers sell subscriptions to an individual show or a group of shows, with pricing starting at 49 cents per month. Publishers will be able to set their own pricing, but Apple will reportedly take a 30% of subscription revenue that creators generate in their first year on the...
spotify timestamp sharing

Spotify Mobile App Gains Podcast Timestamp Sharing Feature

Tuesday May 11, 2021 2:07 am PDT by
Spotify has announced the availability of podcast timestamp sharing, a new feature of its mobile app that lets users share podcasts beginning at a particular moment. Previously, it was only possible to share a podcast link to an entire episode on Spotify. Timestamp sharing means the shared podcast will play for the recipient from the time that the sender chooses, allowing them to highlight...
Podcasts Feature

Apple Delays Launch of Podcasts Subscriptions Until June

Friday May 28, 2021 2:49 pm PDT by
Apple today informed podcast creators that use the Apple Podcasts platform that the rollout of Podcasts Subscriptions and channels will be delayed until June to make sure that the "best experience" is being provided to creators and listeners. We're writing to provide an update on the availability of Apple Podcasts Subscriptions and channels. We've been delighted by the response to last month's ...
maxresdefault

The MacRumors Show: Rene Ritchie Talks Mac Studio Performance and Studio Display Controversy

Friday March 25, 2022 10:18 am PDT by
Acclaimed Apple content creator Rene Ritchie joins us on The MacRumors Show podcast this week to reflect on the all-new Mac Studio and Studio Display now that users have had a chance to spend some time with the machines. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The eighth episode of The MacRumors Show takes a look at the Mac Studio and Studio Display's real-world...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Predicted to Start With Increased 256GB Storage Alongside Rumored Price Increase

Wednesday August 10, 2022 11:14 am PDT by
Earlier today, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed iPhone 14 Pro models will be more expensive than iPhone 13 Pro models. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing, but he said that the average selling price of all four iPhone 14 models will increase by about 15% overall. While higher prices would be disappointing for customers, it is possible the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will offer increased...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
battery percentage ios 16

Here's Why the iPhone Battery Status Icon in iOS 16 Is So Controversial

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:34 am PDT by
In the latest iOS 16 beta, Apple has updated the status bar battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the exact percentage remaining rather than just a visual representation of battery level, and while the change has been largely welcomed, some users are unhappy with the way it has been implemented. In iOS 15 and earlier, battery percent has not been present on iPhones that have...
Apple Watch Body Temperature Finished

'High-Accuracy' Apple Watch Temperature Sensor Revealed by Patent Filing Just Weeks Before Series 8 Unveiling

Wednesday August 10, 2022 5:39 am PDT by
Apple has been granted a patent for a temperature sensor suitable for the Apple Watch, just weeks before the company is expected to unveil the Apple Watch Series 8 with body temperature sensing capabilities. The newly granted patent, spotted by MyHealthyApple, was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and is titled "Temperature gradient sensing in electronic devices."...