Apple Podcasts to Gain Downloaded Episode Controls, Annual Subscription Plans, and Hosting Partnerships
Apple today announced several new features for the Podcasts app, including downloaded episode controls, annual subscription plans, partnerships with hosting platforms, and more (via TechCrunch).
iOS 15.5, iPadOS 15.5, and macOS 12.4 will feature new tools to easily remove accumulated downloads and free up storage space. In the Settings app on iOS and iPadOS under Podcasts, users will be able to choose how many recent episodes of shows are downloaded to a device, either by number of episodes or within a timeframe, such as in the past week.
Users will be able to continue to download all new episodes, but new functionality to turn off downloads will make the Podcasts app function via streaming only. This will be configurable at the show level to provide custom settings for different podcasts.
The updates will also bring features to browse shows by season and filter episodes by status, and give podcast creators the option to present annual subscription plans for premium podcasts alongside monthly subscription options, with annual subscriptions set to become the default. Annual subscriptions will also display cost savings to users where relevant.
The Apple Podcasts Delegated Delivery system will allow creators to distribute both free and premium podcast episodes directly to Apple Podcasts using third-party hosting providers. Creators will not be required to have an Apple Podcasts Program membership to publish their free episodes. Acast, ART19, Blubrry, Buzzsprout, Libsyn, Omny Studio, and RSS.com will be supported at launch in the fall, with more hosting providers to be added over time, and additional details about the new distribution system will be available nearer to launch. Read more on the Apple Podcasts for Creators page.
Downloaded episode controls and annual podcast subscriptions will be available in iOS 15.5, iPadOS 15.5, and macOS 12.4, while Delegated Delivery will debut with supported podcast hosting providers this fall.