(Pocket-lint) - Spotify has officially launched a paid podcast subscription product in the US. It is allowing, initially, select podcasters on its platform to charge for content by offering subscriptions to their shows. Here's everything you need to know about how Spotify podcast subscriptions work.

How to tell if a podcast isn't free on Spotify

Subscribers can listen to paid podcasts inside of Spotify or a third-party app through a private RSS feed.

In Spotify, paid content will have a lock icon where the play button typically appears. To unlock a show, you will have to go to a dedicated Anchor page, which podcasters can put in their show notes, bio, and episode descriptions. It's worth noting you can't subscribe directly within the Spotify app, which means Spotify won’t have to pay Apple for any subscriptions sold under its App Store terms.

How much do paid podcasts cost on Spotify?

Podcasters have three monthly pricing options to choose from: $2.99, $4.99, or $7.99, and they won't owe anything to Spotify for the first two years (aside from the cost of transaction fees through Spotify’s payment partner, Stripe). That said, in 2023, Spotify said it will begin taking a 5 per cent cut of podcasters' total subscription revenue. Keep in mind Apple's new podcast subscription service will take a 15 per cent to 30 per cent cut from creators.

Note: Spotify's Anchor hosting is still free for podcasters to use. But if a podcaster already runs a subscription elsewhere and wants to offer their paid content on Spotify, they must use Anchor in addition to their other provider. 

Which podcasts cost money on Spotify?

As part of Spotify's paid podcast subscription producer, 12 podcast shows - including Tiny Leaps and Mindful in Minutes - will offer bonus subscriber-only content. NPR will launch ad-free versions of popular shows, too. No Spotify-owned shows will be paywalled at launch.  

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Want to launch a paid podcast on Spotify?

If you're a podcaster, you can sign up to be included in the full rollout later this year, which will include international availability, by joining a waitlist here.

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Want to know more?

Check out our in-depth Spotify guide to learn all about how the service works.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.