Spotify’s new Podcast Subscriptions expand to global markets

Just a few months after launching support for podcast subscriptions to U.S. creators, Spotify today is making the service available to creators in global markets. The company says the service, which allows creators to mark episodes as “subscriber-only” content, will now become available in 33 new markets worldwide.

When podcast subscriptions publicly launched in the U.S., Spotify had introduced a couple of key changes to how the service worked. Before, creators had only been able to choose from one of three price points for their paid shows. But Spotify heard from creators they wanted more pricing flexibility, so it revamped pricing with the introduction of 20 price point options for creators to choose from, starting as low as $0.49 and increasing to as much as $150.

The company also launched a feature that would allow creators to download a list of their subscribers’ contact information, so they could further develop their direct relationship with their audience.

As the service rolls out globally, Spotify isn’t introducing any new features, it says. Instead, the expansion is just about bringing podcast subscriptions to more people.

Spotify’s podcast subscription platform isn’t the only one on the market. Apple offers its version of subscriptions, but takes a 30% cut of creator revenue, which drops to 15% in year two — similar to other subscription apps. Spotify, meanwhile, is hoping to grow its service by waiving its commissions for the first two years. When the free period ends, it then plans to take a much lower commission of just 5%.

Spotify’s subscription podcasts service is offered via its podcast creation platform Anchor, which notes the subscriptions available today on both iOS and Android to 29 markets. The remaining four markets will roll out next week.

Included in the global rollout are Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Next week, Canada, Germany, Austria, and  France will be supported.

In other podcast news, Spotify additionally announced a multi-year exclusive agreement with Bad Robot Audio, a new audio-focused division of Bad Robot, the production company formed by J.J. Abrams in 2001.

Bad Robot is behind shows like “Lost,” “Alias,” “Fringe,” “Person of Interest,” “Castle Rock,” “Westworld,” and others, as well as films like “Super 8,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker,” and the “Star Trek,” “Mission: Impossible” and “Cloverfield” franchises.

The new division is being led by former Audible and Spotify award-winning executive, Christina Choi, who joins as Head of Podcasts at Bad Robot. The company isn’t yet detailing what shows it may offer on Spotify, but notes that they’ll include both “narrative non-fiction and fiction podcast productions.”