Though the focus is on building exclusive content within Spotify, which has 165 million paid users and 365 million monthly users, Anchor will also provide creators with private RSS feeds that are compatible with other podcast distribution platforms.
“Our model is built to maximize creator revenue and offer the widest possible reach so creators can grow their audiences and develop deep connections with listeners,” the company said.
Spotify’s top competitor in the podcasting space, Apple, went global with its own podcast subscription options in June. Like Spotify/Anchor, Apple subscriptions provide support for ad-free listening for exclusive content, however, there are more fees involved. In line with other App Store purchases, Apple will keep 30% of sub fees for the first year and 15% annually after that.
Apple’s podcast division helped popularize the format, but in recent years has given up its lead to Spotify, which has grown rapidly. Spotify’s acquisition of Anchor in February 2019 marked its third podcasting company acquisition that year — after Gimlet Media and Parcast — spending upwards of $400 million total on the trio. In November, Spotify added podcast advertising and publishing company Megaphone to its arsenal, too.
Beginning Sept 15, international listeners will be able to subscribe to a U.S.-based podcast’s exclusive tier, however, an expansion of the platform to creators outside the U.S. is still being worked on. “Stay tuned,” the company said.