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This new subscription service could help Spotify crush Apple Music

Published Nov 6th, 2020 7:05PM EST
Spotify Premium
Image: Newscom/MEGA

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  • A new Spotify premium subscription service may be in the works, based on surveys the streamer has apparently been sending out to users through the music streaming app.
  • Spotify users have been queried on their interest in a possible Spotify subscription offering focused on podcasts. For a monthly fee, users would get exclusive and original shows, early episodes — but no music.
  • Spotify cautions that this potential product should not be considered official or on the way just yet.

Since Spotify is going full steam ahead into original and exclusive podcast series as a way to further differentiate itself from rival services like Apple Music, you had to expect something like this would come to fruition eventually. The Swedish-based music streamer has started sending out surveys asking people for their thoughts on a possible podcast-focused Spotify premium subscription offering, whereby you’d pay a monthly fee to get access to the streamer’s exclusive podcast content.

Andrew Wallenstein, the president of Variety’s Intelligence Platform, was one of those people who got the survey through the Spotify app and tweeted it out to his followers. Basically, several different potential podcast subscription tiers are suggested in this survey, which solicits feedback. The prices would range from $3 to $8 per month.

For now, at least, Spotify is cautioning not to misconstrue this as evidence that such an offering is officially in the works. Accordingly, a Spotify spokesperson told The Verge: “At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of surveys in an effort to improve our user experience. Some of those end up paving the path for our broader user experience and others serve only as important learnings. We have no further news to share on future plans at this time.”

It is, certainly, interesting to see what the streamer seems to be at least considering herein, as the survey hints, for example, at the cheapest plan including ads but also “access to exclusive interviews and episodes.” At the high end, the most expensive plan would offer early access to some podcast episodes, in addition to “high-quality original content” and no Spotify-inserted ads (which is not to say the podcasts couldn’t insert their own). Most important, it must be stressed that as conceived and hinted at in this survey, the monthly fee you’d pay for this podcast offering would be completely separate from and would not include a Spotify Premium music subscription.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly found myself listening to podcasts more during the coronavirus pandemic, when I find myself with less time to enjoy music the way I used to. The show I’m addicted to now, which is available on Spotify and all the major podcast services, is True Spies, a show hosted by actresses Vanessa Kirby and Haley Atwell, and it includes real behind-the-scenes stories from the shadows of the espionage business around the world.  They had me at the second word, spies, and if I found more content like this on Spotify’s new (but nonexistent as yet) podcast service, I would definitely be among the first to sign up.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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