Apple delaying Podcasts Subscriptions launch until June, promises improvements to Podcasts app

Apple has announced in an email to podcasters today that it is delaying the launch of Apple Podcasts Subscriptions. The company had originally said this new platform for paid podcasts would launch in May, but it’s now delaying the rollout to allow it to make further tweaks to the Apple Podcasts application.

In an email obtained by 9to5Mac, Apple explained that it will launch Apple Podcasts Subscriptions and channels in June to “ensure the best experience for creators and listeners.”

We’re writing to provide an update on the availability of Apple Podcasts Subscriptions and channels. We’ve been delighted by the response to last month’s announcement and it’s exciting to see the hundreds of new subscriptions and channels submitted from creators across the globe every day.

To ensure we are delivering the best experience for creators and listeners, Apple Podcasts Subscriptions and channels will now launch in June. We will communicate further updates on availability, and best practices to help you prepare your subscriptions and channels, through this newsletter.

Apple also acknowledges problems that creators have faced using Apple Podcasts Connect. As we first reported last month, the Apple Podcasts Directory has faced a variety of issues since April. As you’ve probably noticed, this has meant shows are slow to update for listeners.

Over the last few weeks, some creators have experienced delays in the availability of their content and access to Apple Podcasts Connect. We’ve addressed these disruptions and encourage creators experiencing any issues to contact us.

Finally, Apple acknowledges the lukewarm reception to the Apple Podcasts application design that came with iOS 14.5. The company says it addressed some concerns with iOS 14.6, and it has additional enhancements planned for the Library interface “in the coming weeks.”

We’ve also heard from listeners and made adjustments based on their feedback with iOS 14.6, which was released on Monday. We will introduce additional enhancements to Library in the coming weeks.

The Apple Podcasts Subscriptions platform was first announced at App’s special event on April 20. Once available in June, the platform will allow podcasters to offer paid subscriptions to their shows with bonus content such as ad-free episodes and subscriber-only episodes.