Apple possibly prepping premium podcast model for iOS 6

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
A seemingly innocuous "Redeem" button in the new iOS Podcast app could hint at a possible Apple initiative to monetize the popular digital media format which is currently free to listeners.

The "redeem" button does not appear in the Podcast app on iOS 5 handsets as first noted by Cult of Mac, though the graphic is present on iDevices running the iOS 6 beta and when clicked opens a separate "Redeem" page much like the existing iOS App Store.

It should be noted that the Podcast app uses the same iTunes pipeline and storefront as the iTunes app which allows Apple to update the app sans and iOS change, possibly explaining the presence of the redeem button in iOS 6 beta. Another possibility is that redeem codes could be used by content providers in lieu of having a user search for a particular podcast, meaning that instead of adding funds to an account the redeem code could be used as a navigation tool.

What is unclear is why the redeem button appears only in the upcoming version of Apple mobile OS and not in the current iOS 5, leaving room for speculation that the company may be looking into monetizing podcasts.

Podcast Redeem Button
The new Podcast app's redeem button and subsequent landing screen only appears on devices running iOS 6.


If Apple were to allow podcast creators to charge for their content, it would be the first such play at pay-per-download or subscription-based distribution since the digital shorts were introduced in the iTunes Store in 2005.

Thus far Apple has forbade podcasters to charge for their media in any direct way which has prompted some to seek financial backing through workarounds like in-show advertising or website donations. For example the popular Adam Carolla podcast, which hovers near the top of the iTunes charts, runs "live reads" from a variety of third-party advertisers and promotes its own partnership with Amazon that metes out a small percentage of whatever sale is made after a user "clicks through" an advertisement banner to the online retailer's site. Not only does this technique allow Amazon real-time advertising analytics, but it gives podcasters a way to make money that is beyond Apple's purview.

As podcasting continues to grow and become increasingly lucrative with big-name providers including TED Talks and NPR programming, Apple is missing out on the cottage industry it helped to create. It is possible that the iPod maker could be mulling over a royalty-based distribution model much akin to how iTunes handles music, movies and books. Whether a new pricing scheme will have an effect on downloads is also unknown, though podcasters could see equal or higher revenues under the speculated system even with a smaller audience.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member


    God forbid Apple should miss out on another opportunity to extract their pound of flesh. Apparently the new dock connector on iPhone 5 will ensure only devices that are licenced by Apple (and duly pay a royalty) will work with the new iPhone. Presumably they will roll that out to all their other iOS devices over time. We already have a closed system for iOS apps, etc so Apple get their 30%. How long before they mandate that only apps sold through the Mac App Store can be used on Macs? I think we can all see where this going. Less choice and more expensive apps & peripherals for us but KERCHING for Apple. Say what you like about Tim Cook but he certainly knows how to make money.

  • Reply 2 of 28


    If this is all true and comes to fruition, then I sense a ton of bitterness, reluctance, and pilfering on torrents to occur.  Most people have become too dependent and use to having free podcasts for the past five years.   The thing is, I'm surprised it took this long for this to develop.   Most podcasts will remain free because they are either small potatoes or done as a labor of love.   However, some major players, basically, the top-twenty of each podcasting genre could be interested in such a model.  

  • Reply 3 of 28
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,516member


    If people are willing to pay for cable TV, movies, music, etc. why shouldn't people be willing to pay for premium content? If you don't like it, don't buy it. Incredible.

  • Reply 4 of 28
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    I don't see it being a viable model, except maybe some celebrity podcasts and some occasional specials.

    I guess it could be a system to make it easier to donate. Last I heard, the donation model doesn't bring much money in anyway, so I don't know if that would help.
  • Reply 5 of 28
    jr_bjr_b Posts: 64member


    There are very few podcast's worth watching and they sure aren't worth paying for.

  • Reply 6 of 28


    And you are perfectly free to buy something else. No one is standing outside a shop with a gun, forcing you in the door, are they?

  • Reply 7 of 28
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    shaun, uk wrote: »
    Apparently the new dock connector on iPhone 5 will ensure only devices that are licenced by Apple (and duly pay a royalty) will work with the new iPhone.
    Apple has used the same dock connector for nearly 10 years and you assume their only reason for altering it is to force you to buy new accessories? What a great plan¡
    How long before they mandate that only apps sold through the Mac App Store can be used on Macs?
    There is absolutely no sign of that happening.
    I think we can all see where this going.
    Just because one wears a tinfoil hat doesn't mean you still can't suffer a concussion.
    Less choice and more expensive apps & peripherals for us but KERCHING for Apple.
    Yeah, because Apple's App Store is known for being so expensive for consumers and being able to use iPods, iPhones, and iPad across multiple generations with the same accessory is just Apple not being on the ball with their sinister plan¡


    jeffdm wrote: »
    I don't see it being a viable model, except maybe some celebrity podcasts and some occasional specials.
    I guess it could be a system to make it easier to donate. Last I heard, the donation model doesn't bring much money in anyway, so I don't know if that would help.

    If they will be going for it when they announce the iPhone update I assume they have a plan in place to make it work. I'm not sure I'd buy them as I don't listen to many Podcasts but I also have no subscriptions in NewsStand which I keep hearing is great.
  • Reply 8 of 28


    SHAUN, UK "God forbid Apple should miss out on another opportunity to extract their pound of flesh. Apparently the new dock connector on iPhone 5 will ensure only devices that are licenced by Apple (and duly pay a royalty) will work with the new iPhone. Presumably they will roll that out to all their other iOS devices over time. We already have a closed system for iOS apps, etc so Apple get their 30%. How long before they mandate that only apps sold through the Mac App Store can be used on Macs? I think we can all see where this going. Less choice and more expensive apps & peripherals for us but KERCHING for Apple. Say what you like about Tim Cook but he certainly knows how to make money."


     


    Don't want to sound dismissive....but you do have a choice. Get an Android tablet made by ?, smartphone made by ?, a zune, and a chrome notebook. And a $400 PC.


     


    What Apple is doing is succeeding at making a fantastic eco-system. And making a pretty penny in doing so. 


     


    Apple is about excellence for profit. Most other companies are about "ripping off" the consumer for profit, Dell, HP (think ink), ATT, Verizon, Cox Cable, MS, RIM, etc., etc. 


     


    And when I say, "ripping off the consumer for profit," I mean providing slipshod products, rushed to market with clunky software, with half-assed, baked into creaky, crappy, plasticky hardware.


     


    I will not buy any electronic equipment unless it's made by Apple.


     


    I've gone 4 years w/o a TV, my GPS (TomTom) is an app in my iP4s. Which I use as my main camera. I will not buy a DSLR because of the clunky software in them. Too many "bits!"


     


    An iP5, iPad, MBA, Apple TV and I'm good to go! Less wires, less power bricks and a lot less headaches! :)


     


     


    PS. I do have a Brother MFC printer.


     


    Best regards! :)

  • Reply 9 of 28
    buckalecbuckalec Posts: 192member


    makes sense - to create competitive original content for the Apple TV and break free from the TV content model. The purely ad based model is tough - eg.: revision3 (now sadly part of the the Discover Circus of television)

  • Reply 10 of 28
    troehltroehl Posts: 31member


    Actually, when you stop and think about it there really isn't much different between subscribing to a season of a TV show in iTunes and subscribing to a video podcast. 

  • Reply 11 of 28
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member


    Maybe that button is for religious individuals who have sinned recently and wish to correct the issue?

  • Reply 12 of 28
    starbird73starbird73 Posts: 538member
    I guess you don't download podcasts much, eh? You do realize there are already several that you have to pay to get, right? And as a result? They can NOT be found in the iTunes podcast directory. There was a great, free, LOST podcast by Jay & Jack. When LOST was ending, they started a subscription model. Can't automatically download to iTunes.

    Adam Carolla has a series of podcasts with Dennis Prager. Paid only, and available from his site only. This will not only allow that to be available in iTunes for a fee, but, I would bet, encourage MORE subscribers.

    Not everything should be free. To turn a phrase, you get what you pay for.
  • Reply 13 of 28
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,906member
    Shaun you are out of date here
    shaun, uk wrote: »
    God forbid Apple should miss out on another opportunity to extract their pound of flesh.
    Actually this is to the benefit of podcast producers who have to struggle to recover production expenses. Some of these podcasts are actually worth a buck, others are obviously a waste of time. I would not be surprised that the push for this comes from content producers, not Apple.
    Apparently the new dock connector on iPhone 5 will ensure only devices that are licenced by Apple (and duly pay a royalty) will work with the new iPhone.
    This is already the case for both the dock connector and Bluetooth. These ports require authentication chips for people expecting to sell a product that works with them. The exception being very specific drivers that Apple supplies for communications with certain classes of drivers.

    This is actually a sour point for me, so it does mean that Apple misses out on some neat possibilities.
    Presumably they will roll that out to all their other iOS devices over time. We already have a closed system for iOS apps, etc so Apple get their 30%. 
    Do realize this has been a huge win for small time developers. This has directly lead to the large library of high quality apps on app store. There are two sides to every coin.
    How long before they mandate that only apps sold through the Mac App Store can be used on Macs? 
    I doubt it will ever come to that. There is a huge collection of specialty apps that have to be distributed outside the app store now. Apple knows this.
    I think we can all see where this going. Less choice and more expensive apps & peripherals for us but KERCHING for Apple. Say what you like about Tim Cook but he certainly knows how to make money.
    You have this all wrong! The millions that developers are making via iOS has resulted in the largest library of quality apps for handheld devices going. Apple is paying out billions to developers so it isn't all going to Apple.
  • Reply 14 of 28
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,906member
    There was at one time a very good developer oriented podcast that eventually went off iTunes to enable paid distribution. Though I lost track of it, it was worth at least a couple of bucks a year. My biggest fear would be producers overcharging for this comtent.
    starbird73 wrote: »
    I guess you don't download podcasts much, eh? You do realize there are already several that you have to pay to get, right? And as a result? They can NOT be found in the iTunes podcast directory. There was a great, free, LOST podcast by Jay & Jack. When LOST was ending, they started a subscription model. Can't automatically download to iTunes.
    Adam Carolla has a series of podcasts with Dennis Prager. Paid only, and available from his site only. This will not only allow that to be available in iTunes for a fee, but, I would bet, encourage MORE subscribers.
    Not everything should be free. To turn a phrase, you get what you pay for.

    The fact is I would be more likely to pay for a quality podcast through Apple then to have to keep track of a bunch of individual suppliers. It is the same as Mac App store where i switched over to app store apps as soon as possible. It is far better to check for updates once than to have to look all over the web or hope that the developer uses Sparkle.

    I'm not sure why people complain when Apple tries to do the right thing. If implemented right and developer don't get too proud of their works it could be a huge win for Apple and those producers.
  • Reply 15 of 28
    jakebjakeb Posts: 557member


    I'd pay for Radiolab and Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.

  • Reply 16 of 28
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 707member


    you have choices. there's always android.

  • Reply 17 of 28

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post



    I don't see it being a viable model, except maybe some celebrity podcasts and some occasional specials.

    I guess it could be a system to make it easier to donate. Last I heard, the donation model doesn't bring much money in anyway, so I don't know if that would help.




    I think the donation part would be nice.  I would like an easy way to donate a small amount of money on a recurring basis to the podcasts I listen to.  It is just a hassle to go enter in payment info every week or two to give 99 cents.  If it was built into the system I would do it. 

  • Reply 18 of 28
    macslutmacslut Posts: 514member


    I would love this!


     


    My company produces several podcasts.  Most are currently sponsored or corporate podcasts, but if there was even a little revenue stream coming in (like 99 cents even), we'd get more than enough revenue to have a nice profit, even after giving Apple 30%, and using some of the revenue to subsidize other podcasts (educational and other pro-bono content).

     

  • Reply 19 of 28
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    If they will be going for it when they announce the iPhone update I assume they have a plan in place to make it work.


    You're assuming that Apple always has a plan in place.  Power Macintosh G5 "Quad Core" (2.5) [watercooled, a technique abandonned after that model by Apple dat haz a plan], iDisk and MobileMe, FaceTime, Dashcode, iBooks would like to have a word with you.

  • Reply 20 of 28
    lukeilukei Posts: 333member


    This could be a way for location based broadcasters (like the BBC) to charge for their content outside of regions where people pay an 'all-in' fee to use them?

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