Apple Podcasts to use 'follow' instead of 'subscribe' in iOS 14.5

Posted:
in iOS edited March 2021
Apple is planning a minor tweak to wording in the Podcasts app that could have major implications to both users and content creators.

Podcasts


According to Podnews, Apple Podcasts in iOS 14.5 will drop the word "subscribe" in favor of "follow," a change other major podcast platforms have already adopted. Spotify, Audible, Stitcher and Amazon all use forms of "follow" when inviting users to sign up for automatic content downloads.

A seemingly minor modification, research suggests the transition to "follow" could drive higher engagement among new listeners.

As noted in the report, an Edison Research study found some 47% of people who do not currently listen to podcasts believe that "subscribing" to a show costs money. The negative connotation could be impacting podcasts and their distribution platforms.

"Today, Apple, Spotify, and YouTube are the three most widely used services to play podcasts, and now the word Subscribe means automatically download for free' in exactly none of them," Edison Research's Tom Webster told Podnews. "Podcasters will have no choice but to adapt their language accordingly or risk confusing listeners."

The change is expected to land in the Podcasts app when iOS 14.5 sees release in the coming weeks. Apple is currently on its third beta round.

Along with the Podcasts update, iOS 14.5 will introduce elements of Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, a new ability that enables users to unlock their Face ID-protected device with Apple Watch when wearing a mask, support for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X game controllers, and AirPlay 2 casting of Apple Fitness+ content. Also included is a set of more than 200 new emoji, Apple Music refinements, and updates to Apple's MagSafe Wallet haptics.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,299member
    I don’t get the problem here, we subscribe to channels on YouTube. It’s free, and everyone knows that. Considering how many people are on YouTube, and how many subscribe, I don’t see why some people would be confused.
    n2itivguy
  • Reply 2 of 6
    neillwdneillwd Posts: 31member
    People understanding words is a tricky thing these days.
    edited March 2021
  • Reply 3 of 6
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,363member
    "major implications" seems to be overselling it.  I doubt many will care one bit, if they even notice.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    What’s far more confusing is the message, “Processing Payment” when installing a free App. Lost count of the number of people I’ve seen panic at that message. 

    Oh and having the power button on the side still gives me at least one unwanted screenshot EVERY day. Please put it back on top. 

    Those 2 seem far more important. 
    cgWerks
  • Reply 5 of 6
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,299member
    beadlien said:
    What’s far more confusing is the message, “Processing Payment” when installing a free App. Lost count of the number of people I’ve seen panic at that message. 

    Oh and having the power button on the side still gives me at least one unwanted screenshot EVERY day. Please put it back on top. 

    Those 2 seem far more important. 
    I have never seen that message, and I literally have hundreds of apps.
  • Reply 6 of 6
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,843member
    melgross said:
    I don’t get the problem here, we subscribe to channels on YouTube. It’s free, and everyone knows that. Considering how many people are on YouTube, and how many subscribe, I don’t see why some people would be confused.
    Yeah, I don't get it either. Subscribe seems like a better term, too, as most podcast apps then download episodes as they release. 'Follow' just doesn't carry those kind of details. But, with Apple making this move (among many others), it seems that is the direction the entire industry is headed. I wonder if YouTube will eventually change?

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