At the Spring Loaded 2021 event and announcing the highly-awaited AirTags, the new iPad Pro lineup, and the new iMac, Apple also announced a new subscription service for Apple Podcast. Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the Apple Podcast Subscription would be available in over 170 countries and regions in May. With the subscription service, Apple will also allow listeners to access free trials and sample episodes offered by creators. The pricing for the new subscription service is yet to be announced.
With iOS 14.5, users will also see a redesigned Apple Podcasts app which will feature an enhanced Search tab, which will provide quick access to Top Charts and categories. The app will also get a new Smart Play button to help listeners automatically start episodic shows from the latest episode and serialized shows from the beginning of each series.
The Apple Podcast app will now also allow users to save individual episodes, which are downloaded for offline playback, making it easy to bookmark podcasts to listen to later from Library. Users will access the new Search tab, Smart Play button, Saved Episodes on iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and macOS 11.3. Saved Episodes are also available on watchOS 7.4 and tvOS 14.5. These software updates will be available next week.
Apple has announced that with the service, users will be able to subscribe to exclusive content by creators like Tenderfoot TV, Pushkin Industries, Radiotopia from PRX, and QCODE, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, The Athletic, Sony Music Entertainment, and many more.
Starting next month, Apple Podcast users will also discover channels – which are groups of shows curated by creators with unique titles, descriptions, and artwork.