Spotify used to just be a music streaming service, but over the past few years, the company has increasingly shifted its attention to the world of podcasts. Spotify is now one of the most popular podcast players, and the company has been acquiring studios and exclusivity deals — much to the disdain of people who previously listened to those shows on their apps of choice. Now another big change for podcasts on Spotify is rolling out internationally.
Spotify introduced podcast subscriptions earlier this year, allowing creators to offer paid subscriptions for their shows with extra bonuses (usually exclusive/early episodes). Many podcasts already used a similar financial model, usually through a service like Patreon or a larger podcast network/distributor, but building it into Spotify could mean more revenue for creators. Spotify says it won’t take any cuts from subscription revenue for the first two years (presumably to gain market share), but starting in 2013, the company plans to take a 5% fee.
Podcast subscriptions were originally only available in the United States, but stating today, Spotify is rolling them out in 33 additional countries (via TechCrunch). The full list includes Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Spotify says Canada, Germany, Austria, and France will be added to the list next week.
Meanwhile, Spotify itself (not the podcast subscriptions) is arriving in six more countries. People in Iraq, Libya, Tajikistan, Venezuela, Republic of the Congo, and Democratic Republic of the Congo can now access the service, and Spotify says more local music from those countries are now available for streaming.
Spotify’s continued expansion into podcasts is turning it into a direct competitor against Apple, which allows paid subscriptions in its Apple Podcasts platform.