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Comment: Apple Podcasts should allow ‘Patreon style’ donation options

Listening to podcasts is on par with TV, movies, and books in my life. I probably spend more time listening to podcasts than watching TV in a given week. I love podcasts because I can enjoy them while cooking, cleaning, commuting, etc. My wife and I subscribe to several Patreon’s for various podcasts we listen to each week. Still, it can often be a clunky process in finding the link, figuring out which tier we want, and getting the bonus content (audio files, etc.). I believe it’s time for Apple to allow podcast donations right inside of Apple Podcasts with options to get bonus content. Especially as the ‘Podcast Wars’ heat up between Apple and Spotify, Apple needs to evolve its platform.

Why Apple Podcasts is the perfect location

Apple has millions of credit cards on file. With technology like Touch ID and Face ID for authenticating purchases, Apple Podcasts could reduce the friction to support your favorite shows. In my brainstorming, I envision a ‘support this show’ button on the now playing screen near the sleep timer button. This location wouldn’t put it front and center, but it would be easy enough to find for shows that you regularly listen to. I would envision an 85/15 revenue split for podcasters and Apple.

Tiers of support

I do like that Patreon offers tiers of support options, and I’d love to see this included in Apple Podcasts. Creators could offer bonus content for one tier, but then provide physical merchandise on additional tiers. Apple could use Apple Pay to provide the shipping address and contact information for the high tiers. All of the backend infrastructure could be built into Apple Podcasts Connect for creators to manage.

Apple also has a track record of protecting users’ privacy when signing up for new services. If I wanted to share my contact information with creators (for newsletters, etc.), I would have that option, but I’d also have the opportunity to hide my data.

Cross-platform support

I know it would be an issue because Apple Podcast isn’t the only place to download podcasts, and it’s not available on Android. I would recommend that as part of this rollout, Apple Podcasts be released for Android, similar to how Apple Music is available. Spotify’s market share is continuing to grow as its available on almost every device in production. As Apple continues its push for services revenue, premium content inside of Apple Podcasts is another way to grow that revenue stream; Android support would be key.

Wrap-up on Apple Podcasts and podcast donations

While many podcasts are supported by advertising, the COVID–19 pandemic has changed a lot of strategy for various businesses, so I’d love a way to be able to continue to support the shows I want to listen to every week. I believe that reducing the friction of the donation process; podcasters would see their revenue grow. Apple would be able to take 15% of the revenue for processing and handling transactions. Listeners would have a centralized place to manage billing and donation amounts. Would you support your favorite shows if Apple allowed it inside of Apple Podcasts? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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