Hands-on: Here’s how Apple Podcasts Subscriptions and channels work on iPhone

Apple Podcasts Subscriptions and channels officially launched this week giving both creators and listeners more flexibility. While the two new features can work together, they can also function separately. Follow along for a look at how they work in iOS 14.6 and later.

Subscriptions and channels are available to Apple Podcasts creators both big and small. The former brings the ability to offer an ad-free experience along with perks for listeners like exclusive content and early access while creating direct revenue for shows.

And the new channels feature means creators and networks can collect multiple podcasts in one place to make it easier for listeners to discover and return to their content. At launch, Apple says Podcasts Subscriptions and channels are available in more than 170 countries.

How Apple Podcasts Subscriptions and channels work

Discovering channels and Subscriptions

  • Running at least iOS 14.6 on iPhone, open the Podcasts app
  • You can find featured Channels and Subscriptions in the Listen Now and Browse tabs
    • In Listen Now tab swipe down and looks for Channels to Try
    • In the Browse tab, swipe down and look under Featured Channels
  • You can see if your favorite creator or network has created a channel or subscription by using the search tab
    • Below the top “Shows” results, you’ll see a new “Channels” section
    • When you pull up a podcast, look for the Subscribe or Try Free option near the top (shown above)

How Apple Podcasts Subscriptions and channels work

  • Subscriptions can be channels (multiple shows) or can be for individual podcasts, like our 9to5Mac Happy Hour show
  • If you sign up for at least two Subscriptions to a Channel they show up in your Listen Now tab in a new My Channels section
  • For now, there isn’t an option to add free Podcasts channels to your Library (you’ll still need to add individual shows), but they help to discover everything from a creator in one place
  • Pricing is set by creators starting from $0.49/month
  • Look for the details of pricing and if a channel or podcast offers a free trial next to the Subscribe or Try Free button

Here’s how subscribing to a channel looks:

  • After you successfully subscribe to a channel, you’ll see a Subscriber Edition label when viewing it
  • You can head to your iPhone’s Settings app > your name > Subscriptions to view and cancel Podcasts subscriptions (just make sure to cancel at least one day before billing)
  • If you subscribe to a trial, you can use the whole thing even if you cancel before the test period is over

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