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Podcasts Are Experimenting with Paid Subscriptions

iPods Linked To Hearing ProblemsiPods Linked To Hearing Problems
A man with headphonesPhotograph by PohIan Waldie—Getty Images

A Swedish company wants to change the way people make money from podcasts.

Acast, which is based in the Nordic country, is experimenting with a subscription model for podcasts, according to the Wall Street Journal.

On Monday, the company launched a new service to allow people who use its platform to sell podcasts directly to fans without the need for advertising, the publication reported.

In addition, Acast has plans for current podcasts to sell additional, or bonus, content via the subscription model while also potentially coaxing celebrities to create new programming. There are 15 podcasts launching through the subscription service at launch.

“This is the final step of podcasting in my mind. You can monetize through ads and you can monetize through payment,” Acast CEO Måns Ulvestam to the Journal.

However, Acast isn’t the only company out there that has played with the way in which people get their podcasts, according to the newspaper. In fact, Apple’s iTunes allows podcasts to be listened to for free. Midroll Media, which is owned by E.W. Scripps, meanwhile, charges $4.99 for a premium service of its own.

Popular podcast Serial, which is about a true crime story, has lead to a boom in advertising on those types of programs over the last year, Fortune reported last year. Serial had over 100 million downloads at the tine.

About 17% of Americans older than 12, or 46 million people in the U.S. listen to podcasts, the Journal reported.