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Supercast vs Apple Podcast Subscription: What’s the Best Subscription Platform for Serious Podcasters?

Apr 18, 2022
Jennifer Tribe

Is the Apple Podcasts Subscription service the best way for a podcaster to offer premium content? We compare Apple with Supercast.

When Apple entered the podcast subscription market in April 2021 with the launch of Apple Podcasts Subscriptions, it pushed the idea of paid podcasts into the mainstream.

Suddenly more podcasters were thinking about adding paid subscriptions and more listeners were opening up their minds and wallets to the idea. Great!

But is the Apple Podcasts Subscriptions service the best way for a podcaster to offer premium content to their listeners?

In this article, we compare Apple Podcasts Subscriptions with Supercast in 10 different areas to see how the two platforms stack up. 

Market reach

Why it’s important

The ability to serve listeners in whatever player they use helps you unlock the widest possible market. 


Apple: Premium content playable in Apple Podcasts


Supercast: Premium content playable in all major podcast players including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and many others.

major podcast players logos

Apple might be the most popular podcast player on the market but it still doesn’t come close to serving everybody. Depending on which stats you believe, anywhere from 40% to 60% of people play their podcasts on Apple. 

Flip that around: Half of the market (give or take 10%) uses a podcast player other than Apple Podcasts. So if your subscription program delivers only on Apple, you’ve just shut yourself out from half your potential market.

With Supercast, your subscribers can play their content on Apple Podcasts or any other podcast player of their choice, including Spotify. 


Why it’s important

You deserve to keep as much of your revenue as possible.


Apple:  $19.99 annual account fee + 30% of revenue in Year 1 (15% in subsequent years)


Supercast: $0.59 per subscriber per month  (+ Stripe processing fees)

An annual account fee plus 30% of your revenue? Oof. Industry analyst Nick Quah calls this “a prohibitively high cut” that’s “kneecapping for smaller shows or podcast creators just starting out.” Even 15% of your income in following years is on the high end of something like Patreon.

Supercast charges a flat rate of $.59 per subscriber per month, and there’s no account fee. The platform only makes money when you do.


Why it’s important

Receiving revenue from your subscriptions as they happen helps you manage cash flow effectively and means you’re never relying on a middleman for your money.


Apple:  Monthly


Supercast: Instantly, per subscription

Apple collects all revenue on your behalf, holds it, then pays you out once a month.

Supercast doesn’t get in the middle of your transaction with your subscriber. You connect your own Stripe account directly to your Supercast account. As subscriptions are purchased, the money flows into your Stripe account in real time. No delays, no minimum balances for payouts.

Ownership of subscriber data

Why it’s important

If you’re going to build a business on subscription, it’s important to know who your subscribers are. You need to be able to talk to them at any time, without a platform gating access. And you need the data to be portable so you have the flexibility to walk away whenever you need to.


Apple: None


Supercast: Subscriber names and email addresses, credit card data

With Apple, you have zero visibility into who your subscribers are. You don’t even know their names or email addresses, let alone have the ability to export a list of them. You also have no visibility into their financial transactions with you. 

Supercast believes you should fully own your subscriber relationships—they’re your relationships after all. You can see and export a complete list of subscriber names and email addresses at any time. And because transactions are processed through your Stripe account, you also have full visibility and ownership of the financial piece of the relationship. 

Time to sign up

Why it’s important

Smooth signups create a better experience for your audience and lead to more people going paid. For you, that means more revenue and happier customers. 


Apple: 5 seconds to subscribe


Supercast: 10 seconds to subscribe

Apple is the king of smooth. If there’s one thing to be said for offering subscriptions through Apple Podcast Subscriptions, it’s that the signup process is fast and simple.

Supercast has also worked hard on making sign-up as painless as possible. It takes only slightly longer than Apple because subscribers have a choice of payment options and a choice of podcast players.

Plan & pricing options

Why it’s important

Program flexibility means you can build your subscription program in whatever way works best for your audience


Apple: Monthly or annual subscriptions, free trials, limit of one plan, choose from a menu of set prices


Supercast: Monthly or annual subscriptions, free or paid trials of any length, unlimited number of plans, no limits on pricing, gift subscriptions, promotions and discounts, one-time fees with bonus content, donations

Apple’s subscription service has a few basic setup options. As with many other products the company offers, it seems Apple is trying to keep choices—both for podcasters and listeners—to a minimum. 

While a mere handful of options makes for simplicity, it also means you may find the platform limiting. For example, if you want to offer more than one subscription tier, you’re already out of luck with Apple.

Supercast has focused on flexibility to allow podcasters to build whatever program is right for their audience:

  • Unlimited plans at whatever prices you want to set 
  • Trials of any length, free or discounted
  • Options for donations (no perks) or one-time fees (with perks)
  • Gift subscriptions
  • Promotions (discounts) for any amount and any length of time you choose

(Here’s a full list of the plan and pricing options you have with Supercast.)

Premium perks supported

Why it’s important

Podcast-first doesn’t have to mean podcast-only. Many podcasters have great success offering non-audio perks as part of their subscriptions, and having that flexibility allows you to build a program that’s tailored to your audience.


Apple: Audio perks only


Supercast: Any perk you want to offer

The Apple Podcast Subscription service allows you to offer five kinds of audio extras for subscribers:

  1. Ad-free episodes
  2. Bonus episodes
  3. Early access to content
  4. Subscriber-only shows
  5. Access to an episode archive

All five of these audio types can easily be offered through Supercast as well but with Supercast you can also choose to bundle other, non-audio perks into your plan. Popular extras include access to a discussion group, AMA sessions, live events, worksheets, and swag.

(Here’s a list of 23 bonus content ideas you could offer subscribers.)

Audience engagement tools

Why it’s important

Audience engagement helps with converting listeners to paid subscribers and keeping them around.


Apple: None


Supercast: Personalized episodes, Ask Me Anything, episode engagement, subscriber emails & notifications

Apple doesn’t have any special tools for engaging with your paid subscribers. 

Supercast offers multiple ways to deepen the relationship with your paying audience including personalized episodes triggered off key events (such as a welcome episode), a built-in Ask Me Anything forum, and subscriber emails and episode notifications.

screenshot of personalized podcast episodes

Multi-show support

Why it’s important

Listeners love the convenience and cost-savings of bundles. For podcasters, bundles are an easy way to juice sales. A single dashboard for multiple shows saves time and increases efficiency.


Apple: Channels where multiple podcasts can be grouped


Supercast: Networks that contain multiple shows, flexible subscription bundling, multiple admin seats, reporting at both show and network level

The Apple Podcast Subscription service allows you to set up channels where you can group multiple podcasts. A channel can offer only one subscription, and a podcast can’t be featured in more than one channel. That means you’d need to set up a different channel for each subscription bundle you might want to offer and the same podcast can’t be included in more than one bundle.

Supercast takes a more flexible approach with networks. A network account allows you to manage multiple podcasts from a single account. You can then bundle and price any of the shows on the network in whatever ways you want. 

For example, let’s say you have a main show and multiple spin-offs. With Supercast, you could set up different subscription bundles, where each bundle contains the main show and one spin-off. Or you can create upsell paths, like Canadaland does. Subscribers can choose to buy the main show on its own, or get the main show plus six other shows in a bundle for a slightly higher price.

Canadaland podcast subscription bundles

Every Supercast account allows for unlimited admin seats so you can easily give multiple team members their own access to help manage your subscription programs. And you get detailed reporting (see section below) at both the show and network levels.

Reporting & analytics

Why it’s important

Information is power. The more you know about your subscription program, and what’s working and what’s not, the better you can shape it.


Apple: Downloadable files sales and subscriptions numbers


Supercast: Dashboard with detailed revenue, listener and content analytics (+ Stripe dashboard)

Apple provides podcasters with two reports: one for sales that outlines purchases and refunds, and one for subscriptions that includes “aggregated information about total paid subscribers.”

The reports have to be downloaded as spreadsheet files, and some podcasters say they’ve been having trouble opening the files. Overall, it’s a clunky and time-consuming process to get a little bit of data.

Supercast provides detailed reporting from a single dashboard, where you can see metrics at a glance such as monthly recurring revenue, content downloads, and active subscribers.  With this and the other available Supercast data, you can understand who’s listening to what, and which episodes are most popular, to learn what drives engagement. 

Through the Stripe dashboard connected to your account, you have access to even more financial reporting.

Apple Podcast Subscription vs Supercast: At a Glance

Apple Podcast Subscription vs Supercast comparison chart

Apple Podcasts Subscriptions vs Supercast: Conclusion

If you’re a podcaster who’s serious about building a business around your show, it’s clear that Supercast is the better alternative to Apple in many different ways:

  • Reach listeners on any podcast player, not just Apple
  • Keep more of your revenue
  • Have full visibility and ownership of your subscriber data
  • Enjoy easy access to reporting
  • Set any plan type or price you want
  • Offer non-audio bonus content

Why not see for yourself? It’s free to open an account. Sign up here or email us at to chat with a subscription expert.