Apple Podcasts ditches ‘subscribe’ in favour of ‘follow’

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Have you heard to any podcasts in the Apple Podcasts app? If yes, you must have noticed the ‘subscribe’ button to follow your favorite podcasts on the app. That button is changing now. With iOS 14.5, Apple is ditching ‘subscribe’ in favor of ‘follow’ on its Podcasts app. The listeners will be invited to ‘follow’ their favorite podcasts instead of subscribing to them. The verbal change might seem small, but it could have a big impact on the number of listeners on the app.

The information comes from Podnews, which spotted the new change first. It reported that Apple is introducing a ‘follow’ button on its Podcasts app and it will replace the already-existing ‘subscribe’ button. The report goes on to say that the seemingly small change could dramatically affect the industry.


According to Tom Webster from Edison Research, 47% of people who don’t currently listen to podcasts think that ‘subscribing’ to a podcast will cost money. Hence, they don’t subscribe to the offering. The report describes subscription as a “stone in the shoe of podcasting’s growth run.” He tells Podnews: “Today, Apple, Spotify, and YouTube are the three most widely used services to play podcasts, and now the word Subscribe means ‘automatically download for free’ in exactly none of them. Podcasters will have no choice but to adapt their language accordingly or risk confusing listeners.”

In the wider aspect, other major podcasting platforms such as Stitcher, Amazon Music, and Audible all use ‘follow’ instead of ‘subscribe.’ Now that Apple is changing its verbiage, it seems like YouTube and Google Podcasts are the only major services to keep the ‘subscribe’ button, which has also become synonymous to follow on YouTube – thanks to the majority of creators asking you to subscribe their channels at the start of their videos.


Prakhar Khanna

I’ve been associated with the tech industry since 2014 when I built my first blog. I’ve worked with Digit, one of India’s largest tech publications. As of now, I’m working as a News Editor at Pocketnow, where I get paid to use and write about cutting-edge tech. You can reach out to me at [email protected]




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