Apple continues to focus on ‘following’ podcasts in iOS 14.5 – 9to5Mac


With iOS 14.5, Apple continues to introduce some interesting changes to the interface of the Podcasts app. With iOS 14.5 beta 4 released today, Apple has more changes to the Podcasts app, including a new “Welcome” interface that promotes the “Smart Play Button.”

When you download iOS 14.5 beta 4, you will notice a new welcome page featuring “New Show Pages,” “Follow Shows,” and “Save Episodes.” Here, Apple continues to refine the language surrounding subscribing to and following podcasts.

After changing the “subscribe” button to a new “follow” button in the Podcasts app, Apple has now stopped saying that all the content available is free.

iOS 14.5 beta 4:

Easily start listening with the new design and smart play button.


“Discover free audio stories that entertain, inform, and inspire.”

According to a study from Edison Research, about 47% of users associate “subscribe” with paid content.

Tom Webster from Edison Research says 47% of people who don’t currently listen to podcasts think that ‘subscribing’ to a podcast will cost money, describing it 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.

These changes for a “follow” button and omitting “free audio stories” come in an interesting time, as rumors suggest Apple is working on a new paid podcast platform. Although details are unclear, not using the word “subscribe” for every podcast may also be related to this upcoming subscription podcast service.

In addition, Apple is also touting a new “smart play button” in the Podcasts app. It can show “Play Latest Episode,” “Play Again,” “Resume,” and “Play Next Episode.” This is useful for users to keep on track of what shows they are currently listening to.

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