According to a Reuters report, Apple (AAPL) has delayed the launch of its podcast subscription service until June. The iPhone maker initially aimed to debut the service in May but encountered problems after uploading shows onto the platform.
Apple’s Podcasts have been around for years, offering free shows on a variety of topics. But in April, Apple announced it was introducing a premium podcast service that will enable listeners to support their favorite podcasters. In return, listeners will enjoy an enhanced experience with ad-free listening and access to exclusive content.
“Apple Podcasts is the best place for listeners to discover and enjoy millions of great shows…We’re excited to introduce this powerful new platform to creators around the world,” said Apple’s Internet services head, Eddy Cue.
Apple will let podcast creators set their subscription prices and decide what perks to offer to their listeners. For the opportunity to sell podcast subscriptions on Apple’s platform, creators will pay a $19.99 annual fee. Additionally, Apple will take a cut of podcast subscription sales that the creators generate. The company’s commission will be 30% in the first year and 15% in subsequent years.
The premium podcast service will expand Apple’s roster of subscription services, including Apple Music and Apple TV+. The company is increasingly leaning on service sales to drive growth. (See Apple stock analysis on TipRanks)
Last week, New Street Research analyst Pierre Ferragu downgraded Apple stock to Sell from Hold, setting a price target of $90 (27.77% downside potential).
The analyst anticipates weak iPhone demand in Fiscal 2022 after record sales in Fiscal 2021.
“We see material downside risk – shipments in the 180-200m range vs. consensus at 234m,” noted Ferragu.
Despite Ferragu’s bearish stance, consensus among analysts on Wall Street is a Moderate Buy based on 18 Buy, 5 Hold, and 2 Sell ratings. The average analyst price target of $156.52 implies 25.61% upside potential to the current price.