Yep, just like the naysayers said Pocket Casts has changed their funding model following their acquisition earlier this year. They did get one little thing wrong however, the app you all know and love is now completely free; you pay zilch, nada, bupkiss.

What, free you to say, they must be selling my data, if you don’t pay you’re the product, right? Sorry, the team over at Shifty jelly have kept their same privacy policy and state they have no intention of monetising user data. So how are they going to make money?

Pocket Casts has gone pro, well Plus technically and is offering users who want to support the development of Pocket Casts the ability to get a few additional features including:

  • Desktop apps including macOS, Windows and Web apps
  • Cloud storage for creators and listeners who want to use Pocket Casts for all of their audio and video files
  • Exclusive app icons and themes

Some users will rejoice at the online storage options offered by the Plus tier, this will allow users to use Pocket Casts powerful playback features to listen to any audio. For Pocket Casts users who have signed up for and paid to use the old Desktop app, they will get 3 years free access to the Plus tier. The new Plus service will be either $1.50 AUD/ month or $12.48 AUD/ year, which is a $5.52 saving (seriously make it $12.50) for a yearly subscription.

If you’re thinking the Pocket Casts crew is going to start phasing out features for the free version they have indicated that’s not their plan. Pocket Casts CEO Owen Grover said:

“In today’s rapidly evolving audio landscape, it’s important we stand for free and open access — not walled gardens — to grow the medium while delivering the world’s best listening experience.”

The development team at Shifty Jelly have committed to continue to bring new features to the free tier into the future. The one feature we are still desperately waiting for is Google Assistant integration, unfortunately despite Pocket Casts being completely re-engineered to technically make this possible, Google still refuses to allow 3rd party podcast apps to initiate media streams on Assistant devices. Come on Google, don’t be evil / anti-competitive.

So that’s it, Pocket Casts is now free, users will still get features and updates, if you want to support the team you can now subscribe to the Plus tier and get some nice to have bonus and if you’ve ever paid for a desktop or web version of the service you’ll get 3 years of free Plus!

This feels like a win all around, lets home the internet doesn’t make an internet out of this!

Source: Pocket Casts.
Source 2: Pocket Casts 2.
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    Jeni Skunk

    Now if only Shifty Jelly could do such a subscribe system for Pocket Weather AU, to keep being able to access the BOM data.


    Have to agree with Tony, the new redesign sucked. I was lucky that my old phone still had an old copy of pocket cast. I suspected that the redesign was a prelude to this new subscription model.

    Paul Moss

    Three years free plus to long time supporters is nice.

    Tony Belcher

    Pocketcast destroyed their user base with a fundamental redesign which destroyed the utility of their Android app. Read the reviews in Google Play. I had to search the net and find an apk for their previous design to get out of that dreadful redesign. Why exactly they did that is something I cannot answer but it appears to have doomed them $$$-wise anyway.