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Apple Podcasts will change from “subscribe” to “follow” to avoid confusion

Most other podcast platforms use a follow button instead of a subscribe button.

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Image: Unsplash

In a new iOS update, Apple has abandoned the subscribe button on its Apple Podcasts app in favor of a follow button, according to PodNews. The change will come in iOS 14.5, which is set to come out sometime later this month. However, iOS 14.5 beta users should already see the change in the popular podcast app.

While this may seem like a small change, most other podcast platforms have opted for a follow button instead of the subscribe button on Apple Podcasts. Spotify, which has been looking to overtake the Apple Podcasts app as the go-to podcast app, has always used a follow button. In fact, YouTube is one of the few platforms that use the term subscribe as a free way to keep up with content.

A minor change with major implications

This may seem like a minor change for Apple, but the update is actually pretty necessary. A recent study by Edison Research states that 47% of users associate the word subscribe with paying for something, according to a newsletter from Senior VP at Edison, Tom Webster. This means that almost half of users think they have to pay for something when in reality, it is totally free.

The update should be available to all iOS users sometime this month. It is obviously a major problem if half of your users think they have to pay for something that is free. Changing the wording to more align with industry norms may be a very beneficial move for Apple.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at

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