One of the most popular podcast apps around, Pocket Casts is now free.

Prior to this, the Android and iOS apps of Pocket Casts cost $5.99 CAD. This marks one of the biggest changes to Pocket Casts since the app was acquired back in May 2018 by NPR, WNYC Studios, WBEZ Chicago and This American Life.

 

“Pocket Casts is built for podcast fans, by podcasts fans. Since we launched in 2010, we’ve been obsessed with the user experience and have consistently delivered powerful and intuitive features to the medium’s most passionate fans,” said Pocket Casts CEO Owen Grover. “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 free version of Pocket Casts still offers a number of new and existing features including:

  • Discovery: easily search for podcasts, publishers, and hosts or dive deeper with episode search
  • Audio effects: playback at variable speeds such as 2X or 3X and trim silence
  • Organization: create custom filters to organize episodes based on a variety of parameters
  • Design: choose from light, dark or AMOLED-friendly dark themes and icons
  • Playback: play individual episodes with or without subscribing, automate file downloads and brand new in this update: play local audio and video files
  • Cross-platform sync: pick up exactly where you left off on another device thanks to seamless integrations across iOS and Android; Amazon Echo; Sonos; Chromecast; Airplay, Apple Watch, Carplay and Android Auto

Alongside the change in price, Pocket Casts has introduced a premium tier called Pocket Casts Plus.

The Plus subscription gets you:

  • Desktop apps of Pocket Casts for macOS, Windows and the web (previously cost a one-time purchase of $9)
  • 10GB of cloud storage for creators and listeners who want to use the app for their audio and video files
  • Exclusive app icons and themes

Pocket Casts Plus costs $0.99 per month or $12 CAD ($10 USD) per year.

Both the free tier and Pocket Casts Plus tier will continue to get new features in the future.

“Pocket Casts has been my favorite podcast app, and not just because it’s owned by public radio stations,” said Ira Glass, producer and host of This American Life. “It really is the best. Easy to navigate, little podcast logos you move around to sort your favorites, quick access to 1.5 speed when I listen to The Daily or Fresh Air or, frankly, most anything else. I’ve recommended it to friends. Glad to hear it’s now going to be free!”

If you’ve previously purchased the desktop or web app of Pocket Casts, you’ll get lifetime access to Pocket Cast Plus for free.

The version 7.5 update to Pocket Casts brings performance enhancements and fixes, the ability to imports your audio files and the option for to purchase Pocket Casts Plus and is rolling out now.

Update – September 18th, 2019: Pocket Casts has said in a new blog post that says who purchased the web version of the app (which used to cost $9 flat) will now get lifetime access to Pocket Casts Plus.

The initial announcement had said desktop & web app purchasers would only get three years free of Pocket Casts Plus. The company has also said, “We’ll make this change as soon as we can, but please note that until we do you won’t see it reflected in the app.”

This article has been updated to reflect the recent change.

While you’re at it, why not check out Tech-nically Speaking, the podcast of TheCanadianTechie, available on all major podcast platforms including Pocket Casts 😉

Source: Pocket Casts

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