Pocket Casts is Now Free on Mobile

Posted on September 18, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Music + Videos with 24 Comments

UPDATE: Good news: Pocket Cast has announced the following changes.

Any user who previously purchased our Web version with lifetime access to Pocket Casts Plus. This includes the Mac and Windows apps as well. No renewal, no monthly charge, no questions asked. This means Desktop App purchasers will also gain access to all of the Pocket Casts Plus features on their mobile devices.

After a disastrous launch of its latest major app version, Pocket Casts has lost a lot of users and now has a new strategy. Fix the mess and stop charging for the mobile versions of its apps. Plus, launch a subscription service.

“Both the Android and iOS apps are now free,” Pocket Casts announced. “We aren’t locking any existing features behind a paywall. Even more importantly, we will continue to update the free tier with new features and functionality. We fully expect the free version will be the way the vast majority of our users access our app. Yes, some users may upgrade to Pocket Casts Plus if they want to support us or access some of our more niche features. But free will be our flagship.”

Pocket Casts still charges for its web and desktop versions, and it is now offering a paid subscription tier called Pocket Casts Plus. This paid offering provides access to the desktop and web apps, cloud storage for non-podcast content, and exclusive themes and icons. It costs $0.99 per month or $9.99 per year. (Those who previously paid for the Pocket Casts web app will automatically get 3 years of Pocket Casts Plus for free.)

Tied to this change, of course, is a semi-major overhaul of the Pocket Casts 7.0 disaster, called Pocket Casts 7.5.

“Think of version 7.5 as a well-oiled, refined version of what came before it,” Pocket Casts says. “We’ve introduced a much-requested feature that allows you to easily add your own files to Pocket Casts. Share them from any app on your phone straight into our app and enjoy silence trimming and variable speed playback. We’ve also spent a lot of time tweaking the design, refining various interactions and bringing more account management functions inside the app.”

I suppose I should check it out, but Pocket Casts 7.0 was so terrible, I stopped using and recommending the app, and have been using Castbox ever since.

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