MSNBC Launches Premium Podcast Subscription With Apple | Exclusive 

The offering will provide subscribers with ad-free listening and early access to the network’s popular podcast content

MSNBC Premium
MSNBC

MSNBC is launching a podcast subscription offering through Apple as a continued expansion of the network’s growing audio and digital products, TheWrap can exclusively reveal.

The offering — which launches Monday and is called “MSNBC Premium” — provides ad-free listening to podcasts and early access to the network’s content. Subscribers will also gain access to episodes from the second installment of Rachel Maddow’s “Ultra,” which is not officially debuting until June 10. 

The subscription through Apple will cost $2.99 per month and $29.99 per year, according to an individual with knowledge of the terms. The network’s entire podcast catalog will remain available for free elsewhere. 

“We’re meeting consumers where they are and reaching more of them than ever before,” MSNBC SVP of content strategy Rebecca Kutler told TheWrap. “While we continue to invest in linear programming, MSNBC has built a cohesive environment where hosts and programs extend beyond cable and appear across the MSNBC portfolio, creating an expansive MSNBC ecosystem for our audience.”

Other MSNBC podcasts immediately available via the subscription offering include “Ultra” season one, Rachel Maddow’s “Déjà News,” and “Bag Man.” Additional content will be added to the subscription soon including “Prosecuting Donald Trump,” “Why Is This Happening?” “The Chris Hayes Podcast,” “Into America,” and more. 

The subscription is a mark of continued investment in the network’s catalog of digital and audio offers as MSNBC recognizes the power of its podcast content, which had more than 190 million total downloads in 2023. 

“MSNBC has built the most engaged audience in all of television. That engagement has translated to MSNBC’s non-linear investments across live events, social, digital and now audio products,” Kutler said in a statement. “MSNBC Premium is a natural extension of that commitment to create and deliver top-quality breaking news and deep-dive perspectives wherever consumers get their news.” 

Kutler also told TheWrap that MSNBC is leveraging top talent like Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow and Joy Reid, getting them in front of key audiences via live podcasting events, newsletters, accessibility to content on YouTube and more. In December, MSNBC announced they would be launching “MSNBC Live,” a live event series which features the network’s hosts. 

“We continue to see an appetite for live, in-person events where the MSNBC audience can interact with the hosts they love to watch and learn from every day,” Kutler said. 

MSNBC has seen growth from continued investment in digital properties, with the MSNBC Digital page notching a 45% uptick year-over-year for pageviews in May, per the organization. This cohesive digital environment complements the linear network with a consistent lineup of podcasts, newsletters and streaming offerings.

MSNBC’s podcast “Prosecuting Donald Trump” is pacing to have its second-best month ever with more than three times as many downloads as May 2023. As Trump’s hush money trial came to a close, this is the 10th straight month that the podcast notched more than one million downloads. 

The network has also invested heavily into its content on social media and YouTube. TikTok, in particular, is currently pacing ahead of the other cable news networks and the network is also the most-watched news brand on YouTube, further underlining its dominance in the digital sphere.

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