9to5 Google: Pocket Casts goes free with existing features included, adds ‘Plus’ subscription. “The podcasting industry is booming with heavy investment from large players like Google, Apple, and Spotify. NPR and a public radio consortium last year acquired Pocket Casts to offer its own experience and already released a major update in March with version 7.0. Today, Pocket Casts is going free and adding a ‘Plus’ subscription.” Pocket Casts has been my go-to podcasts app for years and I can’t recommend it enough. I cheerfully paid $3.99 a month and suspect I will cheerfully pay the $10 a year for easily-accessible storage of audio files.