Apple Plans to Start Funding Original Podcasts

Apple has a plan to start funding original podcasts in order to better compete with Spotify, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Apple executives have been reaching out to media companies to discuss exclusive buying rights for podcasts, which would be exclusive to Apple.

While Apple has yet to outline a clear strategy for its plans, the company will be pursuing "the kind of deals it didn't make before," according to Bloomberg. Apple has also been funding original content for its upcoming Apple TV+ series, which could account for its decision to also bankroll other kinds of exclusive content.

Apple does not make money from its Podcasts app, but has previously expressed interest in exclusive content as a way to draw and retain customers. Apple has used such exclusives for Apple Music, its music streaming service.

The news has caused Spotify's stock to fall 2 percent so far as any effort on Apple's part to delve deeper into podcasts could impact Spotify's efforts to become a major source for podcast content.

Apple's Podcasts app is installed on iOS devices by default, and starting with macOS Catalina, the Podcasts app is a standalone app. Apple's decision to split Podcasts out into its own app makes more sense if the company is indeed planning to invest money into original and exclusive podcasts.

Two years ago, Spotify said it was "coming after" Apple with a strong push into podcasting content, and this year, Spotify made a serious effort to become a premium podcast destination.

Spotify launched several podcast-related initiatives and acquired several podcast companies, including Gimlet Media, Anchor, and Parcast, boosting its catalog of exclusive podcast content and its available podcasting tools.

Spotify has also made an effort to fund new and original podcast content, with the aim of becoming the Netflix of podcasts.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

27 weeks ago
If this is another subscription service it's DOA as far as I'm concerned. Podcasting in general isn't going to be improved by the involvement of mega corps creating silos for their original content. No existing podcaster really benefits from this, and no one seeking to get involved really needs their involvement either. Podcasting is one of the few corners of the internet that still exists unencumbered by proprietary lock in/out. Thus, in my opinion, Spotify and Apple should not be putting up those barriers, it's a solution for which there is no problem.
Rating: 15 Votes
27 weeks ago
i doubt anyone will care or notice
Rating: 10 Votes
27 weeks ago
Sounds worrying to me. I don't want any podcasts walled off anywhere. Perhaps they should just pay people not to go to Spotify.
Rating: 7 Votes
27 weeks ago
There goes the neighborhood.
Rating: 5 Votes
27 weeks ago
Great, another form of content where users have to dick around with different apps to access all the content they like. The biggest selling point of podcasts was that they were decentralised. Shoving them behind app-specific paywalls is stupid.
Rating: 4 Votes
27 weeks ago
It would be nice to get better tools for creating/editing podcasts in GarageBand and Logic. I really hope this isn’t “Apple Podcasts +” and costs $9.99 per month though
Rating: 4 Votes
27 weeks ago

Why hasn't anyone yet made an app that auto-skips ads in podcasts? Setting aside the ethics of devaluing the thing that small podcast producers rely on to fund their podcasts, I don't see any legal or technical reason not to.

The files are publicly available for anyone to download, and skipping ads would not require modifying the file at all - rather its just loading metadata telling the player which segments to skip. It seems no different than someone recording an OTA broadcast to VHS without commercials (which is legal) or those commercial-skipping apps for TV broadcasts (Dish AutoHop, Tivo SkipMode, various Plex plugins).

From a technical standpoint, you could have Amazon Mechanical Turk folks timestamping the ads manually as soon as a popular podcast episode is released, or some kind of AI / neural engine can probably be trained to detect ads with some accuracy automatically.

I hate ads, so I would pay some money for an app like that.

you can set most podcast apps to skip in 60 second (or more) increments. hit FF twice. boom. no more mattress or underwear ads.
Rating: 3 Votes
27 weeks ago
If I was a podcaster, I would want my podcast to be available to widest possible audience. Open standard used by every podcast apps.

While some may be happy to take money from Apple, Spotify, etc., you are guaranteed to have far smaller audience and at the mercy of Apple, Spotify, etc. paying you.

What Apple should do instead is provide better tools for podcasters (Logic Pro X is too music oriented), continue improving analytics, and maybe work with standards based bodies to create a new container format that allows some podcast friendly features like dynamic ad insertion.
Rating: 3 Votes
27 weeks ago
It seems to me that the Podcaster should decide how they want to be paid, not you all complaining about something you get for free. They cast for a living, not a charity.
Rating: 3 Votes
27 weeks ago
Noo....the great thing about podcasts is you can get them anywhere. Just put the RSS feed into a podcast app and boom you’re subscribed. Turning podcasts into platform exclusives is a bad idea.

The podcast industry has been asking for this for a while long before Spotify. This could be a real great thing for content creators.

Doubt it. Maybe for celebrity podcasters but that’s about it.
Rating: 2 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]