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.