Apple is ramping up its push into original podcasts by seeking an executive to lead the nascent initiative and tasked with buying shows that would be exclusive to its services, including Apple TV+.
The technology giant has begun acquiring two types of original podcasts, according to people familiar with the matter: one category is audio spinoffs of existing movies and programs on its Apple TV+ service, and the other is original programs that could eventually be adapted into future TV+ video content.
The company is seeking a leader for its original podcast work who would report to Ben Cave, its head of podcasting, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the effort isn’t yet public.
The move should help Apple promote its fledgling TV+ service, as well as defend the company against Spotify Technology SA’s aggressive move into podcasts. While Apple remains the dominant distributor of such programs in the U.S., Spotify has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in studios and original shows.
Apple was one of the first technology players to popularize podcasting, adding the medium to iTunes 15 years ago. Since then, it’s been building out features for podcast listening on its devices.
But Spotify is also on move. On Tuesday, it acquired the exclusive rights to Joe Rogan’s podcast, which consistently ranks as one of the five most popular shows on Apple. Spotify has also has purchased the Ringer, which owns Bill Simmons’s sports podcast; Gimlet Media, producer of the show “Reply All”; and Parcast, a producer of many popular true-crime shows.
MacDailyNews Take: If Spotify’s Rogan move doesn’t light a fire under the Apple podcasts department’s collective ass, nothing will.