Nearly 16 years after Apple added the ability to find podcasts — a portmanteau of Apple’s own “iPod” and “broadcast” coined by a Guardian journalist — to its iTunes software, the company now seeks to court podcast creators with new subscription and creator tools, and fend off competition from streaming audio company Spotify which has recently been in a push to buy top podcasts, such as The Joe Rogan Experience along with podcasting and advertising companies.
Apple announced on Tuesday it will launch Apple Podcast subscriptions, which will let users pay to unlock new content and additional benefits like ad-free listening… Pricing for each subscription will be set by the creator and billed monthly, Apple noted in a press release.
It also introduced a new Apple Podcasters Program that will cost $19.99 per month, and will provide creators the tools they need to offer podcast subscriptions.
The company will also redesign its Apple Podcast app to include channels, which will let users find new shows from their favorite creators and hosts. The features will roll out to 170 regions next month.
“Spotify has upped the ante on podcasting,” spending an estimated $1 billion to expand its business beyond music, said Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities. “Given that (Apple) basically originated podcasting, it would be tough to swallow to lose out to Spotify.”
Spotify’s acquisitions include about $340 million to buy podcast networks Gimlet and Anchor in 2019, according to filings, and a reported $235 million in 2020 to acquire Megaphone, which offers advertising technology for podcasts.
MacDailyNews Take: It makes sense for Apple to make some moves to shore up there position in podcasting as according to Statista estimates, there could be over 100 million podcast listeners in just the United States alone by 2024, up from 75.9 million in 2020.