Gears & Gadgets

Apple is planning to buy up original podcasts with exclusivity in mind

A man onstage gives a presentation in front of giant video screens.
Enlarge / Apple will replace iTunes with Music, Podcasts, and TV on Mac.

Podcast fans will want to keep their ears to the ground with the latest Apple news. Bloomberg reported that Apple may be looking for deals to bring exclusive original shows to its podcast-listening platform. Unnamed sources said the company is reaching out to media companies to secure rights for podcast exclusivity.

This development would mark a shift in how Apple runs its podcast platform. Shows that list on Apple Podcasts can also make their episodes available elsewhere. Exclusive arrangements in the future could come with different restrictions. This might mean that Apple’s app is the only place where you can hear an entire show, or this could be a windowing deal where new episodes first appear on Apple before the podcaster can send them to other platforms.

Apple’s app for podcast listening has long been the most popular place to get your fix of the latest shows. However, as the audience for podcasts has grown over the past few years, more and more businesses are trying to secure their own dedicated listener bases, which could erode Apple’s dominance in the space.

Google launched its own-brand podcast app for Android users last June. Spotify acquired multiple noteworthy podcast companies in the past year and has been snapping up rights for exclusive distribution of both original and existing shows for even longer. Plus a host of independent operations such as Luminary Media and Castbox have been emerging to offer their own take on the ideal listening and content experience.

If this audio news is confirmed, it would mean podcasts are echoing Apple’s current strategy for its TV+ streaming service and a policy it has had with Apple Music in streaming audio. The upcoming TV+ service will offer access to existing shows as well as to Apple’s lineup of star-studded original shows. And since it first unveiled its Apple Music platform, the company has leveraged its industry connections for exclusive hosting of albums by talent ranging from Taylor Swift to Frank Ocean.

While the strategy of exclusive releases may seem like a clever way for the distributors to improve their business outlook, the industry fracturing of so many different forms of entertainment often means that consumers are managing multiple logins, accounts, and subscriptions.

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Tech – Ars Technica

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