Apple could launch a premium podcast service

Spotify has invested more than half a billion dollars in its podcast division – now Apple could follow suit with a premium offer. According to matching media reports, Apple is examining a paid podcast offer with its own content that could start this year.

It is one of the unsolved questions in the Apple universe: Why did the tech pioneer from Cupertino actually oversleep the podcast trend? Since 2005, the “Podcast” area has been embedded in Apple’s iTunes software. In fact, today’s most valuable corporation in the world invented the genre after the success of the iPod, from which it was derived by name (from “iPod” and “Broadcast”).

And yet: Apple has hardly developed the podcast platform further, contrary to the boom of recent years. Paid offers with their own content such as Spotify or Amazon Audible have not yet been found at Apple.

The Information: “Apple, the sleeping giant in the podcast sector, is waking up”

However, that could change in the future. As the usually well-informed tech portal The Informations reported over the weekend, Apple could soon launch a paid subscription service for podcasts along the lines of Apple Music or Apple TV +. “The sleeping giant in the podcast area is waking up,” speculates the portal founded by Jessica Lessin in 2013.

Apple is currently discussing offering a new paid subscription service that could start in 2021 and “would offer podcasters the opportunity to earn more money,” it continues. In which form – for example a premium bundle for original content or individual pricing of podcasts – remains unclear.

Bloomberg: Apple is considering investments in new podcast formats and marketing

Apple’s plans to step up podcasting efforts were confirmed by a Bloomberg report on Friday. Apple has “discussed” the expansion of the podcast segment with partners and is considering investing in “new formats and marketing”, according to the financial information service. The tech giant could possibly integrate the expanded podcast offer as additional added value in its new bundle offer Apple One, speculates Bloomberg.

Apple currently still has the largest marketplace for podcasts, but so far has not charged any fees and does not offer its own content. On the other hand, in addition to Amazon with its audio offer Audible, there is above all streaming rival Spotify, which has been forced into the podcast market with considerable acquisitions in recent years.

Spotify: Podcast Takeovers for Over Half a Billion Dollars

The Swedish market leader took over the podcast label Gimlet Media in 2019 for a spectacular $ 230 million. Acquisitions of the Anchor app (for $ 100 million) and the sports podcast network The Ringer (for $ 200 million) followed, as did exclusive content collaborations.

Last May, Spotify acquired the rights to the Joe Rogan Experience, the world’s most viewed podcast, for $ 120 million. The 15-year-old music streaming pioneer also secured exclusive podcast deals with Barack and Michelle Obama as well as with Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan or, for example, in German-speaking countries with the hit formats “Mixed Hack” and “Herrengedeck”.

Citigroup: Spotify’s podcast offensive isn’t paying off

The Citigroup doubts, however, whether the Spotify Podecast offensive will pay off. “To date, we have not seen any noteworthy positive effects in the form of app downloads or premium subscriptions,” wrote the analysts of the major American bank in a short study available to CNBC Deep drew.

Whether an increased investment in the podcast segment would ultimately pay off for Apple in the so important business with Internet services (“Services”) appears to be questionable.


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