Apple Plans to Start Funding Original Podcasts

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
7,390
8,477



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.

Article Link: Apple Plans to Start Funding Original Podcasts
 

lunarworks

macrumors 68000
Jun 17, 2003
1,653
3,765
Toronto, Canada
I wish I could get into podcasts, there's very compelling content out there (among the 500,000 "three guys and a mic discuss video games" podcasts), but I just can't get into them.
 

BigBoy2018

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2018
816
1,422
Best podcasts IMO are ones that delve into detail on various current events or historical events. Some of my favorites include APM's 'In the Dark', ESPN's 30 for 30, Criminology, and several of the NPR one-off podcasts, like 'Believed'.

Hopefully Apple supports content like that and doesn't develop more fluffy cotton candy for the mind.
 

billybobthornton

macrumors member
Apr 11, 2016
32
389
The podcast industry has been asking for this for a while long before Spotify. This could be a real great thing for content creators.
 

CaTOAGU

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2008
682
679
Manchester, UK
If this is another subscription service it's DOA as far as I'm concerned. Podcasting in general isn't going to be improved by the involvement of mega corps creating silos for their original content. No existing podcaster really benefits from this, and no one seeking to get involved really needs their involvement either. Podcasting is one of the few corners of the internet that still exists unencumbered by proprietary lock in/out. Thus, in my opinion, Spotify and Apple should not be putting up those barriers, it's a solution for which there is no problem.
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 601
Sep 8, 2011
4,738
11,030
New England
Why hasn't anyone yet made an app that auto-skips ads in podcasts? Setting aside the ethics of devaluing the thing that small podcast producers rely on to fund their podcasts, I don't see any legal or technical reason not to.

The files are publicly available for anyone to download, and skipping ads would not require modifying the file at all - rather its just loading metadata telling the player which segments to skip. It seems no different than someone recording an OTA broadcast to VHS without commercials (which is legal) or those commercial-skipping apps for TV broadcasts (Dish AutoHop, Tivo SkipMode, various Plex plugins).

From a technical standpoint, you could have Amazon Mechanical Turk folks timestamping the ads manually as soon as a popular podcast episode is released, or some kind of AI / neural engine can probably be trained to detect ads with some accuracy automatically.

I hate ads, so I would pay some money for an app like that.
 

ericg301

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2010
1,245
629
Why hasn't anyone yet made an app that auto-skips ads in podcasts? Setting aside the ethics of devaluing the thing that small podcast producers rely on to fund their podcasts, I don't see any legal or technical reason not to.

The files are publicly available for anyone to download, and skipping ads would not require modifying the file at all - rather its just loading metadata telling the player which segments to skip. It seems no different than someone recording an OTA broadcast to VHS without commercials (which is legal) or those commercial-skipping apps for TV broadcasts (Dish AutoHop, Tivo SkipMode, various Plex plugins).

From a technical standpoint, you could have Amazon Mechanical Turk folks timestamping the ads manually as soon as a popular podcast episode is released, or some kind of AI / neural engine can probably be trained to detect ads with some accuracy automatically.

I hate ads, so I would pay some money for an app like that.
you can set most podcast apps to skip in 60 second (or more) increments. hit FF twice. boom. no more mattress or underwear ads.
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,168
2,032
If I was a podcaster, I would want my podcast to be available to widest possible audience. Open standard used by every podcast apps.

While some may be happy to take money from Apple, Spotify, etc., you are guaranteed to have far smaller audience and at the mercy of Apple, Spotify, etc. paying you.

What Apple should do instead is provide better tools for podcasters (Logic Pro X is too music oriented), continue improving analytics, and maybe work with standards based bodies to create a new container format that allows some podcast friendly features like dynamic ad insertion.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
20,643
22,262
Noo....the great thing about podcasts is you can get them anywhere. Just put the RSS feed into a podcast app and boom you’re subscribed. Turning podcasts into platform exclusives is a bad idea.
[doublepost=1563305711][/doublepost]
The podcast industry has been asking for this for a while long before Spotify. This could be a real great thing for content creators.
Doubt it. Maybe for celebrity podcasters but that’s about it.
 

kilcher

macrumors 65816
Jul 3, 2011
1,262
313
Sounds worrying to me. I don't want any podcasts walled off anywhere. Perhaps they should just pay people not to go to Spotify.
Same here, I don't want to (and I won't) subscribe to three different services to hear my podcasts. I always thought Apple would just go after Patreon and start taking a cut of subscriptions paid directly to content creators.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RichardGroves

oneMadRssn

macrumors 601
Sep 8, 2011
4,738
11,030
New England
you can set most podcast apps to skip in 60 second (or more) increments. hit FF twice. boom. no more mattress or underwear ads.
Yea, I do this. But some podcasts that I listen do not have consistently times ad brakes. I have it set to skip ahead 30 secs and skip back 15 secs, so that I can narrow in on the end of the ads with some accuracy.

However, almost all podcasts I listen to have one or two things that clearly define the begging and end of ads. First, they have some in and out music before and after ads. Second, they usually record the ads separately and thus the audio levels or voices between the show and ads aren't exactly consistent.
 

Mike MA

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2012
2,025
1,618
iTunes and Podcasts - at least one of them will survive. But honestly, for me Apple always was Podcasts.
 

NufSaid

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2015
253
336
ÜT: 41.065573,-83.668801
Noo....the great thing about podcasts is you can get them anywhere. Just put the RSS feed into a podcast app and boom you’re subscribed. Turning podcasts into platform exclusives is a bad idea.
[doublepost=1563305711][/doublepost]
Doubt it. Maybe for celebrity podcasters but that’s about it.
Was about to post the same thing. This will make it harder to get started in podcasting. They should make monetization easier from the platform itself.

I like that they are everywhere as well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RichardGroves

JetLaw

macrumors regular
Jan 21, 2009
137
335
If this is another subscription service it's DOA as far as I'm concerned. Podcasting in general isn't going to be improved by the involvement of mega corps creating silos for their original content. No existing podcaster really benefits from this, and no one seeking to get involved really needs their involvement either. Podcasting is one of the few corners of the internet that still exists unencumbered by proprietary lock in/out. Thus, in my opinion, Spotify and Apple should not be putting up those barriers, it's a solution for which there is no problem.
Exactly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RichardGroves

lJoSquaredl

macrumors 6502
Mar 26, 2012
279
70
Sucks but I get why they do it. I usually use Spotify free version lately but may upgrade soon. Even tho I actually prefer a lot of stuff about Spotify I may actually do Apple Music due to the fact that 1 or 2 songs are available on Apple Music and not Spotify lol. Other reasons too, give more to artists and $20 cheaper for a yearly subscription, but yeah super annoying when something is available on one service and not another. Gaming exclusives are going slowly away tho, wish they'd stop it with services too and just fight over features/design/etc instead.

Art/creativity shouldn't be walled off imo.
 

scottishwildcat

macrumors regular
Oct 24, 2007
229
181
Why hasn't anyone yet made an app that auto-skips ads in podcasts? Setting aside the ethics of devaluing the thing that small podcast producers rely on to fund their podcasts, I don't see any legal or technical reason not to.
Do-able for podcasts with ad reads I suppose, but more and more podcasts have dynamically inserted ads these days depending on your geolocation and other factors, and they’re not all the same length.