Apple has been slowly constructing its empire of subscription companies for the whole lot from information and health to TV and cloud storage. But Apple has dragged its toes on podcasts, which is unusual contemplating the corporate popularized the creation and distribution of podcasts about [checks notes] 16 years in the past. Apple is reportedly coming round to a podcast subscription service, but it surely may also create extra antitrust complications for a corporation already suffering from them.
Citing sources aware of the subject, the Information reported Friday that Apple is in talks to launch a paid subscription service for podcasts. It’s not clear how a subscription mannequin would work, however the Information famous that charging a payment for particular podcasts may pad the pockets of content material creators and will assist entice expertise, maybe even away from present platforms. Alternatively, if Apple charged for a premium model of its podcasts app—let’s name it Podcasts+ for now—it may probably group it in with its Apple One bundles and use it to assist safe subscribers for different premium apps in its portfolio, like Arcade or Apple Music.
Apple declined Gizmodo’s request for remark.
The discussions might not be closing and Apple may change its thoughts, in line with the Information. But there’s actually loads of purpose to consider Apple is heading on this course. Apple has made companies an enormous a part of its product growth lately, some with their very own pipeline of unique content material, as with Apple TV+ and Fitness+. The firm had additionally reportedly been ramping up its efforts round unique podcasts final yr, which was rumored to ivolve programming that attracts from its TV+ content material, Bloomberg reported on the time. It additionally snapped up podcast curation device Scout FM final fall, and Apple was mentioned to have been among the many corporations that explored an acquisition of Wondery, which was finally purchased by Amazon.
But it could be an odd transfer for a corporation consistently embroiled in antitrust drama. Particularly the place it pertains to Spotify—which might be one of many major rivals to a Podcasts+ service—the corporate is probably taking a look at reigniting a years-long feud, which in all probability received’t assist Apple’s place in different antitrust instances (although these have primarily taken intention at its controversial App Store insurance policies). And Apple is aware of it’s in scorching water right here, too. The firm’s annual submitting this month in no unsure phrases acknowledged that its board of administrators “often” opinions the corporate’s antitrust dangers.
A podcast subscription can be an enormous reversal from Apple’s traditionally hands-off strategy to podcasts, which podcast creators had been involved about only a few years in the past. But, once more, a premium podcast app would match completely with Apple’s personal product portfolio and will lure paying subscribers to its personal app from these of its rivals. And the prospect to launch one more service could also be too engaging for Apple to go up.