While some radio stations started sending out recordings of broadcasts in 2001, podcasts came onto the scene in 2004, got onto iTunes in 2005, and have since “transformed the media landscape,” according to Apple’s new iTunes splash page celebrating a milestone one billion podcast subscriptions.
Those billion subscriptions are held up by 250,000 unique podcasts across over 100 languages. More than eight million episodes have been published on the iTunes Store, according to Apple.
Granted, that’s a lot of subscriptions, but that doesn’t mean they’re all being listened to. When I used to subscribe to podcasts back in the day, I know I let quite a few download that I never quite got to.
It’s great to see Apple promoting podcasts, even though they themselves don’t make any money from them. With a dedicated podcast app, the new podcast promotion page in iTunes, and the ability to make podcasts in Garageband, Apple continues to support this media format, which is itself named after Apple’s own iPod product.
According to Macworld, podcast creators like NPR are happy with the support, too. “We’ve been podcasting basically since the iPod came out in 2001,” said Zach Brand, vice president of digital media for NPR. The majority of NPR’s podcast subscribers come through iTunes, naturally, and most listeners are using Apple devices to listen to it.
“We have a very healthy partnership with Apple,” Brand said. “They come out with great products and we have great content, and they work great together.”
After over ten years as a media format, podcasting seems to only continue to get bigger. With one billion subscriptions in the iTunes Store, Apple can be proud of its place in this portion of media history.