Apple might give paid podcasts a whirl

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Apple Podcasts could get a premium tier.
Everything on Apple Podcasts now is free. That could change if the company creates Podcasts+.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple is reportedly considering a for-pay podcast subscription service. It would join other Apple services offering premium content, like Apple TV+ and News+.

The news sent shares of rival Spotify down over 7% on Friday.

Still, the plans are only in the discussion phase, according to The Information.

Apple maybe getting serious about podcasts

Apple dominated podcasting since the format was created. The very name is a combination of “iPod” and “broadcast.”

But in recent years, Spotify and Amazon have bought the rights to many popular shows and made them proprietary. There’s no better example than The Joe Rogan Experience, which was at the top of Apple’s charts until Spotify made it an exclusive offering in 2020.

Apple Podcasts+ (assuming it’s called that) would be the response. And it’s something Cupertino has allegedly been mulling over for quite some time. Back in July 2019, the company was reportedly in discussions with podcasters about buying the rights to their shows.

Despite its dominance of free podcast distribution, a for-pay subscription service wouldn’t automatically be a hit. For example, the free version of Apple News is reportedly widely used but the premium News+ service struggles.