Premium Podcasts+ service could debut at Tuesday’s Apple event

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Apple Podcasts could get a premium tier.
Would you shell out for Podcasts+?
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple could debut a premium podcast service at Tuesday’s “Spring Loaded” event, according to Recode reporter Peter Kafka.

“Pretty sure Apple is prepping its own podcast plan – a paid subscription service – on Tuesday,” Kafka tweeted Sunday.

No additional details are known about the possible podcast initiative, which presumably would join paid subscription services Apple News+, Apple Music, Apple TV+ and Apple Fitness+. The possibility of a paid podcasting service from Apple was rumored earlier this year.

A few corroborating bits of evidence suggest Apple’s might pursue such an offering. Back in July 2019, the company reportedly held discussions with podcasters about buying the rights to their shows. In March this year, the company made a minor wording change to its Podcasts app, ditching the “Subscribe” label to one that says “Follow.” (The word “Subscribe” implies a paid subscription which Apple currently doesn’t offer, possibly suggesting a change in the future.)

Apple also recently launched original podcast series The Line. While episodes of that podcast are free, this could be Cupertino testing the waters to gauge interest in future Apple-produced podcasts.

Apple Podcasts+: Another sub to add to the collection?

It would be interesting to see how an Apple premium podcast service would do. A big part of the appeal of podcasts is that they’re free to listen to. Convincing people to add yet another subscription to their monthly payments could be hard going. Although rivals like Spotify have been snapping up exclusive shows, as with its massive deal to buy the rights to The Joe Rogan Experience, these have largely remained free to listeners.

How much would you be willing to pay for an Apple-produced podcast service? What would it have to offer that you can’t already get for free in the podcast world? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.