Apple has recently announced that it will start releasing original podcasts to their streaming services. The content will be exclusive on Apple’s streaming services.
The tech giant also plans to buy the rights to some popular programs, to make sure apple is the exclusive carrier of these podcasts.
According to Bloomberg News, Apple has started asking media companies to buy the rights to popular already-streaming podcasts. The Apple Podcast app accounts for 50 to 70 percent of most podcast listeners.
Following the report, Spotify’s stock fell an estimated 2.7 percent, reflecting Apple’s increasing power in the audio market. In March, Spotify filed an antitrust in Europe against Apple for allegedly abusing their dominance in the App Store.
Google joined Spotify last year in the podcast market, launching their own podcast app for Android users, just as Spotify bought out several podcasting companies.
Apple has also announced its plans to create a video streaming service called Apple TV+ in the fall.
Apple is practically credited for the invention of the podcast, thanks to the release of the iPod in 2001. By investing in its original content, Apple can create more reasons for consumers to buy their products.
The release of Apple TV+ will have exclusive programming from Oprah Winfrey, J.J. Abrams, and Steven Spielberg, and other well-known names. Apple’s investments into original podcasts will differentiate them from other audio streaming services like Amazon’s Audible and Pandora, and their biggest competitor, Spotify.
Spotify has power over around 10 to 20 percent of the podcast market. The audio streaming enterprise has invested $400 million this year to buy three podcasting companies. With the podcast market growing, Apple and Spotify’s rivalry will grow as well.
In 2012, Apple had split off podcasts from iTunes into their podcast app. Apple also launched Podcast Analytics to let podcasters measure their listenership and possibly even monetize their podcasts with sponsorships.
The popularity of podcasts hasn’t escaped the eyes of retailers who are looking for new revenue streams. As social media advertising stabilizes, it’s no longer as popular as it used to be, causing companies to search elsewhere for ad spots. Podcast advertising has heated up in the last year, and with Apple acquiring the rights to so many popular programs, users soon won’t be able to escape commercials.
Apple’s slowing iPhone sales have caused the company to expand into services that will warrant more revenue from its giant user base, such as Apple TV+ and the Apple Arcade gaming platform. They have expanded services like Apple News and Apple Music.
Their most prevalent platforms, iCloud, Apple Pay, and the App Store, have shown a growth of 16 percent, making $11.5 billion as their subscription count grows to 390 million. The company will most likely reach $50 billion by next year.
Apple’s exclusive podcasts should be something iTunes users are used to. Apple frequently creates private contracts with artists, like Taylor Swift and Kanye West. Making some podcasts unique to Apple will create a new market, forcing users to choose which streaming service they want to sign up for.