This is very big news, if it really happens, that is. Bloomberg is reporting that Apple plans to fund original podcasts so it can compete with Spotify. The Bloomberg story says Apple has reached out to several media companies to discuss buying exclusive rights to podcasts.
Over the past year, Spotify has purchased companies like Gimlet, Anchor, and Parcast and signed exclusive deals for shows with the Obamas, Jemele Hill, and Amy Schumer. Spotify’s goal is to chip away at Apple and make podcasts the place consumers go for everything audio.
And while all you really hear about is how their charts are meaningless, Apple still dominates the podcast listening world, however Spotify has been carving away at their big lead. In June, Libsyn’s Rob Walch reported that Apple made up 60% of all podcasting listening with Spotify a distant second at 10%.
Apple has supported podcasts since 2005. The company has not really participated in the podcast community (they did not comment for the Bloomberg story). It appears that with the recent popularity of the medium, it’s become clear to Apple that if it wants to hold onto the big lead it’s built up over 15 years, the company must be more aggressive and more involved.