Apple will make podcasts a more integral part of its ecosystem with the launch of Apple Podcasts+, a subscription-based service that will offer exclusive podcasts only available to subscribers, along with the wider library of shows available on its existing podcasts app. The entire Apple Podcasts app will also get a redesign, as announced during the Spring Loaded event on April 20.
The premium Podcasts+ service will launch in May with several new shows only available to Podcasts+ subscribers. Along with receiving additional curation options and recommendations for subscribers in the redesigned app via Channels, Podcasts+ subscribers will also enjoy ad-free listening settings, early access to certain shows, and more, yet-to-be-announced features.
The Apple Podcasts app has long been a popular tool for podcast listeners and creators, offering the ability to subscribe to any freely available show with an RSS feed. The Podcasts+ service will make Apple’s exclusive shows available, along with the existing, freely available shows.
Apple won’t be the first company to go exclusive with original podcasts. Spotify made waves in 2020 by announcing a series of shows only available on the Spotify podcast app. Although Apple has created several original podcasts of its own — including a companion podcast for its For All Mankind series and the true crime series The Line — those shows have been widely available on all podcasting apps and services.
At this point, it’s unknown if or how Podcasts+ might be integrated with Apple’s other, existing subscription services, but we’ll likely learn more ahead of the Podcasts+ launch in 170 regions and countries next month.
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