In addition to also engaging in acquisition talks with Wondery, Apple acquired Scout FM this year, a podcast app that makes the experience of listening to podcasts more closely resemble flipping through radio stations. Apple shut down the app after the acquisition. It's unclear exactly how Apple will incorporate Scout FM's technology onto its platform.
Apple thus far has appeared somewhat resistant to engage in an all-out podcast war with Spotify. It has elected primarily to produce derivative content from entities it already owns instead of acquiring new original content. In June, Vulture highlighted "The Zane Lowe Interview Series" as a piece of low-hanging fruit that won't necessarily challenge Spotify's major moves.
Fun Flashback Sidenote: While researching this issue, I came across an old Apple press release from June 28, 2005: "Apple Takes Podcasting Mainstream." The 15-year-old announcement says you can listen to, subscribe to, and discover new podcasts right from iTunes 4.9! In the press release, Steve Jobs called podcasting "the next generation of radio."