Apple is considering launching a paid podcast subscription service, insiders told The Information late last week. The service would charge users to access exclusive podcasts or listen to content ad-free — it may also be bundled with other paid Apple services, including Apple Music and Apple TV+. The move would be a response to Spotify's significant acquisitions within the podcasting space and Amazon's recent acquisition of Wondery.
- Apple also reportedly engaged in talks to acquire Wondery, a source told The Information.
- Apple has been slower than Spotify to wade into original podcasting content. Its first original, "The Zane Lowe Interview Series," premiered last year.
- The Information's Martin Peers speculates that "consumers used to free podcasts may rebel" if the industry follows the streaming media playbook of requiring a paid subscription to access the majority of content.
- Apple has been in contact with production companies about the potential service, though it's still possible that the tech giant may not proceed with the concept.