Apple Looking to Buy Exclusive Original Podcasts to Compete With Spotify and Promote Apple TV+

Apple is working on original podcasts that will be exclusive to the Podcasts app, and is searching for an executive to lead its podcast efforts, reports Bloomberg.


Earlier this year, Bloomberg suggested Apple was developing original podcasts focused on TV shows and movies from its Apple TV+ streaming service, using the podcasts as a way to promote ‌Apple TV‌+, but it appears Apple is also planning to purchase original content.

Apple will focus on audio spinoffs of existing movies and programs on ‌Apple TV‌+, but is also seeking to purchase original programs that could potentially be adapted into future TV+ content. Apple is said to be searching for an executive to lead its original podcasting work. The new hire will report to Ben Cave, Apple’s head of podcasting.

Apple is also said to have asked some producers working on podcasts to provide versions of their podcasts without advertisements, an effort separate from its work on original content.

Apple Music competitor Spotify has been focusing heavily on podcasts over the course of the last year, aiming to challenge Apple’s dominance in the podcasting sphere. Apple’s Podcasts app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac have long been the go-to listening choice for Apple customers.

Spotify has been working on original podcast content and has purchased several well-known podcasts. Spotify in February 2019, for example, purchased Gimlet Media, known for podcasts like “Reply All” and “Homecoming.” Just this week, Spotify scored exclusive rights to popular podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which will see all of the podcasts made available exclusively through Spotify.

According to podcast producers that spoke to Bloomberg, Apple is just “dipping its toe” into original podcast content and has not yet made a massive leap into original podcast content like Spotify.

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Spotify Signs ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ Podcast to Exclusive Multi-Year Deal

Spotify has signed a deal to pluck comedian Joe Rogan’s hugely popular podcast The Joe Rogan Experience from Apple’s Podcasts library as part of a multi-year deal.

(Image credit: POWERFULJRE/YOUTUBE)

Spotify’s deal with Rogan means that video and audio of each episode will be listed on Spotify from September 1, with an agreement to make the show exclusively available to Spotify subscribers sometime later in the year.

The announcement is a clear signal that Spotify sees its push into podcasts as a long-term commitment. The Joe Rogan Experience is one of the longest-running shows and often dominates Apple’s podcast charts. Last year the show was said to have reached about 190 million downloads a month.

In addition to the podcast angle, The Joe Rogan Experience also clocks up massive view counts on YouTube, with a recent interview with Elon Musk generating more than 13 million views so far. Other high-profile interviewees have included Senator Bernie Sanders, author Sam Harris, and cosmologist Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

Spotify said in a press release that Rogan retains creative control over his show, but didn’t reveal how much it had paid to clinch the deal. In an audio message accompanying the press release, Rogan said: “It will be the exact same show. I will not be an employee of Spotify.” Spotify said it will also work with an ad agency to jointly sell ads alongside the show.

Spotify first began its efforts to enter the podcast field around three years ago, when it said it was “coming after” Apple with a strong push into podcasts. The last few years have been marked as a so-called golden age for podcasts, causing many companies to look into entering the field.

More signs of Spotify’s intention to double down on its podcasts offering were relayed last year, shortly after it acquired several podcast creation companies including Gimlet Media for $300 million.

Spotify said it planned to create new and exclusive podcasts for subscribers, and also revealed that the team that developed its Discover Weekly algorithms was working on a discovery engine for podcasts. Spotify also purchased Anchor, a company that lets users record and create their own shows that can be easily shared online.

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