Apple Launched Apple Podcasts Spotlight, Considers a Subscription Service

Apple Podcasts has launched Apple Podcasts Spotlight. The first podcast to be featured is Celebrity Book Club Podcast which is hosted by Chelsea Devantez.

Mac Rumors posted this quote:

Apple Podcasts Spotlight helps listeners find some of the world’s best shows by shining a light on creators with singular voices,” said Ben Cave, Global Head of Business for Apple Podcasts. “Chelsea Devantez has created a fun, vibrant space with Celebrity Book Club for listeners to gain new perspectives on the celebrities we thought we knew. We are delighted to recognize Chelsea and Celebrity Book Club as our first Spotlight selection and look forward to introducing creators like Chelsea to listeners each month.

Mac Rumors reported that Apple will announce new Spotlight creators on a monthly basis. The feature will represent a wide range of podcast genres, formats, and locations, with a focus on independent voices.

The announcement of Apple Podcasts Spotlight comes after The Information reported that Apple is discussing a new subscription service that would charge people to listen to podcasts (according to people familiar with the matter).

The Information noted that Apple’s subscription service “could pose a threat to Spotify, SiriusXM, Amazon, and other big companies that have in the past couple of years swallowed up podcasting production firms in an effort to gain more control of the podcast ad market.” The Information states that Apple charging for individual podcast could potentially give podcast creators a way to make money.

Bloomberg also reported that Apple is working on adding a subscription service with its partners (again, according to people familiar with the matter). Apple reportedly talked about stepping up funding for new shows and marketing.

It is unclear to me whether Apple Podcasts Spotlight would have anything to do with Apple’s subscription service. My concern is that people who listen to podcasts on Apple Podcasts will lose access to the podcasts they love – unless they buy a subscription. Will Apple Podcasts become yet another “walled garden”?

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