Apple is exploring the addition of a premium subscription podcast tier to become a more competitive rival to Spotify, Bloomberg reported on Friday (Jan. 15), citing sources.
The move comes as the tech giant ponders funding original programming, the sources told Bloomberg. For over 10 years Apple has dominated podcast distribution, offering the talk radio-style broadcasts at no charge. Competition from Spotify and even Amazon has caused the Silicon Valley iPhone maker to accelerate its efforts.
Spotify recently ramped up its investment in podcasts, directing hundreds of millions of dollars to boost programming and technology. Its tactics stole a few of the more popular podcasts from Apple, including “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which is now a Spotify exclusive and was acquired in a $100 million deal.
Apple already lost its dominant position as the online music leader to Spotify. By packaging music and podcasts together, Spotify is now nipping at Apple’s heels and has already unseated it as the podcast provider of choice in several markets outside of the U.S.
Amazon, too, has boosted its investment in podcast programming, funding an original series for Audible, its audiobook division. It also added podcasts to its music service and is acquiring the podcasting company Wondery, per Bloomberg.
Apple’s exploration of premium podcast subscriptions was first reported by The Information. Spotify has reportedly spent $800 million to acquire companies like Gimlet Media and The Ringer.
In July, Spotify announced the launch of video podcasts from creators like Book of Basketball 2.0, Fantasy Footballers, Misfits Podcast, and others. Its programming lineup has topped over one million shows, up from 700,000 in March.
In September, Spotify went after Apple One, calling Apple’s bundled subscription service anticompetitive because it only offers its own music service as an option. Apple One offers bundled subscription offerings with Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud storage, and more. Although both companies offer monthly packages for $10, Apple also includes television and video games starting at $15 per month.