(CelebrityAccess) — Apple Inc. is reportedly planning to fund original podcasts that will be distributed exclusively on Apple’s platform as it prepares to fend off rivals such as Spotify who are also ramping up their podcast offerings.
According to Bloomberg, sources with knowledge of the matter said that Apple execs have been reaching out to media companies to discuss buying exclusive rights to podcasts.
Apple was at the forefront of the development of podcasting with the creation in 2005 of an aggregator network that streams content from the internet to people’s mobile devices and the Apple podcast app still accounts for 50% to 70% of listening, Bloomberg reported.
However, podcasts have been a niche business until the last few years when the sector has seen extensive growth.
According to Edison Research, monthly podcast listenership has more than doubled since 2014, prompting investment from not only streaming services such as Spotify and record labels like Sony and Universal but traditional broadcasters such as radio giant iHeartMedia as well.
The move comes as Apple is seeking to broaden its content offerings in general, including the launch of a streaming video service with original content later this year.
A representative for Apple declined to comment.