Eddy Cue’s interview at Code Media conference contained the usual dodges regarding new Apple products like VR hardware and Apple’s attempts at negotiating with cable companies, but he was surprisingly blunt about Apple’s interest in the podcast space.
Cue said that the company is “working on new features for podcasts, stay tuned.” In spring last year, it was reported that Apple was soliciting feedback from select podcasters about ways to improve podcasts in the iOS/iTunes ecosystem.
The host, Peter Kafka, asked Cue about what Apple can do to help podcasts thrive. He gave the example of the magazine industry where Apple made deals to share information about customers with the publishers, even though purchases are limited to Apple’s channels.
Right now, Apple does little to intervene in the podcast space other than host and manage the iTunes directory. Hosting and delivery of content all happens outside of Apple’s purview. Some have asked Apple to take a more active role, perhaps adding a paid subscription feature to iTunes so listeners can directly support their favorite shows.
Cue said that there is a resurgence in the podcasting space and customers love the ability to “listen to something on demand whenever you want.” He was also very direct in promising that Apple would do more in the podcasting space telling the audience to stay tuned for new features.
Cue said that Apple “absolutely” can and should do more with podcasting, but did not say in what ways Apple would be contributing to the space.
On the Mac, Apple Podcasts is integrated into iTunes and has largely remained unchanged. On iOS, Podcasts is a first-party app pre-installed by default but has not received significant updates for some time and does not use the modern iOS 10 Apple Music design.
You can hear Cue talk about podcasting at around 42 minutes in this video:,
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