Apple has today rebranded its iTunes Podcasts offering as ‘Apple Podcasts’, encapsulating the podcast directory and the client Podcasts app available on iPhone and iPad.
Although today’s announcement is merely a branding change, it may indicate a renewed focus by Apple on podcasting. Full marketing guidelines for podcasters can be found here.
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In February, Eddy Cue teased that the company is working on new features for podcasts at the Code Media conference. Combined with this rebranding, it is possible that Apple is readying a big announcement for later this year, potentially at WWDC. Personally, I see iTunes as being the ‘legacy’ brand of Apple’s content offering — with all new stuff funnelled into new names with Apple prefixes.
Named as ‘Apple Podcasts’, it clearly aligns the product in the same ballpark as Apple Music. This will immediately spark speculation that Apple could launch a podcast subscription service, mirroring their $9.99 Apple Music offering, to provide a platform for podcast monetization and premium shows.
Whilst this would be an interesting direction for Apple to take, it is by no means a certainty. Apple could also add easy ways for publishers to make money from iOS listeners, almost like a Patreon service provided by Apple.
This is of course all speculation but maybe Apple is also looking to break up iTunes on the Mac from the monster bloatware app it is today. This could include the release of a dedicated Apple Podcasts app for Mac to mirror its iOS clients.
The new badge iconography includes a tweaked version of the Podcasts app icon, using darker shades of purple, potentially tipping the hat on a future update to the iOS icon. Podcasters interested in learning more about the new Apple branding should read the new marketing guidelines.