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Apple has made a notable hire in the podcasting industry this week. Inside Podcasting reports that Apple recently hired Emily Ochsenschlager, who previously served National Geographic’s director of podcasts. This hire comes as reports suggest Apple plans to start funding original podcasts.

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Ochsenschlager had worked at National Geographic for just over one year. Her responsibilities included building out NatGeo’s podcasting efforts and launching the company’s first podcast. Prior to her time at National Geographic, Ochsenschlager spent over 15 years at NPR, where she served as a producer and editor.

Inside Podcasting’s report suggests that Apple hiring Ochsenschlager is the “first of many” hires it will make “in the coming weeks.” If Apple is looking to expand its podcasting efforts, it makes sense for it to build out a team focused on the creativity side of podcasting. Ochsenschlager has not yet confirmed Inside Podcasting’s report.

The hiring of Ochsenschlager follows a Bloomberg report from earlier this year that said Apple is looking to fund original podcasts for its Apple Podcasts platform. Details here remain largely unclear, with the report indicating that Apple had been reaching out to media companies and creators about “buying exclusive rights to podcasts.” How, or if, Apple would monetize its original podcasting is unknown.

Apple has generally taken a hands-off approach to podcasting, focusing primarily on its Apple Podcasts service as a platform for hosting and distributing shows from other creators. What do you think of Apple funding original podcasts for Apple Podcasts? Let us know in the comments below!

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