In a move that probably should have happened a few years ago, Apple has finally decided to move away from the iTunes brand for their podcast services. The new “Apple Podcasts” name likely won’t change much from a day to day function, however, there are some key changes for how podcasters market podcasts. For a full list of guidelines, click here.
9 to 5 Mac speculates, and I tend to agree, that this (seemingly small) change could be queueing up a larger launch sometime in the near future. They’re circling this year’s WWDC as a potential target announcing the new launch.
I for one, would welcome a new launch. The Apple Podcasts haven’t released any major new features and have given ground to Stitcher, SoundCloud, and other players to wedge themselves into the podcast streaming game. Apple could have owned this market had they spent ample resources from the start. Their lack of innovation is also partly the reason Discover Pods exists — they’ve never solved the discoverability problem.
However, with the name changes comes even further speculation. Since the naming convention now mirrors their Apple Music brand, some are now questioning if Apple plans to move podcasts into a subscription service, potentially $9.99 a month. If it’s true, moving from fully-free to a paid service likely won’t appease listeners, but again, this is only speculation and rumors.