Apple has officially launched new features across its Apple Podcasts app as part of the company’s iOS 17 software update, including a new offering which allows users to access exclusive podcasts based on their third-party subscriptions.
The new feature allows listeners who have subscriptions to eligible apps within the iOS App Store to connect them to Apple Podcasts, giving them access to bonus content within the platform. Listeners who are already subscribed to eligible apps will have their subscriptions automatically connected to the Apple Podcasts platform, or the process can also be done manually by signing into their account on the app’s channel page on Apple Podcasts.
Subscribers to participating applications including Calm and Lingokids now have access to over 60 original podcasts, and new shows will continue to launch every week for the rest of the autumn period. Future participants include Bloomberg, Curio, L’Équipe, Mamamia, Sleep Cycle, The Economist, The Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, WELT News, and Zen.
A number of exclusive programmes from Apple Music will also be made available to subscribers on Apple Podcasts as part of the integration. This will span three distinct global stations - Apple Music 1, Apple Music Hits, and Apple Music Country - including coverage of the 2024 Apple Music Halftime Show, anchor shows with top presenters like Zane Lowe and Ebro Darden, artist-hosted programs like Angel Hour Radio, weekly playlist shows like Rap Life Radio, and narrative shows and specials like Hip-Hop DNA and Essentials Radio.
“Apple Music is home to hundreds of original shows featuring the world’s top artists and tastemakers, and our listeners love them,” said Apple Music global head of editorial Rachel Newman. “There is truly something for everyone, which is why we’re excited to make it all available on Apple Podcasts, so subscribers can follow their favourites, save episodes to their library, get notified when new episodes are released, and listen offline across their devices.”
Apple News+ and Apple One subscribers will also have access to additional bonus content from the apps which includes professionally narrated audio stories from leading magazines and newspapers, available on both Apple Podcasts and Apple News.
“We’re excited to introduce Apple News+ Narrated for our subscribers,” said Apple News editor-in-chief Lauren Kern. “Now subscribers can enjoy narrated articles representing some of the best journalism from News+ publishers on Apple Podcasts as well as in Apple News.”
In addition to the subscription features, new offerings from Apple Podcasts as part of the update also include episode-level artwork for all shows as well as chapter-specific artwork which can be played in real-time for the duration of the episode.
There is also the addition of new enhanced discoverability tools for podcasters and enhanced user experience features, which include filtering search results on the app by top results, shows, episodes, and channels, and the ability to see how much time is remaining in an episode that they previously started if it's saved in their library.
Listeners will also have a “refreshed” Now Playing experience, which features a dynamic background based on the show or episode art, and allows listeners to add episodes to the queue, see what’s playing next, and access episode chapters which give the duration and remaining time of each chapter.