Apple signs deal with podcaster Futuro Studios, report says

Apple’s attempt to be a media company has already won success, with Emmy Awards for its TV series, such as Ted Lasso and the morning showand a Best Picture Oscar for his film located in the deaf community, CODA. Now Apple appears to be on the hunt for new inspiration, striking a deal with award-winning podcast developer Futuro Studios.

Under the terms of the deal, reported by Bloomberg on Wednesday, Apple will fund the development and production of podcasts in exchange for “first chance to turn any podcast into a movie or TV show.” Neither Apple nor Futuro immediately responded to requests for comment.

The move, which would be led by Apple’s TV studio and not its podcast division, marks another way for the tech giant to grow its $5-a-month media subscription business, Apple TV Plus. launched in 2019.

Apple helped popularize the term “podcast” when it adopted the technology as part of its iPod and iTunes music player and software more than a decade ago. The downloadable radio show format has become particularly popular as music streaming has become mainstream with services such as Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music Premium, Tidal and Spotify.

Spotify in particular has sought to become a central player in the podcast industry, buying up studios like Gimlet Media, creator of Crimetown and Heavyweight. Gimlet also produces the daily Wall Street Journal podcast, the newspaper. Spotify also has an exclusive deal with Joe Rogan, whose namesake podcast is one of the most popular — and controversial — on the planet.

Bloomberg reports do not indicate that Apple will increase its podcasting efforts, at least not now. Instead, Bloomberg said, Apple will likely leverage the relationship for other ideas for its Apple TV Plus service.

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