Lucas Shaw and Mark Gurman (MacRumors, Hacker News):
Apple Inc. plans to fund original podcasts that would be exclusive to the audio service, according to people familiar with the case, increasing investment in the industry of Keep competitors Spotify and Stitches at bay.
Leaders of the company have reached out to media companies and their representatives to discuss the purchase of exclusive rights to podcasts, according to the people, who requested not to be identified because the talks are preliminary. Apple has not yet outlined a clear strategy, but has said it plans to pursue what kind of deals it did not before.
The introduction of Apple Music made the music jacket worse for anyone who didn't use it. This will probably have a greater negative impact on podcasts, both because it destroys Apple's incentives (for their apps and directory) and because it will make it harder for customers to get content in the apps they want.
Unfortunately, this is both very likely and much less amazing.
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