Apple TV+ has also been releasing original podcast series on the Apple Podcasts app, along with expanding its video content like “The Line”, “Unabom”, “Wild Things: Siegfried & Roy”, “Hooked”, and others. The streamer has also launched accompanying podcast series for its video series like “For All Mankind”, “Foundation” and “The Problem With Jon Stewart.”
Bloomberg reports that Apple TV+ has signed a studio deal with Futuro Studio, a Pulitzer Prize-winning studio, and is in talks with other companies for more deals. The deals are part of the streamer’s effort to ramp up the production of in-house podcasts on Apple’s Podcasts app which it could eventually turn into shows for Apple TV+.
Apple TV+ has spent $10 million to ramp up production of in-house podcast series to turn them into shows or films
Under the new deal, Futuro Studio will fund the development and production of podcasts and Apple TV+ will have the first chance to turn any podcast into a film or TV show. Futuro Studios is known for its criminal-justice series “Suave”.
Apple TV+, which launched in 2019, also has adapted shows from existing podcasts. It turned “The Shrink Next Door” into a series with Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell. “WeCrashed,” based on the WeWork Inc. saga, starred Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway. Both podcasts were originally produced by Wondery, now part of Amazon.com Inc.
The streamer is looking for similar arrangements with other studios and has spent approximately $10 million in the effort thus far. The company has also announced podcasts with Campside Media, Jigsaw Productions, Pineapple Street Studios and At Will Media.
According to the report, investment in individual podcast series or acquisition of networks is led by Apple TV+ instead of Apple’s podcast decision because the podcasting unit wants to be seen as a neutral platform.
Distinguishing between Apple’s and Spotify’s approach to expanding podcasts, the publisher believes that Apple’s approach will be a “welcome sign” for podcast producers to look for funding at a time when the podcast industry is facing a financial crunch.
With other companies tightening their budgets, investments in audio shows have begun to slow in recent months. Radio networks such as IHeartMedia Inc. and Audacy Inc., which have been major financiers of original audio, have pulled back as their ad growth softens and stock prices slip.