Apple Podcasts

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Apple Podcasts
Developer(s)Apple Inc.
Initial releaseiOS: June 26, 2012; 11 years ago (2012-06-26)
tvOS: January 26, 2016; 8 years ago (2016-01-26)
watchOS: September 17, 2018; 5 years ago (2018-09-17)
HomePod: February 9, 2018; 6 years ago (2018-02-09)
macOS: October 7, 2019; 4 years ago (2019-10-07)
Amazon Echo: December 13, 2019; 4 years ago (2019-12-13)
Stable release
iOS 15.1 / October 25, 2021; 2 years ago (2021-10-25)
Operating systemiOS 10 and later
iPadOS 10 and later
watchOS 5.1 and later
tvOS 9.1.1 and later
macOS Catalina and later
Windows (as part of iTunes)
PredecessoriTunes (macOS)

Apple Podcasts (known as simply Podcasts in Apple operating systems) is an audio streaming service and media player application developed by Apple Inc. for playing podcasts. Apple began supporting podcasts with iTunes 4.9 released in June 2005 and launched its first standalone mobile app in 2012. The app was later pre-installed with iOS beginning October 2014. The Apple Podcasts directory features more than two million shows.[1] Apple Podcasts is available on iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, CarPlay, Microsoft Windows operating systems, and on Amazon Alexa devices.


Apple was an early promoter of podcasts (the term is a portmanteau of Apple's iPod music player and "broadcast"),[2] and added playback functionality to iTunes 4.9 released in June 2005 and built a directory of shows in its iTunes Music Store, starting with 3,000 entries.[3][4] In April 2020, Apple Podcasts surpassed one million shows.[5] In June 2021, Apple launched the option for podcast creators to implement paid subscriptions through podcast channels.[6]

Market share[edit]

Apple Podcasts had an estimated 28 million U.S. monthly listeners and 23.8% market share in March 2021, the first month it fell behind Spotify Podcasts as the top podcasting platform in the U.S. This was a decrease from Apple's 34% market share in 2018.[7]

Application platforms[edit]

iOS, tvOS, and watchOS versions[edit]

A standalone Apple Podcasts app was announced at the 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference as a feature of iOS 6. Apple released the app early on the App Store on June 26, 2012. It adds a new "stations" feature for discovering new podcasts.[8] It is a standard app on CarPlay.

A standalone Apple Podcasts app was brought to 2nd and 3rd generation Apple TVs on September 24, 2012, with the Software 6.0 update.[9] The tvOS-based 4th generation Apple TV launched in October 2015 without the ability to play podcasts. This was despite a Podcasts icon appearing on the home screen in commercials, in-store demo loops, and developer documentation.[10] Apple Podcasts was added with tvOS 9.1.1 released on January 26, 2016.[11]

Apple Podcasts was added to the Apple Watch with watchOS 5 on September 17, 2018.[12]

On March 5, 2024, Apple added transcripts to the Podcasts app on iPhone and iPad with iOS 17.4 and iPadOS 17.4. Transcripts are available for English-, French-, Spanish-, and German-language podcasts[13]

macOS and Windows versions[edit]

Apple Podcasts for macOS and Microsoft Windows was initially available as part of the iTunes app, which added support for podcasts in version 4.9 in June 2005.[14][15]

Apple announced at WWDC 2019 that iTunes for macOS would be split and replaced by the Music, TV and Podcasts apps with the release of macOS Catalina.[16] Apple Podcasts remains available through iTunes on Microsoft Windows.[17]

Smart speakers[edit]

Apple's HomePod family supports Podcasts using a voice user interface. Support for Apple Podcasts was added to the Amazon Echo line in December 2019.[18]

Apple Podcasts Award[edit]

# Year Show of the Year Ref.
1 2022 Slow Burn [19]
2 2023 Wiser Than Me with Julia Louis-Dreyfus [20]


Critical reviews of the Apple Podcasts app have generally been mixed. In 2012, Engadget stated it "offers an opportunity to break through the clutter of iTunes".[21] In 2017, Slate criticized it for glitches and low-quality audio.[22] In 2019, Vulture called the app "a bummer" and "bare-bones and fairly clunky, even when it comes to basic functions like subscribing."[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Apple leads the next chapter of podcasting with Apple Podcasts Subscriptions". Apple Newsroom. Retrieved September 30, 2021.
  2. ^ "Podcast Production § HGSE Multimedia Lab Knowledge Center". Harvard. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2022.
  3. ^ "Apple Takes Podcasting Mainstream". Apple Newsroom. June 28, 2005. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  4. ^ "iTunes 4.9 with podcasting available for download -- still no formal announcement". Engadget. June 28, 2005. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  5. ^ Binder, Matt (April 24, 2020). "It's official: There are now a million Apple podcasts". Mashable. Retrieved September 30, 2021.
  6. ^ Spangler, Todd (June 15, 2021). "Apple Launches Podcast Subscriptions Worldwide, After a Delay". Variety. Retrieved September 30, 2021.
  7. ^ "Spotify podcast listeners to top Apple's for the first time in 2021, forecast claims". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on September 26, 2021. Retrieved September 30, 2021.
  8. ^ Ingraham, Nathan (June 26, 2012). "Apple releases dedicated Podcasts app for iPhone and iPad". The Verge. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  9. ^ "About Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation) software updates". Apple Support. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  10. ^ "Apple TV (2015) review". iMore. November 19, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  11. ^ "Apple Releases Apple TV Update With New Podcasts App". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on May 4, 2023. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  12. ^ Whitney, Lance (September 27, 2019). "How to Use the Apple Podcasts App on Your Apple Watch". PCMAG. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  13. ^ "Apple introduces transcripts for Apple Podcasts". Apple Newsroom (Press release). Retrieved March 5, 2024.
  14. ^ Manjoo, Farhad (November 29, 2012). "Won't Someone Take iTunes Out Back and Shoot It?". Slate. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  15. ^ "iTunes 4.9 First Look: Apple takes on Podcasting". Macworld. June 28, 2005. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  16. ^ Murphy Kelly, Samantha (June 3, 2019). "RIP iTunes as we know it. Apple breaks up iconic music platform". CNN. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  17. ^ Spangler, Todd (June 3, 2019). "Apple's iTunes Store, iTunes App for Windows Aren't Going Away". Variety. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  18. ^ "Apple and Spotify's podcasts come to Echo devices in the US". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on May 4, 2023. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
  19. ^ "Slate's 'Slow Burn' is the winner of Apple's first podcast award". November 29, 2022. Retrieved November 30, 2022.
  20. ^ "Apple Podcasts Announces 'Wiser Than Me With Julia Louis-Dreyfus' as 2023 Show of the Year". MacRumors. December 5, 2023. Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  21. ^ "Apple's Podcasts app for iOS hands-on". Engadget. June 26, 2012. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  22. ^ Pesca, Mike (December 6, 2017). "Apple Has Ruined Its Podcasts App". Slate Magazine. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  23. ^ "Picking the Best Podcast App (and a Guide to the Rest)". October 3, 2019. Retrieved October 27, 2019.