What does Apple want to do with podcasting? The industry has just received another clue. Apple has launched a daily news podcast called Apple News Today as part of a broader rollout of several audio elements to its Apple News app. The daily podcast, hosted by public radio veterans Shumita Basu and Duarte Geraldino, is being released each weekday morning and it will run under ten minutes.
The Apple News Today podcast will be available to anyone, not just subscribers of Apple News+, the $10 per month advanced tier that allows unlimited access to content from hundreds of magazines and newspapers, and now audio content. While the Apple News app will now sport a new Audio tab, those who don’t use the app can still find Apple News Today on the Apple Podcast app.
Basu is a former reporter and host at “New York Public Radio” WNYC New York. Geraldino has been a special correspondent for PBS NewsHour and previously was a correspondent for Al Jazeera America.
Apple News Today joins an increasingly crowded yet lucrative daily news podcast genre. Podtrac said in June the top three podcasts were the New York Times-produced The Daily, which remained in the top spot for the 20th consecutive month, followed by NPR’s hourly five-minute podcast NPR News Now and the NPR-produced Up First. There is also the Wall Street Journal daily The Journal podcast plus its twice-a-day What’s News podcast.
Also debuting this week is another show targeting commuters as Axios launched its morning news podcast Axios Today. Also targeting morning commuters are iHeartRadio’s The Daily Dive and ABC Radio’s Start Here, among others. The Washington Post publishes the afternoon commute-focused podcast Post Reports. Buzzfeed just launched News O’Clock, a Millennial-targeted podcast that blends news and pop culture from the digital news site BuzzFeed and the iHeartPodcast Network.
In addition to the new podcast, Apple said it will produce about 20 audio stories a week across a wide range of interests. Narrated by professional voice actors, the audio stories create an on-the-go way to get content from some of the newspapers and magazines that have content on Apple News. That includes newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal, and magazines including Esquire, Essence, Fast Company, GQ, New York, Sports Illustrated, Time, Vanity Fair, Vogue and Wired.
The new audio features will be available on iPhone, iPod touch and CarPlay. Apple has also introduced support for the News app in CarPlay, so users can listen to audio stories and Apple News Today while driving. They will also be able to sync listening progress across devices. That means they can start listening to an audio story with CarPlay from their iPhone and then pick up listening to the audio story or read the written version once they arrive home.
Apple is also adding local news tabs for Apple News app users in several cities. It will aggregate content from local publications.
“Apple News showcases so much great journalism, and we’re excited to help bring it to life in new ways with Apple News+ audio stories and a new daily news show, Apple News Today,” Lauren Kern, Editor-in-Chief of Apple News, said in a statement. “We also greatly value our many local news partners — our new local news feature highlights their work for readers who live, and are interested, in those communities.”
Apple News is available in the U.S., the UK, Australia and Canada, but the company says audio stories will only be available to Apple News+ subscribers in the U.S. The Apple News app has 125 million monthly active users in the U.S., UK, Australia and Canada, according to the company.