Can Apple win over podcasters by promising to do all the hard work for them?

Apple launches its new Delivery system delegated to its Podcasts platform as a way for creators to easily manage and distribute their shows on certain third-party platforms.

The purpose of this feature is basically to help podcasters with the operational overhead so they can just focus on creating the best content possible. Delegated delivery allows creators to authorize a participating provider to automatically deliver their shows to Apple Podcasts.

The service will have a unique dashboard for each provider with the ability to schedule a release, provide early access to premium users, or publish ad-free podcasts. Supported formats include WAV, FLAC, and MP3 files.

Podcast data such as analytics and subscription reports will not be passed to any participating platforms. The full list of vendors supporting delegated delivery has not been revealed, but Apple has mentioned a few.

Some of the participating platforms include ART19, Buzzsprout and Libsyn. Apple recommends periodically checking its Hosts page to find out if and when their host will support the feature.

And the best part is that delegated delivery is free for all creators on the platform. You don’t need to be a member of the Apple Podcasters program to post free shows, but you must be a member to post premium episodes. Delegated Delivery doesn’t have a specific launch date, but will be released in the fall.

Alongside delegated delivery, Apple has quietly announced that podcast creators can now offer annual plans to its audience in more than 170 countries and regions.

Analysis: competing for podcasts

The fight for the podcast market continues to escalate.

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Over the past year, Apple has been working on improving its lackluster podcast platform, which in the past was called “an absolute disaster”. For example, the company released a new curation feature called Apple Podcast Subscriptions in June 2021 which allows people to subscribe to their favorite shows through official channels.

But it remains to be seen whether Apple can compete with its podcast rivals. Spotify has been releasing podcast-centric features regularly for some time now, such as the release Video podcasts to creators in the US and UK.

YouTube also wants a slice of that pie, because recent reports indicates that he plans to integrate RSS feeds of podcasts into his site. Hopefully Apple isn’t too late to catch the wave of podcasts or it might continue to lag behind its rivals.

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