Apple has stepped up its investment in original podcast content by signing an agreement with Pulitzer Prize-winning production company Futuro Studios, Bloomberg report.

Podcasts Feature
The deal stipulates that Apple will fund development and production of podcasts, and then have the first option to turn them into a film or TV show for its Apple TV+ service.

Apple has ramped up its podcast production output over the past couple of years, generating spinoffs of some of its original television and movie content, such as the For All Mankind podcast, but also seeking to purchase original podcast programs that could tie into future TV+ shows .

Apple has discussed similar arrangements with other podcast production studios and spent up to $10 million on the push so far, according to Bloomberg. Apple has already financed a handful of popular podcasts, including true crime series “Hooked” and “The Line,” with several tied in some way to its TV shows.

Apple is said to be using the podcast investment strategy as a relatively risk-free method of gauging interest in the material to determine whether it could become the foundation for a video series. The approach means Apple avoids having to spend potentially significantly more money to acquire rights to an established podcast in order to turn it into original video programming.

Apple’s low-key plans contrast with Spotify’s high-spending strategy of acquiring already-popular podcasts and making them exclusive to its streaming service. Spotify has been making inroads in the podcasting market over the course of the last few years, ramping up its original podcast offerings and making major acquisitions, as well as scoring key deals such as the rights to the popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

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