|First of all… I’m not sure if you’re listening to The Line, the Apple Original podcast led by Dan Taberski about the case of the Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, but I think it broke some news with its series conclusion that came out today.
If you haven’t checked out the show, you should do so. It’s stellar.
A curious wrinkle in the Apple Original podcast story. Apple TV+, the company’s streaming entertainment division, announced a new original podcast project last week: a Siegfried & Roy audio documentary series executive produced by the filmmaker Steven Leckart and At Will Media. What’s distinct about this production compared to The Line — which, again, is stellar — is the fact that it won’t be attached to a larger streaming video project slated for the Apple TV+ service. In other words, Apple TV+ is producing its first standalone original podcast.
What’s the significance of this development, given my prevailing interpretation that Apple’s original podcast projects seem largely meant to serve as marketing vessels for its various non-podcast services? Perhaps nothing all that much, as this Siegfried & Roy podcast would still perform the same function of driving greater awareness around the Apple TV+ brand as a storytelling business.
Still, I do get the sense it brings us closer to an arms race narrative between Apple and Spotify, albeit in a slight reconfigurated form. Spotify competes with Apple by directly integrating its publisher role into its platform distributor role. This may well be read as Apple decentralizing the competition: Apple TV+ competing with Spotify as a podcast publisher while Apple Podcasts competes with Spotify as a platform.