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Apple on Thursday rechristened iTunes Podcasts under a new label, "Apple Podcasts," likely setting the stage for planned evolutions of the company's podcasting support.
The new term applies to both the iTunes podcast directory and the Podcasts iPhone and iPad app. Accordingly Apple has revised its marketing guidelines, for example producing a new "Listen on Apple Podcasts" badge that can be used on webpages, social networks, and elsewhere. An official Twitter account has been rebranded to @ApplePodcasts.
At February's Code Media conference Apple's head of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, promised that the company was working on new features for podcasts. What those might be is uncertain.
One possibility is that Apple will make it easier for podcasters to make money, perhaps by streamlining ad placements or offering more detailed audience demographics. The company could also conceivably support paid subscriptions, whether for individual shows or by offering a first-party plan with access to "premium" content. Premium podcasts could theoretically become a perk for Apple Music subscribers.
Apple's Podcasts app hasn't been updated since Sept. 13. That release only brought bugfixes, but also made iOS 10 a baseline requirement.