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Apple might be on the verge of entering the original podcast market, as a report on Thursday alleges the tech giant recently poached a prominent podcast producer and former NPR journalist from National Geographic.
Citing an unnamed source, Inside claims Apple has hired Emily Ochsenschlager, current Deputy Director of podcasts at National Geographic and former producer and editor at NPR, to produce original content for a rumored slate of in-house podcasts.
Ochsenschlager is "the first of many [content hires] for [Apple] in the coming weeks," the source said, suggesting Apple is quickly building out an original content team.
The Nat Geo producer in a tweet earlier this week said the company is seeking additional podcast producers. The missive could be a hint that Nat Geo is looking to replace Ochsenschlager or, alternatively, it might nullify Inside's claims.
"Podcast Producers! Interested in joining a fun, dynamic podcast team covering the natural world, science and archaeology? Nat Geo is looking for experienced podcast producers to join our growing team. This job is based in DC and if you're interested DM me!" the tweet reads.
According to a report in July, Apple plans to fund its own podcasts as part of a wider push into original content across services like Apple Music and Apple TV+. The resulting podcasts would be distributed exclusively through Apple's Podcasts app, a tactic currently used to great effect by streaming music competitor Spotify.
In addition to generating its own content, Apple is supposedly in talks with media companies to secure exclusive hosting rights for popular podcasts.
Currently, Apple's stake in the podcasting field starts and ends with replays of certain special events and quarterly earnings conference calls.