Apple is launching its new Delegated Delivery system to its Podcasts platform (opens in new tab) as a way for creators to easily manage and distribute their shows on select third-party platforms.
The purpose of this feature is to essentially help podcasters with the operational overhead so they can focus solely on making the best possible content. Delegated Delivery lets creators authorize a participating provider to deliver their shows to Apple Podcasts automatically.
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 like analytics and subscription reports will not be given to any of the participating platforms. The full list of providers supporting Delegated Delivery hasn’t been revealed, but Apple did mention a few.
Some of the participating platforms include ART19, Buzzsprout, and Libsyn. Apple recommends periodically checking out its Hosting Providers page (opens in new tab) for updates on 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 have to be a member of the Apple Podcasters Program to publish free shows, but you do have to be a member to publish premium episodes. Delegated Delivery has no specific launch date, but will be coming out sometime in the fall.
Alongside Delegated Delivery, Apple quietly announced that podcast creators (opens in new tab) can now offer annual plans to its audience in over 170 countries and regions.
Analysis: Fighting over podcasts
The fight over the podcast market continues to heat up.
Over the past year, Apple has been working on improving its lackluster podcast platform, which in the past has been called “an unmitigated disaster”. For example, the company released a new curation feature called Apple Podcasts Subscriptions back in June 2021 that allows people to subscribe to their favorite shows through official avenues.
But it remains to be seen if Apple can compete with its podcasts rivals. Spotify has been consistently releasing podcast-centric features for a while now, such as freeing up Video Podcasts to creators in the US and UK.
YouTube wants a piece of that pie too as recent reports indicate it’s looking to integrate podcast RSS feeds to its site. Hopefully, Apple isn’t too late to catch the podcast wave or it may continue to lag behind its rivals.