Apple Podcasts may soon get a premium subscription service

Apple may be planning to release a subscription service for podcasts, a move that would bring it into competition with Spotify, Stitcher, and other companies offering exclusive content. The move wouldn't be surprising given the increasing popularity of podcasts and Apple's long dominance in the podcast distribution market.

The news comes from Bloomberg, which cites sources familiar with the alleged matter. Apple hasn't commented on the rumor, as expected. The report claims that Apple has been in talks with partners about the potential future podcast subscription plan, an effort that may also be joined by an increased focus on marketing and new audio shows.

Apple has been a major platform for downloading podcasts for years, but the market has grown considerably during that time and consumers have more choices than ever. In addition to options like Stitcher, podcast fans can also now download the shows through major platforms like Spotify and, most recently, Amazon Music.

Apple's big advantage when it comes to a subscription service — should it launch one — would be its millions of existing users. How much this potential plan may cost wasn't revealed, nor was any sort of timeframe for when such a plan may arrive — again, assuming Apple does, indeed, take this step.

Premium podcast subscriptions aren't anything new, but they have largely been limited to specific shows offering bonus episodes or some other type of additional perk. Platform subscription plans are different and, in many ways, may be more appealing to consumers. The plans often provide access to everything from exclusive extra content to fully Premium shows unavailable to free users.