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Apple is expanding its news footprint into the podcast space.
Launching for free is “Apple News Today,” a daily audio news briefing co-hosted by Apple News editors Shumita Basu and Duarte Geraldino covering “some of the most fascinating stories in the news — and how the world’s best journalists are covering them.” The “Apple News Today” episodes are available weekday mornings (Monday-Friday) in the Apple News app in the U.S. and on Apple Podcasts.
It’s a format that sounds very similar to the New York Times’ popular “The Daily” podcast. The move comes less than a month after the New York Times said it was pulling out of Apple News, saying the distribution of its content wasn’t compatible with the Times’ direct-to-consumer business.
On another front, Apple News is producing about 20 audio stories per week, which will be “narrated by professional voice actors.” Those are available only to subscribers of Apple News Plus in the U.S. ($9.99/month), and Apple describes them as audio versions of “some of the best feature reporting and long-form pieces” published by partners such as Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, Esquire, Essence, Fast Company, GQ, New York magazine, Sports Illustrated, Time, Vanity Fair, Vogue and Wired.
With the new podcast push, the Apple News app has added a new “Audio” tab, which lets users manage their listening queue and get recommendations. And the app also now supports the company’s CarPlay, to let users listen to audio stories and Apple News Today while driving.
In addition, the tech giant announced that Apple News is adding more local and regional news outlets, including the Charlotte Observer, the Miami Herald, and The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.). Also, Apple News introduced a new curated local news section, currently available in the San Francisco Bay Area, Houston, L.A., and New York.
“Apple News showcases so much great journalism, and we’re excited to help bring it to life in new ways with Apple News Plus audio stories and a new daily news show, Apple News Today,” Lauren Kern, editor-in-chief of Apple News, said in a statement.
Apple News is available for free in the US, the UK, Australia, and Canada on iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices. Apple News Plus is available in the U.S. for $9.99 per month, Canada for $12.99 per month, the U.K. for £9.99 per month, and in Australia for $14.99 AUD per month.