Apple has officially dropped the iTunes branding from its Podcasts app. It’s small change, and one that arrived with little fanfare from the company, outside of a few tweets from the department’s marketing head. But it certainly streamlines the offering a bit, keeping it in line with Apple Music and separating it out (in name at least) from the more legacy iTunes line.
As 9 to 5 Mac notes, the rebrand could be part of a renewed interest in the podcasting space for the company, in line with “new features” promised by Eddy Cue a month or so back.
And now would certainly be a good time for Apple to commit itself more fully to the space, as podcasts become an increasingly important part of the media narrative through shows like This American Life’s wildly popular S-Town, which current monopolizes the top seven slots on the iTunes charts.
Apple is certainly well positioned to continue to own the category moving forward, though a renewed focus on that front would be welcomed as more companies like Spotify and Google have shown an increased interest in the space. Part of the new branding is a new badge, designed to promote the service through podcast pages.
While Apple, naturally, won’t discuss its future plans, the branding is also interesting so far as the future of iTunes as its own category is concerned. The music software played a major role in reviving Apple’s fortunes alongside the iPod, but while the company has mostly moved away from the standalone music player, iTunes continues to play a major role in its software ecosystem.
The company has already taken an important step in that direction when it opted for the simple Apple Music name after the Beats acquisition. The shift in name for Podcasts seems in keeping with that streamlining of the company’s audio offerings.