Apple’s split of the classic Mac application iTunes into separate Music and TV apps came after it decided to offer subscription audio and video services; now another former piece of iTunes — podcasts — is reportedly set to get its own special reason for being. According to , Apple is planning to fund a set of exclusive podcasts that will set its own apps apart, a surprisingly belated decision given the company’s 14-year history with the podcasting medium.

Today’s report says that Apple’s goal is in part to “keep competitors Spotify and Stitcher at bay” by identifying and funding specific podcasts from media companies, making exclusive deals that it has previously shied away from. Positioning itself as a modern alternative to live radio, streaming leader

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