Apple recently announced the iTunes Store now has over one billion podcast subscriptions. In celebration of the achievement, the company is highlighting some of the most popular podcasts since the service was added in 2005.
At present, the iTunes Store plays host to approximately 250,000 different podcasts spanning more than 100 languages. Collectively, these podcasts are responsible for producing 8 million episodes. But the fact that Apple is even making a big deal about the milestone is noteworthy in and of itself.
Typically, when Apple publically pats itself on the back regarding the number of devices sold, the number of apps downloaded or the number of OS X updates that have been installed, it's because they are making profit from something they created. That isn't the case with podcasts as Apple didn't create the platform nor do they make any direct money from them.
Regardless, Cupertino has a lot invested in the division. The podcast section on iTunes features an editorial staff that oversees it, the iPhone has its own Podcasts app and the company's hobby-minded (for now) Apple TV comes with podcast support built right in.
It's been a busy year for Apple with regards to milestone celebrations. Back in February, iTunes U surpassed one billion content downloads and just a few months later, Apple celebrated their 50 billionth app download. As part of that celebration, 21-year-old Brandon Ashmore walked away with a $10,000 gift card for being the person to download the 50 billionth app.