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It's only been a couple of months since Apple's announcement that the App Store had passed 50 billion downloads, and now it's announcing that more than 1 billion users now subscribe to podcasts available through iTunes. In celebration, it's letting users download what may be called the "greatest hits" of the platform's podcast through a special tab on the iTunes store.
According to MacWorld (as reported by MacRumors), all those subscriptions are scattered across 250,000 podcasts in over 100 different languages, with around eight million individual episodes available for the choosing. Apple noted that podcasting has "transformed the global media landscape" with subjects running the gamut from "comedy to hard news to sports to innovative educational content and so much more."
The numbers above likely received significant boosts with the Podcast app that was introduced with iOS 6, which made the process of finding the best podcast for your interest infinitely easier. This devotion to the medium's particularly impressive since Apple doesn't make any money off of podcasts directly, although the producers can support themselves through advertising and promotions.
Podcasts first made their appearance on the iTunes store way back in 2005. If you click on the "Podcasts" tab in iTunes right now, you'll find a wealth of enjoyable podcasts through the promotional banner. Looking for a good starting point? Consider user favorites like TEDTalks, This American Life, and (yes, they're still around) 60 Minutes.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.