Apple, by all appearances gearing up for a bigger push into podcasts, has hired Zach Kahn, formerly with Vox Media, to head public relations for Apple’s podcast business.
Kahn will start at Apple in January 2020, reporting to senior director of communications Tom Neumayr. Kahn will be responsible for handling PR for all podcast initiatives, including with Apple’s content partners. Neumayr confirmed Kahn’s hire to Variety but declined to comment on whether Apple is planning to produce original podcasts.
Apple — a major distributor of podcasts that helped jump-start the current boom in the industry — has been looking at bringing original podcasts exclusively to its platform, as Bloomberg first reported this summer. Sources familiar with Apple’s efforts on this front said the company has reached out to partners like TV networks and movie studios about creating exclusive podcasts based on their entertainment properties.
Kahn will relocate from New York to California with his move to Apple. He most recently was senior manager of podcast marketing at Vox Media, where he worked for about three and a half years. Prior to that, Kahn had stints at companies including Google, Nest and Uber.
Meanwhile, Apple also has hired Emily Ochsenschlager, a former podcast producer with National Geographic and NPR, as a creative producer. According to her LinkedIn profile, Ochsenschlager joined Apple as a full-time employee earlier this month.
Overseeing Apple’s podcast strategy is Ben Cave, a nine-year company veteran who most recently was manager of international business development before moving to the podcast team earlier this year.
Currently, the free Apple Podcasts app provides users with the ability to download or stream over 750,000 shows, comprising more than 20 million episodes. Apple launched Apple Podcasts as a default native app with the iOS 8 release in 2014, which helped fuel the current podcast boom. Apple eliminated the native iTunes app for the Mac with the release of macOS X 10.15 this fall, replacing it with three dedicated media apps — for music, TV and podcasts.