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Apple promotes most popular podcasts ever as iTunes Store hits 1b milestone

When Apple announces new iTunes Store milestones, they usually relate to apps or music. But this time, the Cupertino tech giant is calling out an achievement for podcasts.

The iTunes Store has reached more than one billion podcast subscriptions, Apple has announced. To celebrate the milestone, Apple has created a special section in iTunes to highlight some of the most popular podcasts of all time.

The section lists "classics" like This American Life, NPR: All Songs Considered, and 60 Minutes, in addition to popular offerings like The Adam Corolla Show, TedTalks, and NBC Nightly News. There's also a list of new and noteworthy podcasts like Conversations with Maria Menounos and The Alton Browncast.

Podcasts launched on iTunes in the summer of 2005 as an alternative to radio shows, and the store now boasts roughly 250,000 different podcasts in more than 100 languages for a total of more than eight million episodes, according to Macworld.

"From comedy to hard news to sports to innovative educational content and so much more, podcasting has transformed the global media landscape," Apple wrote in a note on its podcasts page.

The company also announced the milestone on Twitter, writing, "Listen to the popular podcasts that helped us reach 1 billion subscriptions."

The achievement comes after Apple last summer released a standalone podcast app that provides one-stop access to the podcasts currently available via iTunes.

Meanwhile, one billion podcast subscriptions is impressive, but pales in comparison to the number of app downloads and song purchases Apple has logged to date.

The tech giant in February reached 25 billion songs sold and hit 50 billion app downloads in May.