Near-constant change has been pretty standard with podcasting. The fabric that underpins all of podcasting is quite flexible and resilient, allowing the podcasting community to live in a relatively stable period for the last two decades.
And generally speaking, the few inflection points ushered in by large organizations over the last 16 years have tended to better podcasting overall.
But all of that has changed in recent months. In this new era, the dominant forces in podcasting—yes, I mean Apple and Spotify—seem to be moving away from podcasting, if not being actively hostile toward it. Not just podcasting as we know it today. But the entire ethos of podcasting.
It's been four months since Apple broke the fundamental on-ramp to the entire podcasting ecosystem.
Spotify vis-à-vis Anchor is laying bare its plans to completely disintermediate every part of podcasting that they Spotify do not own. That's as chilling as it is not surprising.
Social audio or drop-in audio platforms are seducing podcasters away from timeless, on-demand content with an easy way to create more ephemeral and much lower-quality audio content.
How do you and your podcasting effort survive this time of chaos? I have some ideas:
1. Realize there’s no one coming to save us. We can’t wait around for another big organization to come and lift us out of the chaos. There’s just not enough upside for them right now.
2. Diversify your podcast’s assets and footprint. - Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of boycotts, as slopes tend to be slippery. But I see no value—to you or to podcasting—in continuing to promote the usage of apps and services that are contributing to the problem.
3. Hold on for dear life! Even if the majority of shows get wiped out, absorbed into a megacorp, or fade away to pursue other creative outlets; podcasting will survive. And probably be the richer for it.
• Advancing Podcasting - http://advancingpodcasting.xyz
• iTunes 4.9 (not 4.7, my bad) - https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2005/06/28Apple-Takes-Podcasting-Mainstream
• Apple broke podcasting - https://sixcolors.com/post/2021/07/apple-podcasts-reliability-problem-is-turning-into-an-image-problem
• Apple Podcast downloads are wrong - https://podcasters.apple.com/1418-a-notice-about-download-reports
• James Boggs departs Apple - https://twitter.com/themuzak/status/1416060548370808838?s=20
• N’Jeri Eaton departs Apple - https://twitter.com/njerieaton/status/1413307047966220289?s=20
• Spotify/Anchor make RSS optional for podcasters - https://twitter.com/evoterra/status/1404615251165855752?s=20
• There’s no one coming to save us - https://youtu.be/2duqRuW1SCo?t=111
• Over 4mm podcasts in the Podcast Index - https://podcastindex.org
• Support Evo on Buy Me A Coffee - https://www.buymeacoffee.com/evoterra
A written-to-be-read article and a full transcript of the audio of this episode can be found at
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Allie Press assists with the production and transcription of the show. Learn more about Allie at http://alliepress.net.
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