Notes: Podcasting’s Last Month

As interesting as Apple's platform looks (and we'll get to that in a second), there's a major component it's lacking: The company will not be providing podcast creators with their subscribers' details.  That means no names, no emails, no way to reach out to subscribers outside of the podcast content. Creators won't know who is paying to listen to their show — even though Apple will. The creator/subscriber relationship is key to a podcast's success This is a huge drawback for many independent podcast creators, especially, where listeners aren't always necessarily paying for extra content, they're paying for access. They offer their support in order to connect with their favorite podcasters and sometimes even receive personalized bonuses. -“Apple's new paid podcast subscription service is missing one crucial thing” | Mashable

“Private Podcasting”

But what to call it? Audioblogging? Podcasting? GuerillaMedia?

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Podcasts Subscriptions Based on some of the online conversations I've seen, I suspect this may not be a popular opinion with some of my fellow podcasters, but I like what Apple has done with Podcasts Subscriptions. The system is incredibly flexible, accommodating free, freemium, and paid business models along with features like free samples, bonus content, episodes, early releases, and back catalogs. I also like the ease with which users can go from listening to a free version of a show to a paid subscription in the same place that they download and listen to shows. The program doesn't require exclusivity either. Podcasters are free to offer subscriptions and other paid options outside Apple Podcasts if they want. Of course, there are elements that aren't ideal. Thirty percent for the first year of a listener's subscription is a steep fee. The behind-the-scenes process of uploading a WAV or FLAC file version of episodes is more manual than I'd hoped, too, but unless you produce a lot of shows, a few extra minutes of transcoding audio and uploading it with a web form isn't the end of the world. I suspect that a lot of podcasts that have already invested the time and effort to build their own subscriber systems won't bother to use Apple's system. Still, I think a few will adopt it as an additional channel for Podcasts users who value the convenience of using their Apple ID to make an In-App Purchase. I also expect newer shows that haven't begun subscription plans will adopt it too. Although it's not for everyone, on balance, I think the availability of another way for podcasters to turn listeners into subscribers is a positive.

noah kulwin on Twitter: "podcasters work harder than mothers or troops" / Twitter


Anchor is an absolutely textbook case of Big Tech’s seemingly infinite capability to acquire super clever tools made by small, cool teams with sincere and original ideas and “redeploy” their functions “at scale” in the worst possible way. In turn, it is also an example of Spotify’s particularly dangerous worldview.

When you remove the Silicon Valley from this, there’s nothing.™