Apple announced subscription podcasts and an overhaul of its app at the recent ‘Spring Loaded’ event. Longtime podcaster Jason Snell looked at the good, and bad, of the new offering at Six Colors.

The most important feature of Apple Podcasts Subscriptions is that it meets people where they live. Perhaps the most important lesson I’ve learned in more than a decade of podcasting is that for all your presence on the web, on social media, in email, or in private communication channels like Slack and Discord, the single best place to reach podcast listeners is via the podcast. Not everyone does Facebook or Twitter or visit your website, but the entire podcast audience is listening to the podcast… Podcasting is an industry driven by feeds, which automatically deliver content to listeners. But Apple Podcasts Subscriptions doesn’t support delivery of content via a feed—instead, all the subscriber-only content has to be manually uploaded to Apple’s servers via a web form. This is onerous on its own (now you’re using two different podcast management systems instead of one), but of course Spotify, Google, and others will announce their own plans and now you’re required to post the same content in a half-dozen different places.

Check It Out: The Good and Bad Of the Apple Podcasts Update

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  1. gGrant

    Still waiting for someone with a memory to tie the “podcasts update” to the meeting Apple held, a few years ago, with big media content creators asking to be able to monetise podcasts. Thank openpodcastdirectory.org for existing to save the rest of us. It’s already saved Overcast’s bacon.

    The whole Apple internet echo chamber/podcasting community is scratching its (collective) head over the changes Apple has made. NONE of these changes are aimed at independent podcasters. Apple are entirely catering to big media interests that see podcasting as the future for their dying radio, print (and I suspect television) platforms.

    Costs of maintaining podcast infrastructure compared to current big media infrastructure are minuscule! Even less, if Apple does the hosting. Big media may survive on digital cents (compared to their current broadcast dollars) if they no longer need to broadcast. Especially if it follows the now obvious model (streaming services jack up prices every few years, get used to that, folks) and steadily increase Subscription Prices, until they’re profitable again. Yes, it will take time, but watch the frog boil slowly…

    Streaming now exceeds cable prices, unless you’re prepared to subscribe and unsubscribe month to month – what a great customer experience. And great value for your dollar/pound! Profits rise, choice narrows. Nothing new under the sun.

    Great entrepreneurial opportunity for a service that subscribes and unsubscribes for you, though. Give it a list of shows you wish to consume. Maybe a time window – don’t want to watch until the whole season has been released, minimise my costs or when there’s 6 shows (for example) I want to binge, get me month’s subscription, that kind of thing. You could even sell stats back to subscriptions services if you wanted to follow less-scrupulous internet business models. 😀

    Increasingly short attention span (intelligence sapping) content services like Toktic will probably swallow the media landscape anyway, and the discussion will probably be irrelevant. Old people will probably seek out podcasts for longer form content and tell the rest of the world to get off their (collective) lawn.

    Yes, this comment is longer than the article. And such a joy, I’m typing this on my slick and functional butterfly keyboard, dreading going back to my new 27″ iMac magic keyboard. I have 2 butterfly keyboards dating back to 2015, never had any problems with them, and sooo much easier to type on. Sigh.

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