Following Apples move to offer Podcasters subscriptions to help increase revenue for podcasters, and also grab some cash for themselves, the doors will begin to slam shut. Granted we’ve already seen some try and muscle into exclusive podcasts, Spotify tries to tie up some creators and podcast producers buy up applications, but I have a feeling it’s going to get a lot worse.
Instead of offering something built on top of a secure RSS feed, Apple have chosen to close it down entirely. Should you choose to make your Podcast more premium and charge your listeners, you will have to upload the audio straight to Apple. Closing off any chance of the show being available in another app, and removing RSS entirely.
Anchor The Feed
I am no lover of podcast platform Anchor, and have been outspoken about their practices, but this recent post from its founder seems to be the most sensible move. Instead of launching a service to tie everything down, he talks about the love of the openness of the RSS-based industry, but also the issues that comes with it.
Each platform that hosts content will have no choice to make a grab for premium content creators. Not because that is who they should be appealing to, but because they can’t miss out on it. Left unchecked Apple could not only take money from subscribers. They will also cut out advertisers, hosting platforms and even apps in their own App Store.
It’s understandable that some podcasters will start to get a bit jumpy, but most of these things are motivated by continued attempts to control the market. Open podcasting won’t go away, but the type of content that is available for free, or indeed in the place you want to consume it will dry up over time. We are well and truly in the boom time of audio focused content, which after a year of stalling due to COVID-19 could be a refreshing change.
However, I have a feeling the market will right itself. This has happened to TV, video and blogging before, but there was still enough out there to consume. Perhaps those of us that have been listening for years have just had too much time in the sun? I don’t believe its time to get worried, there are a huge number of podcasters out there that are working away for free that deserve to be better supported. It’s time to wait and see, and support the creators you think need it most.