Bloomberg reports on Apple’s plans to fund its own stable of podcasts—which would be exclusive to its own audio service.
Different to the bundling of news (for which I think a bundle of one is the only sensible way forward), these podcasts would not be available elsewhere. This exclusivity is the important bit. Why?
Firstly, because you won’t be able to listen to it anywhere else. Yes, of course there are downsides to this, including “setting the seed for just another walled garden”. More importantly though, it matters because Apple remains the biggest player in the business. Says Bloomberg:
“The Apple Podcast app still accounts for anywhere from 50% to 70% of listening for most podcasts”
Before you get too excited, skip across to Apple’s AppStore, where, according to Buildfire the Apple AppStore has 2.2 million apps for download. You’ll see that discovery (finding new apps you actually want) remains a complete nightmare.
I can’t remember the last time, save a pit of absolute procrastination a few months ago, that I went to the AppStore and just found an app I actually wanted through browsing categories. Instead pretty much everything on my phone is there because of a recommendation I received from elsewhere.
The same goes for podcasting.
Almost all the podcasts I have listened to have been due to recommendations from others. See for example this compendium of True Crime podcasts (which in turn I was alerted to via the author on Twitter).
So, yes, it in encouraging to see Apple turning to this area with an interest in putting its money where its mouth it, but please, For The Love Of God,
Fix discovery while you’re at it.