Burn Down the Exclusive Podcasts, Burn Them All Down

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

Tyler Aquilina: Podcast Exclusivity Is Quickly Becoming an Outdated Strategy

Contrary to film and TV streaming, it seems, content is not king in the podcasting space. If large numbers of listeners will not follow even popular shows to an exclusive platform, such deals will look less and less attractive in a declining market, and the prospect of greater reach (and the ad revenue that comes with it) will likely start to trump the paydays offered by the major audio platforms.


It brings me joy to see the attempts to shift the medium in this direction seems to be going over like a lead balloon.

I also had this article queued up to share, so throwing it on this post as well. Matt Basta: The Absolute Audacity of Apple Podcasts

What I learned is that Apple does not produce an RSS feed for podcasts that they host. That’s right: if you host your show with Apple, the only listeners you can have are folks with the Apple Podcasts app. This feels like an absolutely wild choice from a product perspective; it’s the mindset of a company who still thinks that they have dominance over the podcasting world. It’s ludicrous to assume that it’s a good thing for listeners to have to have specific hardware in order to listen to a podcast.

If your show is exclusive to Apple Podcasts, I will not listen to it. If it's exclusive to Spotify, I won't either.

While I'm talking podcasts, let's add one more note on a hill I will die on. Here's the first paragraph describing a podcast on Wikipedia:

A podcast is a program made available in digital format for download over the Internet. For example, an episodic series of digital audio or video files that a user can download to a personal device to listen to at a time of their choosing. Streaming applications and podcasting services provide a convenient and integrated way to manage a personal consumption queue across many podcast sources and playback devices. There are also podcast search engines, which help users find and share podcast episodes.

Whether a podcast is distributed via an open RSS feed, a private Atom feed, or through a specific service, it's a podcast. I believe that just like I believe that Poker Face is a TV show even though it will never air on TV. Outside of the crypto world, the "podcasts aren't podcasts unless they're using RSS" is the cringiest take I regularly see out there.