Will Spotify Ruin Podcasting?
Interesting article talking about Spotify's corrosive effect on podcast distribution and monetization. Probably no one cares, but as an indie podcaster, this kind of stuff scares me.
Obviously this is an outside perspective, but I don't see Spotify killing rss podcasts anytime soon. Especially since every app, afaik, let's you stream the podcast anyway, and it's not like you wanna shuffle podcasts or have to pay for them normally, so I don't see the advantage that Spotify gives you in podcasts like it does for music.
I guess apple can throw essentially unlimited money at the problem to try and corner the market, but they've shown in the past they are willing to bail. And since they've failed to take over TV streaming in any real capacity, I doubt they will suddenly succeed in music. Hell, if anything they've lost ground since the peak days of iTunes.
Luminary is separate from Spotify - not sure what will happen to the Ringer's podcasts that are exclusive to Luminary. My guess is they are under a contract and will remain for the time being, but I doubt Spotify will opt to put more podcasts on Lumniary.
My issue with it is one of choice and convenience. I don't use Spotify for anything. If I have to switch to Spotify for one or two podcasts, I'll do it for a few weeks, but then I'll fall off of it and 6 months will go by. Then I'll think, "I wonder what LPOTL has been up to, find out I've missed 50+ episodes and just say forget it.
I'm subscribed to over 100 podcasts, with all the listened episodes clearly marked in Pocket Casts, synced to my pocket casts account. I have a carefully maintained auto playlist of the shows I'm currently listening to. I have put a lot of time and energy into making it the best that I can, despite some features that PC lacks.
Spotify doesn't even have an OPML import/export feature, so if I want to use one platform and abandon all the work I've put into Pocket Casts, I have to manually add each and every podcast into Spotify. If I later choose to leave Spotify, I have to do it again. Spotify doesn't allow me to download an episode to take on an unsupported device. Podcasts are generally considered to be an open platform. Episodes are DRM free mp3 files. If you want to download an episode and throw it on your circa 2005 iPod, you can. With Spotify, nope!
Look, I understand it was a business decision. Spotify as a technology is years behind the top apps in the podcast arena. I won't begrudge LPOTL for making the business decision they made. I also don't like it. I think Spotify is applying a walled garden approach to a medium that has been borderless for 20+ years. Personally, I think that's destined for failure, and any failure of Spotify translates into a failure to networks owned by Spotify. Like when clearchannel bought up and ruined all of the diversity of American radio and turned it into a homogenized mess.
Ultimately, it's an inconvenience that I fear will keep me, and probably a significant amount of others, from being consistent listeners, and I've been a consistent listeners for years.
Look, it's not hard to download Spotify and sign up for an account. It seriously takes < 1min to signup. But the UI is bad and so is the experience. Spotify is designed as a music app, and all the music features are up front. Podcasts are added as an afterthought and take multiple extra navigational clicks just to get to them.
With the FREE spotify account, you can download podcast episodes. However, they download into your local spotify app database, and appear to be DRM'd. They aren't MP3s, as best as I can discern. Sure, you can listen offline in spotify, as long as you go online once every 30 days. You just can't listen anywhere else, which is bad.