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Spotify was already the biggest threat to podcasts. Now it’s bigger. They’re fragmenting podcasts into two worlds — Spotify’s walled garden with exclusives and ad tracking, and the open ecosystem of everyone else — to co-opt “podcasts” to imply “on Spotify”. Divide and conquer.
75 replies and sub-replies as of Feb 06 2020

If you don’t want Spotify to take over podcasts for themselves, the best things you can do are: - Don’t listen there. Most other podcast apps are better anyway! - Stop listening to any shows that become Spotify exclusives, and tell the creators why they lost you as a listener.
I would also add, if you subscribe to a streaming music service, switch to another and let Spotify know why you’re canceling your subscription.
streaming music doesn't make spotify money anyway
Which explains why they’re trying to break podcasting, I guess. Anyway, their streaming royalty rates for musicians are among the worst, so really, stop giving them your money, people.
If its not available on overcast, I’m not listening.
You just have to add the RSS of any missing show by yourself and it’s all good. As in every other app.
And third, let the podfather @adamcurry rule of "you can monetize the network" do the rest
Podcasts really aren't meant to be behind walled gardens. Podcasts are one of the last bastions of authentic media. People can say what they want and for the most part you can know that they're genuine. They don't have a big company looking over their shoulder.
If I can't put it on this, or any player I want, it ain't a podcast.
I’m very much in the anti-walled garden camp but I would like to understand your stance on advertising in podcast land better. Are you against all possible advertising? If twitter made a podcast app and plugged it into its ad platform would that be bad? Why? (thanks!)
He built a podcast app that has ads unless you pay a subscription and he had ads on his podcasts. Seems pretty clear that his stance is anti-horrible ads / vendor lock-in. Not ads in general.
I’ve been listening to podcasts through Spotify the last couple of days because the @OvercastFM CarPlay is broken. I was surprised that every podcast I listen to is available in Spotify. Even @thetalkshow
why wouldnt it? they also just consume every freely available podcast rss feed for their inventory as i understand it
I was under the impression that podcasters could remove their feed from Spotify. Though, maybe I am wrong about that.
lost me that way. Great talent, but has progressively been co-opted by the folks paying the bills. The upside is, there are so many good choices, it’s nice of Spotify to highlight which ones to cross off.
if it makes you feel any better, i have paid for spotify every month since they launched in the US. i signed up for Gimlet when they opened up their paid tier. in my brain Spotify has nothing to do with podcasts and it just sounds weird, can’t imagine going there for them.
But what if ATP becomes a Spotify exclusive?
I didn’t even know one could listen to podcasts on Spotify. But seriously, why would anyone use something other than Overcast unless they absolutely had to? Overcast is awesome.
Because Spotify is zero-rated for a lot of cell carriers, and podcasts consume a lot of data.
They don’t if you use a real podcatcher (like Overcast, cough cough) that lets you intelligently download offline podcasts while on wifi
It’s still less convenient than being able to download any podcast anytime anywhere, without being charged for the data. 🤷🏼‍♂️
How hard is opening your podcast app once a day in the morning and letting it grab the day’s feeds?
When you’re out and decide you need a podcast to listen to for the drive to wherever you’re going and you want it to be about topic ____.
And that is why #NetNeutrality matters.
Stickiness. Given the choice, people’s general preference is to do as much as they can in the same app/website/shop/whatever, rather than bounce around between different ones.
Do you expect Spotify will move ringer podcasts into an exclusive role?
Spotify is a app with a music centric interface. It is terrible for listening to podcasts.
Unfortunately, I think it’s already too late, the game is over. I applaud anyone for trying to stick up for open podcasting by doing these things, but no one is going to stop it. The vast majority of the public will be ok with the new way and money will be made. Money always wins
If I’m not mistaken, ATP is distributed on Spotify too? One podcast doesn’t make a big difference, but doesn’t being present justify the service? If people can get the best of both worlds, why shouldn’t they use Spotify? Giving Spotify more power in the process.
People is too lazy. Right before Spotify started hosting podcast I told a coworker I had one. She asked if it was on Spotify. I said “soon”. She said “let me know when it’s on Spotify”. She had an iPhone 🤦‍♂️
I only use Spotify for music, the app needs a good redesign for years, it's so frustrating to use. At least for me, I'll not be using it for podcasts anytime soon
Also, stop using Spotify for music.
The only thing I like about Spotify is that it can be really good on low data usage. So if I just want to stream a podcast on cellular, Spotify is the best option for me and my 2 gigs plan.
I never got into Podcasts on the Mac because iTunes wasn't good for managing them & Downcast didn't work well with iCloud. Most people I know who use Spotify, do so because of the native client. The absence of a podcatcher one on the Mac could be filled by Overcast on the Mac!
Do you read and make mental note of emails that say “I stopped using your app because of <reason>”? I usually feel like I’m shouting into the void.
I’m already doing that! I’m not a spotify subscriber and I can’t imagine that would change based on any podcast (even ATP) going behind their paywall
I have Spotify premium but i don't listen to podcasts on it. I have pocket casts app on Android
I think it’s time for someone to take the crown from Apple. Tim has done nothing to further their foothold that compares to the ways Spotify has
They’re doing what they accused Apple of doing with the App Store. They’re building a monopoly.
It's funny how Netflix never complaints about this.
The Last Podcast network is going Spotify-exclusive on Feb 14th. I wrote an email to them talking about why this was such an awful idea, but I realize that nothing listeners can say competes with a Dumptruck Full of Money.
Maybe they gain power because the open standard for podcasts is not competitive anymore? Feeds have no comments, no sync across devices, no paid content. Only with nerdy workarounds.
Right, these podcast purists will keep putting their heads in the sand talking about podcasting is already perfect and doesn't need anything else. They can keep their ham radio version of podcasts while the industry moves on, just like every other tech industry has moved on.
Actually this is exactly my observation how podcasters often react: The feed format is perfect and no changes are necessary. Why don‘t we specify the back communication channel, audio comments, sync profile etc. Any progress is rejected.
I can’t wait until I have to pirate podcasts like I do with TV and Movies
So then please move on everybody. Move on into the golden cage and take your annoying ads with you. Move on, quickly. We'll talk again when Spotify starts to take control over who is to be heard and which topics don't deserve audience or monetarization. Farewell!
Really? This is your reaction? It‘s about improving the open standards to cope with commercial platforms not about joining them! Why are people so immune to change? Why is everything so black and white?
We have seen this already in so many instances. I'm just sick of it. Look at tumblr, Youtube or whatever. User-generated content is good as long as it improves a service. For all we know, the deal with the creators will worsen over time. If you guys don't want to see that - fine.
But why should I care? We can't stop Spotify from going this way. But we can improve the current situation of open standards so people have a good alternative. People use Spotify because it is easy to use. Give them an easy to use open alternative and they would switch.
And why exactly should we promote Spotify for this?
I don't get the question. Who is promoting Spotify?
That was what this conversation is all about: Spotify is cutting edge, alle the listeners are there, all podcasters can keep their ham radio version of podcasting, while the industry moves on yaddayaddayadda
No! At least where my fork of this thread started. It is about podcasters to be more open for innovation and willingness to improve the open standard. There is plenty room for improvement, we just have to start. Do something and stop complaining about commercial platforms.
Well, we still use email even though it's dated and I'm glad Gmail isn't the only interoperable option out there. Good podcasts players sync perfectly across devices. Some podcasts app have comments, if that was a necessary feature they'd become more popular and got copied.
The real issue is, as you said, monetization. Paid feeds where you get your personal links after subscribing on Patreon do exist, there are ads, that might not be enough. But because podcasts remain in that form they feel surprisingly fresh without targeted ads in 2020.
The scary thing is, there are threads on Reddit about podcasts being exclusives, and the majority of people don’t see an issue with it, to them, it’s just that they’ll need an extra app to listen to a show, the attack on the open format doesn’t even register….
This is how it will eventually end up. Nobody except the small vocal group so far cares about it. TV used to be free, radio used to be free. While there are still free avenues for both, it’s generally given that it costs. One day we will also say podcasting used to be free.
It isn’t necessarily the cost that’s the problem, creators should be compensated, the issue I see, is that it’s the lack of concern around the fragmentation. You want x? You, you need Spotify. You want y? Yup, you need Soundcloud. The loss of the openness is worrying.
Fragmentation is def a problem. But public acceptance of cost is the only thing that will move this in either direction. Openness is directly related to this as well, so if people are ok with paying, it will move to that new reality as everyone paywalls their work.
It’s shame, and only will hurt the podcast ecosystem, not just shows creators, but devs, too. I’m seeing people complaining about shoddy apps ( Spotify and Pandora are two that crop up lots ), but they’ll put up with them, because that’s where the shows they listen to are. Sad.
Yep, it’ll be just like having to look at Netflix, prime, Hulu, Disney+, CBS, peacock, hbo, etc, etc for a show or movie. people are already used to and accept that model. It’s not in the best interest of anyone but the content holders.
If you move your podcast to Spotify, you’d better hope they realise how awful they are with the data of listeners, even if you’re a paying customer OR you don’t care about your listeners.
It’s the exact same business model Ryan Leslie and Jay came up with on the music side. Make every channel exclusive to them. You want the product you gotta come to them.
Then they bought in on Anchor which is one of if not the biggest distributor of podcasts. They they bought Gimlet one of the biggest production studios. So within all this they have exclusive shows and a place to house and produce them
It's just like YouTube versus Netflix. Open versus walled. Netflix will never be as big as YouTube in terms of viewing time.
Spotify is using some secret speed sauce with shows, too. Unfortunately I find Spotify loads shows faster than any other streaming option. Nothing beats downloading the show, but I bet a lot of people don’t even think of that.
Just like Facebook vs the open web.
I refuse to listen to any app that has “exclusive” podcasts, be it Spotify or Luminary. @pocketcasts is my personal player of choice.
Sad part is, I have @Spotify, but don’t wanna use it for podcast.
This is one of the reasons our family left @Spotify after 10 years. Went to @youtubemusic instead.
Spotify is a useless podcast client because you can't paste in the podcast rss feed.
Early adopters still love their RSS feeds, but the world has moved on. I've never found a podcast client that didn't get in the way of my listening somehow, and gave up on that search years ago, preferring to download my usuals and listen my way. I will never, ever, use Spotify.