How to avoid the corporate takeover of podcasting by Andy
To me, these are the two ways of avoiding the takeover:
  1. Innovate on features and discoverability
  2. Find ways to help podcast producers know more about their listeners
Marco Arment took a nice step on point 1 with his clip feature that he added to the Overcast podcast app. Other innovations might be to support more distributed directories to assist in podcast discovery (OPML inclusion, anyone?). Progress on point 2 might be difficult (requiring collaboration, between podcast app makers and other groups of people), but it might be better to band together to create new standards/processes/protocols than to be “picked off” one by one.

I’m not sure I agree with item 2… I don’t really want podcast producers to know anything about me, and wonder why they need to know anything about me. I’m going to guess it’s mainly to sell ads? If there’s another reason you’re thinking of, please do let me know!

It would – to me –  feel like the slippery slope to the same sort of “data collection/analytics” that led to the tracking and profiling nightmare we are seeing push back against on the web. Effectively swapping one concern (walled gardens) for another (privacy).

I have no problem with podcasters earning revenue, but I do wonder if audience targetting is the way to go. Podcasts have survived and grown thus far with the current model – otherwise we wouldn’t be seeing these predatory encroachments.

But perhaps I’m not thinking about the problem openly enough, and with the lessons of the last few years, something could be built? ?

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