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Podcast Pontifications

301 EpisodesProduced by Evo TerraWebsite

Where plenty of podcasts about podcasting (PAPs) tell you what to do, Podcast Pontifications what to think about in podcasting. These daily, insightful forward-looking episodes have one central tenet: Podcasting needs to be made better, not just easier.Designed for the working podcaster, these short… read more


Are Podcasters To Blame For Podcasting’s Slow Growth? [S3E35]

Have you heard that Amazon Music now includes podcasts? Not knowing that means you somehow missed not only the news but also the email Amazon Music sent directly to you and every other podcast manager of the ~1,400,000 RSS feeds that make up the podcast ecosystem.

Yesterday was when they launched. By all reports, the updated Amazon Music service boasted 70,000 podcasts available at launch.

Seventy thousand sounds like a big number, but it’s less than 5% of the total podcast ecosystem. Missing 95% of the podcasts not hidden behind paywalls and completely accessible with public APIs is appalling. 

What happened? Podcasters just didn’t care enough to submit their shows to Amazon Music. That’s it. That’s the reason.

55 million people use Amazon music, and a good portion of them are committed to that app. It’s a safe bet that a lot of them listen exclusively to audio content through Amazon Music. If a podcaster isn’t willing to do that minimal level of effort of getting listed on a brand new platform with a sizable listener base, they have no business bitching about stagnating growth. It’s their own fault.

So why didn’t the podcast hosting companies automatically submit all of their clients’ shows to Amazon? I recognize that’s a contentious statement. I’m also fully aware of the historical complications and political ramifications of submitting shows to various directories without the express consent of the owner of the podcast. And I know that traditionally podcast hosting companies have taken a “we just host, you do the rest” approach.

But for Amazon Music there is no additional usage information provided by the service or app. The only wanted the RSS feed and perhaps a few other pieces of information that’s already contained in the account settings at the podcast host.

So let me be clear: There would have been no reasonable negative ramifications had a podcast hosting company automatically submitted all of their client’s shows to Amazon Music.

But unreasonable ramifications? Plenty. 

Not that it’s easy to do what I suggest. There are implications I’ve not thought about. So if you work for a hosting company are just waiting to fire off an angry “you don’t know what the flip you’re talking about, dude” email, relax. Consider this a thought exercise for next time.

Recently, Westwood One released the results of a survey of podcast listeners that highlighted the differences of reported podcast consumption habits based on how long the respondent has been listening to podcasts. It’s a long report, but quite eye-opening. It shows some indicators that long-time and heavy-use podcast listeners will find counterintuitive and contradictor to what actual listener data provided by podcast hosting companies show. The weirdness is really clear when you look at how people who’ve only been listening for six months reply. 

Are you focused on the new listener who’s not only new to your show, but new to podcasting all together? Or do you make and distribute your podcasts’ content the way you've always made and distributed our podcast’s content? Or do you make podcast content the way you want to make content? 

If you’re focused only on your needs, wants, and desires, you’re limited to an audience of sycophants. I hope you have a lot of them. 


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Podcast Pontifications is published by Evo Terra four times a week and is designed to make podcasting better, not just easier.

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

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