How Apple will change everything about Podcasting, #1 — iTunes won’t be the eBay of podcasting, it will be the iTunes of podcasting:

How
Apple will change everything about Podcasting, #1 — iTunes won’t be
the eBay of podcasting,  it will be the iTunes of podcasting:

(Note:
This is #1 in a series of posts I’ll be making during the next few days on this topic. If you
hate Apple, relax, I’ll be including a post that points out lots of ways
they can blow it and why, in a perfect world, this wasn’t about to happen. But it is. So get over it. Or rejoice.)

See
that list of folk music over on the left.  (later: due to some technical difficulties, the list has been removed.) It’s flowing directly from
the Apple iTunes store via RSS. Not only that, the links go to an iTunes
affiliate store I set up and so, if you click on a tune and purchase
it, I get a commission from Apple. Not only that, it updates everytime there are new, new releases.

Wow. An RSS-enabled financial transaction between you and me and Apple.
Now, imagine an RSS feed from the iTunes store that says “Top 10
favorite podcasts on the topic of bird watching” or “Last ten podcasts
from your favorite trade association’s annual meeting.” Imagine that
and you can start conceiving the myriad ways having the Apple’s iTunes
store step into podcasting will change things. Just remember,
there were MP3 players before there was the iPod. Just remember, there
were ways to purchase and download music files before there was an
iTunes store. Just remember, iPods & iTunes work on the Windows platform as well as OSX.

As much as I have harped on my belief that podcasting is successful to
this point because it is a movement, and not a business
,
I can’t ignore
the implications of the 800 lb. gorilla of audiofile aggregation
assuming the central marketplace role for do-it-yourself, RSS-enabled
audiofiles. And fortunately, the folks at Apple don’t use terms like
“central marketplace.” They just create cool things and market their
coolness. In reality, Steve Jobs announcement is simply about Apple’s decision to spread its
mojo dust (and, frankly, it’s the only tech company around  that
actually has mass mojo dust) on the
do-it-yourself audiofile and distribution scheme that as a gazillion-dollar-branding-bonus to Apple, was christened
“Podcasting.”

I’m just a user of Apple products, okay. I’m not a developer or
even a tech person. But because of some weird coincidences of the way I
use my PowerBook to record and edit bits and pieces from my son’s music
lessons…and from being an
early listener to and subscriber to podcasts and a poweruser of NetNewsWire,
I’ve had countless eureka
moments
about Apple & podcasting for months. They’ve led me to imagine
several things that could happen the day Steve Jobs finally realized
podcasting is a gift to Apple from the marketing gods.

Just imagine when iTunes starts offering access to podcast
programming like it sells hip-hop songs. Just imagine an  iTunes
directory of podcasts that can be sorted by location and interest and
format with
community features like “iMix”  enabling
listeners
to find programming recommended by others they’ve grown to trust.

Just imagine what’s going to happen when Apple lets loose these folks
on the assignment of making podcasting hip. Bless Adam and Ev (wait,
that’s funny, Adam & Ev & Apple — gotta save that for
another post) and whoever else is getting press coverage promoting
podcasting. But the first :30 second TV spot from the folks who create
the iPod advertising will be, perhaps, the pivotal event marking
podcasting’s jump from  geek cult movement to pop culture
phenomenon.

Just imagine the day when  iTunes enables anyone who wants, to
market a podcast (or indie produced music, for that matter)
via the iTunes store. Why should Apple care if it’s offered free or for
a payment? It’s all going to sell more iPods in the end. (This is a
topic I’ll discuss in the upcoming post on “ways they can blow it.”)

When that front page of the iTunes podcast store appears, it will change everything. There will be
a sound throughout the land that goes, “Ooooh, I get it. It’s like I
can
click on this button and then listen to that person’s podcast show
anytime I want to. Wow. That’s cool. And look, tomorrow, that show will
appear here automatically. Wow. And look, it will go straight to my
iPod.”

(Upcoming topics: “How iTunes can
make your podcasting business idea work.”  “What about GarageBand:
Podcasting Studio Version”?  “Is the iTunification of podcasting good? or Why we don’t want Apple dominating podcasting”)

  • Dennis Humphrey

    Try Radio Memories for some really good
    Old Time Radio and Radio Theatre Programs
    Part of the new Podcast part of iTunes,
    Located in the Arts section, just search for
    Radio Memories.
    or
    http://radiomemories.libsyn.com
    Great fun
    This is really a keeper.