According to excerpts I’ve seen on social media, Spotify focused a $1B strategy on celebrities like Joe Rogan, the Obamas, and Harry and Meghan, and this strategy has been a failure.
For me, a chief value of podcasting is the ability to discover smaller voices—like Mac Power Users. Also, I’m on a history kick, and listening to some of the back catalog of Hardcore History, the Rest is History, and the Age of Napoleon podcast.
I supposed big money will eventually dominate podcasting, as it has done with video streaming. When that happens, hopefully the smaller voices will remain available to those of us who know how to look for them.
I didn’t read the article yet, but my chief gripe with Podcasts in Spotify is that their app is trash for listening to them. The queue management is atrocious. It’s hard to find new episodes unless their algorithm surfaces it for you. There’s virtually no way to effectively manage what you’ve listened to from a feed vs what you haven’t.
It all comes down to them betting that they could disrupt podcasts with their “algorithm” and that’s the experiment that failed for me. Podcasts ≠ Music. If they had simply cloned Overcast, or something similar, or at least made a client that supported most of the modern podcast features you find in Apple Podcasts, I probably wouldn’t mind having it all in one app.
@geoffaire I’m with you on everything but the word “never.” In theory, I would listen to a podcast that went behind Spotify or another walled-garden app. In practice, I haven’t found a podcast I cared enough to follow into a walled garden–including at least one of my previous favorites, Heavyweight, which went exclusive to Spotify. I just stopped listening to that until someone shared an RSS feed with me. If the RSS feed goes away, I expect I’ll stop listening again.
@Medievalist Your welcome! Do you have any history podcasts to recommend?
Just for info, BBC podcasts are still available outside the BBC Sounds app, I listen to several (Newscast, Americast, Ukrainecast, In our Time, The Infinite Monkey Cage, More or Less and some occasional series) through Overcast.
Some podcasts are now ad supported for international listeners (ie anyone who doesn’t pay the BBC licence fee, which for those outside the UK is an annual fee anyone with a TV received pays to support public service broadcasting), but the adds are short, prefix of suffix the programming and do not interrupt it. Anyway, it’s quite entertaining listening to the occasional 30 second ad in Urdu or Slovak.
My favourite podcast ever is Heavyweight. They went Spotify exclusive a while back so I stopped listening. As others have said, if a show isn’t out in the main “podcast-verse” then I’m not going to get it. Fortunately someone created an RSS feed with the shows relatively recently so I’ve been able to catch back up. But yeah, I’m not fragmenting my podcast listening across apps, no matter how good the show.
Thinking more about it though, the fact that Spotify pulled this stunt is also a great reason not to use them.
Having music and podcasts in the same app made for a terrible user experience. That probably doesn’t figure into the bigger question of why the whole thing hasn’t worked out, but it is why I quit listening to one of my favorite podcasts even though I already subscribed to Spotify.