After more than a decade of Techsurvey data to slice and dice, we know that podcasting's growth as been stunted by the “kluginess” – for lack of a better word – when it comes to discovering, downloading, and listening to them.
The podcasting elite – that is the few and the rich – may counter with the axiom that great content always finds a way to be discovered and enjoyed. And while there is much truth to that assertion, podcasting – or audio on-demand – has been beset by technical speed bumps along the way that we've covered extensively in this blog before. Seth Resler – our Digital Dot Connector – has made podcasting's stunted growth pattern a study.
In contrast, Netflix has made video on-demand accessible and simple for all – whether you're a tech-savvy Millennial or a senior who just wants to watch old Cary Grant movies.
Some of the biggest tech companies – notably Google – certainly haven't helped make podcasting any easier – or more accessible to the same people binging “Ozark.” And many podcast mavens – Seth included – believe that a native app on Android phones could be a difference-maker for the podcasting platform.
With this handy list of blog topic ideas, your radio station's staff will never have writer's block again.
Meantime, Apple continues to be the straw that stirs the podcasting drink. From letting us know which podcasts are most popular to providing a simple purple icon on all their iOS devices – from iPhones to iPads – Apple has certainly made podcasting a focus.
And it shows up in the platforms consumers use to listen to on-demand audio, Libsyn reported last fall that Apple's iOS platform was responsible for more than five times the downloads than Android.
So, it should come as no surprise to us that Apple is once again innovating on the podcast front. This :60 spot for the new iPad Pro brilliantly illustrates the democratization of podcasting. All it takes is a tablet and a mic, and if you're off to the races:
It's also a window into what Apple is thinking about podcasting. The spirit behind this commercial matches the bootstrap mindset of aspiring content creators we meet every year at Podcast Movement. While the big players and corporate interests are rapidly invading the space, podcasting is still very much an egalitarian concept – anyone can write one, voice one, produce one, publish one, and maybe, just maybe, even create a hit.
Admittedly, this Apple technology will appeal to what we call the “hobbyists,” rather than serious, professional podcasters. And note the iPad Pro connects with Anchor, a platform that automatically publishes podcasts. In fact, podcasting guru, Daniel J. Lewis, told us in a recent blog post that Anchor users had high percentages of inactive podcasters, and podcasts with just a handful of episodes. In other words, the less serious practitioners of podcasts.
Still, podcasting is very much a bottom-up, do-it-yourself medium.
And with Apple's paint-by-numbers iPad Pro, it just became even easier.
Jacobs Media is once again partnering with Podcast Movement to present our “Broadcasters Meet Podcasters”track at this summer's conference in Orlando. For more info on the conference and registration info, go here.
For sponsorship information, Paul Jacobs is even working on MLK Day to address your questions. Email him here.
Also, congrats to Dave Beasing & Steve Goldstein for their “Best Branded Podcast” nomination in this year's iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Show.
And thanks, Seth.