Podcast 2.0 apps + your new call to action

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Podcast 2.0 apps + your new call to action

Today’s episode is all about new podcast apps + podcast 2.0. 

It’s a big topic, and a bleeding edge one for most of us, suffice to say this one episode wouldn’t do the whole of it justice. However, if there’s one thing I leave you with, it’s that you’re encouraged, as podcast creators, to go out and explore.  If you’ve been hearing more and more about this from other shows you listen to but are still left scratching your head, well, allow me to illustrate it for you. 

To do that, lets start with a quote from friend of the show Evo Terra:

“Apple Podcasts has been fumbling the ball since April of 2021. Treat their non-stop stumbling as a gift. Anchor/Spotify is now making RSS feeds optional for all new podcasters that join their platform. Again, take that as a gift.

They’re distracted. They’re doing their own things which may not align with the larger podcasting ecosystem. It’s up to you, to me, and to and the companies we pay to host our podcasting content to take advantage of these gifts and push podcasting to the next level. Podcasting 2.0, even.

As I’ve said for years on this program, please spread this idea with other podcasters and get them as excited about the future as you are. “

The podcast industry’s perfect storm

“Treat their (Apple’s) non-stop stumbling as a gift.” That’s a thing I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. 

Let’s face it, Apple’s backing of podcasting in the early days helped make podcasting more mainstream. Lots of us wouldn’t have jobs if _Steve Jobs_ didn’t take the stage showcasing the pod fathers first show.

YouTube video
Watch Steve Jobs demo podcasting in iTunes for the first time

 But the Trillion dollar brand has meandered along the last decade barely giving us a working portal to submit our shows, let alone advance the industry. A feeling which has compounded during their updates to the platform earlier in the year where podcasters were left scratching their heads: 

“Where is my show?” 

“Why are my episodes disappearing?” 

“Why can’t I submit a new podcast?” 

Questions which still don’t have answers. 

I know this because I see our support desk at Castos, and Apple’s lack of effort with transparency costs us time, money, and in some cases customers. Suddenly, “we” all start looking around and begin to question…“does apple even care?”

As the all too familiar feeling of “Oh God, another major platform failing creators” starts to set in, out on the horizon, a ray of hope appears in the form of an open-source movement called Podcast 2.0.

I talked about this on previous episodes of Audience, if you follow me on YouTube.com/castos you’ve seen me demo and explain some of the features. Features which Castos will be adopting in the very near-future. If you’re seeking out who the real innovators are, aside from podcast hosting companies, look no further than the podcast 2.0 movement + enhancements to the RSS namespace. 

If that sounds too technical for you, well, it kinda is and that’s a topic for a different episode. Just know that Podcast 2.0 efforts work to keep podcasting open, where the stark contrast of Spotify shutting down popular RSS feeds is the complete opposite.

The fact of the matter is that, when you combine the efforts of the Podcast 2.0 movement along with new podcast listening apps, you start to unlock the _real_ innovation happening in our space. 

But, we can’t have one without the other!

As Podcast 2.0 continues to make strides, so must the podcast listening apps and hosting companies. 

Hosting companies must unlock features from the Podcast 2.0 namesapce inside their software in order to pass those features to podcast listening apps, where they carry it the rest of the way. Apps can display things like funding information, host information, chapters and even transcriptions. 

Think of it like Podcast 2.0 sets the blueprint, hosting companies run the plumbing, and the listening apps have the nice fancy faucets and knobs. All for a better podcast listening experience. 

Oh, there’s this thing called “value4value” yet another topic of monetizing podcasts through bitcoin, which some apps support, again we’ll save that for another day. 

Let’s recap:

  • Apple gave us a huge advantage in podcast distribution and awareness nearly two decades ago. One thanks to their software; Two thanks to the persistence of visionaries like Adam Curry. 
  • But after over a decade the industry has become fragmented as massive players try to own an ecosystem powered by passionate creators and an open web standard. 
  • Apple rolls out a new update that highlights how brittle podcasting is and how little they care about podcasts. 
  • Thanks to the efforts of Podcast 2.0 they’ve clashed with the failures of Apple (and others who have neglected podcasting) to create the perfect storm. 
  • Many notable podcasters realize that it’s time to look for alternatives because big platforms aren’t helping us. 

Can we get to podcast apps now? Yes, but…

I said this episode was about podcast apps, but I’m not going to highlight or give you a definitive list…sort of. 

As podcasters we have to come together and recognise first that our call to action for years “Subscribe to us on Apple, Spotify and Google” needs to be thrown out. The proof is in the podcast pudding. 

So before I recommend what apps or where to find them, if you’re a podcast creator, change your call to action to tell your audience where to listen to your show. Change starts with us, and a near 20 year habit is going to be hard to break. 

I’ll give you my early take on which apps to explore, which ones look at least the most promising to me, and maybe you once you start to dig in. 

First, go to newpodcastapps.com, it’s the best place to start your research and experimenting. I’ll be up front and honest right now: the biggest challenge I have with these apps is that they aren’t smooth, they aren’t feature rich, and they aren’t sexy. 

It’ll be challenging to pull PocketCasts out of my cold dead hands. 

However, there are some that are interesting from a certain usecase, that I can picture myself using. 

Fountain is a new app that lots of people are talking about. I think because of it’s “boostagram” feature and how it makes the whole value4value, paying with Satoshis, a breeze. 

Curiocaster, looks like a great web-based listening experience with a lot of the Podcast 2.0 features. 

Sphinx chat, which I covered on the YouTube channel, has a fairly straightforward way of setting up your bitcoin payments + integrating live-chat while listening to a podcast. 

Antennapod sounds like a promising open source podcast app for Android users. 

Conclusion time

If you feel a bit overwhelmed, you’re in the right place. I am too. 

As creators, we need to play our part in helping advance the industry too. Let me restate that: As creators, _we_ advance the industry too. 

We shouldn’t throw our hands up and just give in to the Billion dollar companies competing with Trillion dollar Apple. When has that story ever played out well for us?

Give yourself some breathing room, spend some time with these new apps, see what works & what doesn’t. Give the creator of the apps some feedback. Maybe promote podcastindex.org or by all means your own website, before you push Apple or Spotify. 

If you need to setup a website for your podcast, Castos makes that easy with our WordPress plugin and special templates for Elementor site builder. 

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