It’s hard to remember a time when podcasts weren’t a mainstay in media, but just a decade ago, Apple had yet to really delve into the digital audio show space, and NPR was just what you listened to on the radio in the morning. But now, in the age of Serial, Marc Macon, and Stuff You Should Know, podcasts are drawing audiences from across the country and across demographics. And in response, Apple is having a serious conversation with podcast producers to figure out what the future of the industry looks like. According to the New York Times, sources claim that the Cupertino-based company chatted with seven “leading podcast professionals” to discuss “several pressing issues” in podcasting.
While Apple doesn’t directly make any money off of podcasts, the firm is a dominant force in the space (despite the fact that Android recently released its own podcast app). But those creating podcasts aren’t all too thrilled with how Apple has handled its veritable monopoly. “The lack of podcast data is kind of shocking,” said Gina Delvac, who produces Call Your Girlfriend. Podcasters are none too pleased with the fact that they’re “relegated to wooing a single Apple employee for the best promotion” and that Apple has apparently provided little of the crucial information podcasters need to better target their listeners, grow their audience base, and consequently, make money.
“I think everyone who’s seriously involved in this space, they’d at least like to know what the endgame is,” said Chris Morrow, the chief executive of the Loud Speakers Podcast Network, told the New York Times. “People think there’s another shoe that’s going to drop.”
And now that Apple no longer is the only player in the game, it’s going to have to take the concerns of podcasters seriously. Spotify recently added podcast support, and of course, there’s Google’s Android entrance. That means that there isn’t just one way to get your podcast fix anymore, and that Apple may have to fight to keep both audiences and producers happy.
“We have more people than ever focused on podcasting, including engineers, editors, and programmers.” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, “Podcasts hold a special place with us at Apple.”