Peter Kafka reports that Apple will release a stand alone Podcast app for iOS 6 this fall. I initially saw this as great news because I felt that Apple’s current offering has been lacking attention. Currently, podcasts can only be subscribed to in iTunes and have to be manually synchronized to iOS devices. When Apple announced iCloud last summer I had assumed that podcasts would get features such as on-device subscribing, iCloud syncing of listening position, and automatic downloads of new episodes. That wasn’t the case, and thankfully there are a couple of third party apps that provide similar features.
This recent rumour got me thinking of something even bigger. The aforementioned iCloud features will be nothing compared to what Apple has the potential to release. What if Apple announces a Podcast Store, creating a new market on a very strong platform. It might not seem like a big deal to many, but it’s not just about paying a buck to listen to Joe Rogan.
A Podcast Store would be the first step towards the disruption1 of the entertainment industry. Just as the App Store empowered indie developers to be as successful as major software developing companies, the Podcast Store would provide a chance for independent content creators to sell shows and films to a massive customer base.
Here are a few preliminary thoughts on the hypothetical Podcast Store:
- Content creators get exposure to 400 million Apple Id accounts with registered credit cards
- Better purchasing experience results in more sales for creators
- Direct relationship between creators and consumers
- Eliminating other middle-men reduces distribution costs
- Cost of producing shows remains a barrier to entry for indie creators, but Apple’s platform would provide them equal footing with major distributors in terms of exposure
- Apple will take 30 percent cut, but will be worth it just as we have seen from the App Store.
- Reduces reliance on advertising for financial success
- Consumers won’t have to deal with silly release delays, DRM, or region issues
- Low barrier to entry could accelerate creativity
- Creators will have exact download numbers, no need for Nielsen ratings to determine success of content.
- High volume sales can result in cheaper prices for consumers
Link: Read MG Siegler’s post discussing some of the problems with buying media today.
I apologize for using this word. ↩