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Is iTunes Hurting Indie Podcasts?


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July 19, 2005

Is iTunes Hurting Indie Podcasts?

Heather Green

Very interesting anecdotal finding by Frank Barnako at MarketWatch that iTunes inclusion of podcasting technology is actually hurting indie podcasters.

Barnako writes:

"Shortly after the iTunes software update was released, I calculated that 47 of its most popular podcasts were produced by what some call "independents." That number now is 31, and it's dropping."

Is this really the way things are going to go?

11:54 AM

podcasting

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? Indie Podcasters Aren't Dead. from Richard Giles blog

The uneducated speculation about the future of podcasting is now becoming a dull ache, like a tooth before a visit... [Read More]

Tracked on July 19, 2005 09:12 PM

Speaking as one of those independent podcasters, the release of iTunes 4.9 has given our podcast - the Mac Observer's Mac Geek Gab - a tremendous boost in visibility. Our listener numbers increased tenfold (deep into the 5 digit range) and the response from new listeners has been overwhelming. We're hearing from people all over the world, many of whom had never listened to a podcast before iTunes 4.9 came out.

So from our perpective, it's been great.

Posted by: Dave Hamilton at July 19, 2005 03:06 PM

David responds over at ITconversations that even though his ranking (top 100) has gone down, or even dropped off, his number of subscribers has greatly increased.

Posted by: PXLated at July 19, 2005 03:17 PM

Oooops...Meant Doug over at ITconversations.

Posted by: PXLated at July 19, 2005 03:17 PM

Dave and PXLated,

Great insight! Thanks for chiming in.

Posted by: Heather Green at July 19, 2005 04:02 PM

I think this is completely off the mark. Sure, the corporate "podcasters" are getting lots of exposure, but every podcaster I know have seen their numbers rise thanks to iTunes. I know my personal ones for http://www.accidenthash.com have gone through the roof since it went live.

Posted by: C.C. Chapman at July 25, 2005 04:06 PM

What I find odd is that (being a Canadian podcaster) the iTunes top 100 listing seems to be different for Canada than America. Chub Creek used to hover around the 100 range at podcast alley, but in iTunes it's dropped off the radar. We have 95 percent American listeners, so it seems unfair if what we're seeing is only the Canadian top 100. I'd also like to know what are standings actually are in all countries, if we're on the radar at all. I love the iTunes podcast software, but I don't like how all of a sudden conventional media podcasts (that didn't seem to exist before) are claiming all the attention. We're the pioneers! Where did we go?

Posted by: Dave from Chub Creek at August 6, 2005 12:04 PM

Our subscriber base, as measured by Feedburner, has gone up 12x since our listing on iTunes. So being an independent "niche" podcast with no hope of breaking the top 100, we are thankful for iTunes.

The bad part of this is that iTunes represents 96% of our subscriptions now. So if we were to be delisted (as recently happened to a friend) we would effectively be out of "business".

Additionally, iTunes has no easy way to update feeds, or contact iTunes in the event of problems.

Posted by: Dan at January 16, 2006 11:46 PM


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