Few weeks ago I was introduced into the world of podcasts. For those who don’t know yet, podcasts are audio files distributed over Internet; in general you can find interviews, opinions or music. They are somehow the evolution of radio programs, but in many cases you find investigative programs that required several months of work per episode. Even though they are an emergent fashion, there is something fundamentally wrong in the world of podcasts: the diffusion channels.
If anybody wants to start listening to podcasts, exactly what happened to me, the first thing to do is to search for an app that allows it. People from the Apple world have iTunes, but also you can use Spotify, Stitcher, Soundcloud, etc. Not all podcasts are on all apps, nor every app offers the same functionalities. It is also important to note that the majority of those applications have advertisement and some options are available only after paying. Podcasts in turn also have advertisement (independently of us paying for the app or not), meaning that we are bombarded twofold with messages we don’t want to hear.
The surprise is that all the problem would have been solved with a decentralized platform. The vast majority of podcasts are associated with websites, blogs, etc. A simple RSS feed reader already has everything needed to keep a list of updated podcasts. However, RSS feeds have been almost forgotten by the techno world; even Google has discontinued its feed reading service some years ago.
It is perhaps the moment for someone with a relative weight in the market (Feedly?) to launch its distribution platform through RSS feeds. From the technological view point it is not complicated (not even innovative), the complicated part is to adhesion from content generators and from users.