Where is the YouTube for Podcasts?

image via flickr

Podcasts are on the wrong platform. iTunes, the dominant provider of podcasts to listeners, does very little for the creators that provide it with content. I constantly wonder why podcast creators continue to be beholden to a platform that is basically a black box. There’s so much discussion about how to make audio go viral, how to make money with podcasts, how to measure audiences, and so on. But the creative solutions we have now are stopgaps on the way to the real solution: A large podcast platform that is equipped to address all of those issues.

A few months ago, Emily White wrote an article that gave voice to the technological frustrations of listeners, “Where is the Instagram for Audio?” From the creator’s perspective, I ask, “Where is the YouTube for Podcasts?”

I’m not about to argue that a direct translation of YouTube is the solution to the podcast platform problem. There are a lot of problems with YouTube’s model. But a comparison between audio and video platforms is useful in highlighting how far podcast platforms are behind other digital mediums.

1. Simple Monetization

2. Actionable Data

3. Content Discovery

a. Easy Sharing

b. Reliable Search

c. Related Content

4. Direct Engagement with Audience

Podcasting is a place of constant innovation. Every other week it seems there’s a new podcast newsletter, a new podcast network, a new forum to connect podcasters to fans, a new app. But what we are creating is like an patchwork quilt with patches missing in the middle. We keep stitching on to the quilt, but the holes are still there, and getting bigger. This is what a comprehensive podcast platform should be doing:

Note: I know SoundCloud claimed the moniker “YouTube for audio,” but they’re still a long way from being the comprehensive provider that YouTube is for video.

I’m not an expert on the podcasting business, but I am a producer and recently launched the Tumble Podcast, a science podcast for kids. I’m also hungry for any and all articles, opinion, and discussion on the future of podcasting. I’m on Twitter at @_lindsayp — I would love to hear thoughts on this topic.

CEO of Tumble Media, producer & co-host of Tumble Science Podcast for Kids. Co-founder of Kids Listen, advocacy for kids podcasts. Parent.

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