Some people like me remember podcasting back in the days of the early iPod Classic before the touchscreen, WIFI, and Cellular. Things were different back then; you submitted your podcast to iTunes then listeners would have to download your podcast from iTunes and then sync it to their iPod. It was an era of you had to know what you were going to want to listen to before you left the house because you could not download more podcasts unless you were near your computer. Back then getting an audience was much harder because the delivery was different from the audio and the podcasting market was so much smaller with the number of creators and listeners. While I do think the iPhone helped the podcasting market explode just because people could get any podcast anytime they want it has made it harder at times.
Many big companies like SiriusXM, Spotify, Podcast One, and others saw the change coming in the transition from Radio to podcasting coming and made the investment in infrastructure and content. This change came once before in a smaller way when SiriusXM started with satellite radio which I do not think was as big of disruption as podcasting has been. While we have all been used to paying for content for years in form of HBO and music services podcasting has had a major change with the free exclusives.
Let me explain for example if you want to listen to The Joe Rogan Experience, Call Her Daddy or Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard you have to have the Spotify app on your device or you have to listen to it through an app on your desktop or the web client. You cannot use Pocketcast, Apple Podcasts, or Overcast. The same goes for Amazon as they have started exclusives with in-app only listening with The First One Podcast and The Dan Patrick Show Podcast.
I understand why this is done to draw listers to the platform and to optimize advertising analytics this hurts the smaller podcast who rely on strictly RSS for podcasting as you cannot provide as many analytical data to advertisers. Plus shows that are exclusive do not provide RSS feeds you have to listen to them in the provided app. Then you have smaller podcasters who make their podcasts available on all platforms but have premium podcasts available on services like Apple, Spotify, Patreon, and others for a price of a few dollars a month.
The days of having one app or device to listen to all the podcasts you want are over for some people. If there are a few podcasts on a few different services you like to listen to you may end up having two or three different apps on your device to listen to all these different shows. I understand it but this takes away from the convenience of having all the podcasts in one app like Pocketcast or Overcast for many users who like those exclusives.
In the end, I am happy that podcasting has taken off and put the power into the content creator’s hands. Now anyone who wants to start a podcast can at very little cost. Years ago, you would need to find a radio station, tv station, or media company to distribute your content now anyone can connect, build and grow an audience with just a microphone, computer, and the power of the internet.