Spotify exclusive ignites closed vs open RSS flames again

Spotify logo

So Joe Rogan, comedian and host of one of the standout hits in the podcasting world, is getting in to bed with Spotify. Making it a Spotify exclusive,

When I first heard this news I felt something had changed as I knew the time of the platform exclusives was on its way. Opening the debate about open ecosystems like RSS vs closed ones systems.

James Cridland is always on the ball and covered this much better than I could. He makes some very good points

  • The show will be free to Spotify users (both Premium and Free users).

This is Spotify’s platform play, exclusive free access but only if you use our player.

  • It will be available in video on Spotify as well as audio. Spotify tested video (May 7) but were tight-lipped as to why.

I was aware Spotify have been testing a few things for their player including video as James pointed out. Canvas their tool for creating interesting music videos went quiet a while ago.  I wonder what else they have added and are keeping quiet about. This is the big advantage of your own proprietary player/platform, do what suits you and make the rest come to you.  I keep wondering if perceptive podcasting needs to get ahead of this now before we are all buried in proprietary closed systems.

  • His full show won’t be on YouTube any more, though he will post clips. Possibly not that coincidentally, YouTube is readying a full launch of YouTube Music, a Spotify competitor.

I hadn’t really clocked that of course Youtube music is coming out almost exactly at the same time. The date makes a lot of sense now

  • His full library, going back 11 years, is to switch to Spotify from September 1; exclusivity comes later in 2020.

Moving all those archives to Spotify is a interesting but potentially bad news for future plans. Especially if things go wrong.

Sounds, Spotify and Luminary

I also found these reactions very apt as it doesn’t take much to see the important discussion over podcasts vs audio shows instantly flare up again.

  • “Fuck Spotify, and fuck any ”podcast” that’s only playable in one app”, tweeted Overcast’s Marco Arment, adding that “moving an existing, open, free show behind a proprietary wall results in massive audience loss. I hope he at least leaves his public feed up so he can return to it when his Spotify exclusivity fails.”
  • Spotify’s new strategy is to kill podcasts (Simon Cohen, Digital Trends)

James made clear podnews stance on this all.

A “podcast” is something that is delivered via an RSS feed to multiple podcast apps. Podnews refer to things available exclusively on Spotify, BBC Sounds or Luminary as “shows”. Accordingly, from late 2020, we’ll no longer refer to The Joe Rogan Experience as a podcast.

Harsh? I think not, he’s right this isn’t podcasting…

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.