Not much seems to be going in Apple Inc. ’s favor these days. The firm is working through a rough phase with slow iPhone sales, trouble in China and a dropping stock price. Add to this a growing frustration among Podcasters who are upset with Apple about the way they treat their popular audio format. To resolve the situation and work on the issues, the iPhone maker just had a meeting with some top podcasters, says a report from the New York Times.
Podcasters having issues with Apple
As per the report, Apple invited seven top podcasters at its headquarters, the report said citing anonymous sources. During the meeting (in a room full of Apple employees), the podcasters discussed in “frank terms” their biggest issues, the report said. Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services – Eddy Cue – also met the podcasters, but in a closed-door meeting.
Some of the main issues raised by the podcasters during the meeting were:
- no opportunity for the podcasters to make money via subscription downloads
- not enough analytic data about podcasts like listener duration and listener counts
- for any issues, podcasters only have a single point contact at Apple
Though Apple Inc. created the podcast in 2005, the format gained popularity only recently, thanks to the popular programs like ‘Serial.’ Last year, about 46m Americans listened to podcasts each month, and this year, the number is expected to hit 57m, as per a survey by Edison Research.
In a statement to NY Times, Cue said, “We have more people than ever focused on podcasting, including engineers, editors and programmers.” He added, “Podcasts hold a special place with us at Apple.”
As of now, there has been no comment from Apple on the report.
Rivals sensing big opportunity
Though Apple is the biggest brand globally, podcasts make no direct contribution to Apple’s revenue. And, probably this is why, the iTunes podcasting hub, which was launched by Steve Jobs, has remained almost unchanged. Sharing the podcast on the social platform takes several clicks.
Jobs was very excited, at that time, describing it as “sort of like TiVo, for radio, for your iPod,” and “It’s not just the ‘Wayne’s World’ of radio, but real radio is jumping onto this.”
As of now, it’s unclear, if the meeting will result in any change from Apple’s side as there has been no commitment made by Apple Inc. . But rivals like Google are also eying podcasts as a potential opportunity to stream music services, so this could create a pressure on the iPhone maker to address the issues of podcasters on a priority basis.
Apart from Google, other rivals too are eying the opportunity in the segment. Earlier this year, Spotify – the streaming music service – came up with many offerings for the podcasters including hosting, streaming and extensive listening data. Amazon, who owns the audiobook service Audible, is also investing big in the original audio content. For Amazon – Eric Nuzum is heading the segment. Nuzum has served as the vice president at National Public Radio.
On Friday, Apple shares closed down 0.56% at $92.72. Year to date, the stock is down almost 14% year to date while in the last one-year, it is down over 28%.