Waiting for Spotify

There’s an old saying that warns about putting the cart before the horse. It sounds like just the sort of saying I might completely ignore – in fact I have completely ignored it.

While listening to a podcast a few days ago, the host mentioned that Spotify had overtaken iTunes in terms of number of podcasts served out over the internet each month. I’m not quite sure where the metrics have come from, but I’m inclined to believe the story. Apple has a horrendous track-record when it comes to anything except building hardware and operating systems – all of their software and services outside of those has historically been utter garbage.

For years iTunes was the only game in town when it came to attracting traffic to a podcast – mostly because all other routes required a degree of technical knowledge, or dogged persistence. I remember back when I worked in London, I would download podcasts with a Linux application called “GPodder”, and then sync them to a Palm organiser to listen to while commuting – this was a couple of years before the iPhone arrived, and changed everything.

Until very recently, if you wanted to listen to a podcast, you would have to scratch around in the darker corners of the internet to find them – or go directly to the source of each podcast, and feed the URL into a piece of software specially designed to collate the downloaded files for you.

Notice I wrote “until recently”. In true “forces of Sauron” fashion, Spotify recently realised that the whole podcast escapade might be worth bothering with after all, and turned their gaze towards it. In the space of perhaps six months, they went from nowhere, to the primary means of finding podcasts on the internet.

Guess who’s podcast – which currently has one episode published – is waiting to be approved by Spotify ? Go on – just guess. To be honest, I started filling the submission form in at lunchtime more out of curiousity than anything, but then realised the enormity of it all while the mouse pointer hovered over the submit button.

While the first episode might have been rather pedestrian, and more of a “shake down” than anything, knowing that the podcast is listed and available for discovery to hundreds of millions of people around the world concentrates the mind somewhat. I need to start posting really great content, really rather quickly.

It will surprise nobody that knows me to discover that I am feverishly scribbling down a list of all the bloggers I vaguely know, and working my way through them – inviting them to take part in the podcast – to talk about how they got started, what they write about, when they post, who they are inspired by, and if there are any stories they might like to share about their experiences posting their inner thoughts too the unwashed masses of the internet.

It’s going to fun – and terrifying – but mostly fun. I think. Maybe. Just hang on a minute while I go and check the status of that Spotify podcast submission…

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