On Automattic and Podcasting

Automattic hasn’t really be keeping their podcasting aspirations a secret, but this week they made perhaps their biggest most into the space: buying Pocket Casts. I think this is a great move for lots of reasons.

Automattic’s Podcast Moves

Over the last year or so, Automattic has made a few moves in the podcast space:

  1. In February they announced a partnership with Anchor/Spotify to convert blog posts to audio (I panned this move pretty badly).
  2. Earlier this month, Castos announced they received funding from Automattic
  3. Now Automattic buys Pocket Casts, a beloved podcast app.

Last year they also quietly lauching a podcasting course of their own. Suffice to say, Automattic is very interested in podcasting.

This is Good for Podcasting

Let’s be honest. NPR and the media group that purchased Pocket Casts grossly neglected it…to the point where it lost money for them. And podcasting has gotten significantly more popular since that purchase.

I have no doubt Automattic will be a good home for Pocket Casts. They have a good track record (Gravatar, BuddyPress, Simplenote, etc) and they’ve demonstrated their seriousness about being in the podcast space.

While I’ve been critical of Automattic in the past, I can’t deny that they are more dedicate to the open web and community than some other players in the podcast space. Spotify is actively taking public shows and walling them off from apps other than their own.

Apple’s new Subscriptions is nice but I don’t think it’s a good deal for podcasters.

With Automattic’s investment in Castos, plus the purchase and hopeful revival of a very good podcasting app, I think podcasting can grow even faster, reaching new people and enabling them to start their own podcasts.

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