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A Newsstand-like Platform For iOS 6 Podcasts
Now the really big one. A universal (iPhone & iPad) iOS application entitled “Podcasts”. This application would provide a way to browse available shows, read about them and subscribe to your favorites. Basicallly extending the existing functionality avaiable in the Podcasts section of the iTunes Store today.
Since Apple will now control the experience end-to-end, they can now provided fantastic support for things like new episode push notifications.
As Cody wrote last week when AllThingsD was first to report on speculation about a separate podcast app for iOS 6 devices, podcasts have been neglected for a long time on iOS. Bundled with iTunes within a unified interface for the Store, support for podcasts on iOS has spurred the creation and popularity of third-party solutions like Instacast and Downcast, which make it extremely easy to create playlists, stream episodes without downloading them, and sync settings (including play position) across devices. These are all features Apple’s iOS iTunes app is lacking, but it doesn’t necessarily mean Apple is ignoring the podcast category.
As we suggested, Apple could provide a separate directory for discovering podcasts and a native podcatcher to simplify the process of listening, downloading, and managing podcasts and playlists. What Marsh envisions isn’t too dissimilar from Newsstand — a platform that allows developers to host content on Apple’s servers and manage new releases from iTunes Connect, and that enables iOS users to conveniently browse audio and video content through a dedicated storefront.
It’s important to keep in mind that, if Apple were to provide a new platform for Internet audio and video producers, they’d likely want to see a revenue opportunity to at least break even and cover the costs of offering a better experience. With Newsstand, Apple got several publishers (including Time) on board with the revenue cut business model whilst providing an integrated solution to the end user. With podcasts on iOS, there is certainly room for improvement — but it has to make sense for Apple too, not just the developers and end users.