We Shouldn't Call Michelle Obama's (And Joe Rogan's) Proprietary Exclusive Audio From Spotify A 'Podcast' Any More

from the spotify-exclusive-audio dept

In early 2019, after Spotify announced the purchase of podcast studio Gimlet Media, we worried that it signaled an end to the open world of podcasting. Part of what made podcasting so special is that, like the early parts of the internet, it was wide open. Anyone could make their own podcast, and just host it somewhere with an RSS feed and then anyone could listen to it via any podcast app or service they wanted. But Spotify is a mostly closed platform.

Our fears solidified a lot two months ago when Joe Rogan moved to Spotify (under a rumored $200 million deal), such that his insanely popular podcast will only be heard via Spotify going forward. As we said then, the world loses a lot when podcasts go into private silos (even if the podcasts are available for free). We start moving away from an open system that anyone can use, and which democratizes the creation and distribution of content, to much more of a traditional gatekeeper-run broadcast model. And that’s unfortunate, even if it’s understandable.

And now we have Michelle Obama announcing “The Michelle Obama Podcast,” which is exclusive to Spotify. Frankly, we should not call it a podcast any more when it’s not actually available for anyone to listen to on their own podcast apps. This is Spotify exclusive audio. That’s not a podcast.

I understand why we got here and why everyone involved did this. For Spotify, it will boost usage (as will the Rogan deal) of their app and once people start using it to listen to those exclusive podcasts, a lot of people will probably shift over and do all their podcast listening via Spotify as well. And I’m sure that, as with Rogan, Spotify is paying a lot to Michelle Obama to do this. And, of course, I’m sure the production value will be great.

But, still, it’s worth noting that this move to silo’d, locked up content is disappointing and a shame, as it’s yet another nail in the coffin for the promise of the truly open internet.

Open systems allow for more participation, more inclusiveness. Closed systems, by their very nature, create gatekeepers and exclusivity. That may be good in the short term for certain business interests, but it’s bad in the long term for the public and speech interests. Spotify may very well be successful with this strategy, but the least we can do is stop confusing the closed, exclusive, gatekeepered system with the open, inclusive ecosystem.

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Comments on “We Shouldn't Call Michelle Obama's (And Joe Rogan's) Proprietary Exclusive Audio From Spotify A 'Podcast' Any More”

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"And we shouldn’t call you a journalist"

Has. Mike ever claimed to be a journalist, or just a businessman who happens to write an opinion blog among his other activities? Either way, I’m sure he won’t be affected either way no matter what you decide to call him

"But hey, people call a lot of things by the wrong name."

Yes, I’m sure someone accidentally accused you of being intelligent or insightful at some point.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It’s always nice to see you confirm that you have no arguments at all to hit Mike with, other than the ones you make up yourself, Baghdad Bob.

That said even the Fox and OANN people are free to call themselves journalists, so the bar isn’t exactly high. But hey, even if Mike did call himself a journalist…

"…as journalist don’t write articles like this."

…I’m still left wondering where you got in your head that journalists wouldn’t write an opinion piece.

This is one for the scrapbook, Baghdad Bob. It’s not always you manage to get three things hilariously and broadly wrong with just two short lines of ad hom.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Koby (profile) says:

Silo Value

It seems to me that these services are attempting to consolidate all of one type of activity. One stop shopping for static video — youtube. One stop shopping for blogging — facebook. One stop shopping for audio — spotify. Next, monopolize it, then monetize it. Perhaps the opposite of how I envisioned a decentralized internet.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Upstream (profile) says:

Re: Re: Silo Value

Maybe it is OK to have some things where making money is not the prime objective, and maybe not even an objective at all. I live in a place where the city is constantly renting out public parks to private, for-profit, interests. Not just an occasional festival, but often multiple times a week. The city does not see them as parks, but as revenue-generating venues. This is not what parks are for. Parks are for people, not for profit. I understand the reasons, too, but it is still a shame to see so much on the Internet swallowed up in the same way.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Silo Value

"The problem with a decentralized internet is that it takes a lot of effort to make money with it."

Not really? There are plenty of small success stories around.

It is, however, difficult to make obscene amounts of money with it on a small scale, which is small successful operations tend to get bought in under the umbrella of a larger corporate entity.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Silo Value

Comparing Spotify with YouTube is comparing apples and oranges, YouTube is not a gatekeeper, nor does it require exclusivity of content. Spotify is like Audible, a gate keeper, trying to capture the most popular content creators, and exclude the rest, creating an artificial shortage to boost the attention paid to their chosen winners.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"Gatekeeper/silo, what’s the difference?"

With gatekeeper activity like the above podcast deal, the service itself demands exclusivity. With silo activity, the content creator, despite have free rein to put the content in as many places as they want, only bothers to put it in one place.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Silo Value

Lets see
9 out of 9 killed were criminals with records
Conclusion ?
Don’t be a criminal .
Now if it were 9 people with no criminal records well then I would say yea we’ve got a problem .
Again why are you putting criminals on pedestals as the hallmark of society ???
So yea we elevate murderer and thugs, throw block parties when they get of jail but ignore those who graduate from collage ???
Oh and where does Opera , James . Diddy , Beyonace live ?
Not in the hood and well what have they done to help raise a brother up ?
Kobie for all the good he did was for privileged white folk kids in the burbs not in Compton

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Silo Value

So… you don’t mind people being summarily executed on the street so long as police can retroactively do an investigation and find something they did wrong – other than what they were being confronted for at the time of their murder – that carried a sentence other than death?

Judge Dredd was a satire, not an instruction manual.

"Not in the hood and well what have they done to help raise a brother up ?"

Oh, so it’s not the cops fault for being murderers, they get a free pass for committing those crimes because other black people didn’t pay enough money to save them? Wow…

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Silo Value

"Again why are you putting criminals on pedestals as the hallmark of society ???"

Thank you for proving that in your skewed vision of reality, being allowed a process of law before being murdered is to be "put on a pedestal".

In a sane society less enamored of Stalins and Hitlers way of doing things we like our police to act proportionally rather than performing showy executions in the middle of the street.

"9 out of 9 killed were criminals with records…"

Records like "resisting arrest" – which has in many cases turned out to be a euphemism for getting cornered and clobbered by a few of NYPD’s finest in a dark alley, or records as in the "gang member" list where fine upstanding lawmen put names up without a single shred of evidence other than "a hunch"?

Sorry to have to tell you this, Baghdad Bob, but the KKK propaganda leaflet and the Stormfront echo chambers are emphatically not the best sources of information, nor accepted by most sane people as such.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Silo Value

Ahh yes says the while leftist liberal who lives behind
closed gates with private security .
Yes his death was wrong the whole country was against it .
His murderer was arrested and charged justice was being served .
And what do you idiots do ?
Burn Portland for 53 nights .
Burn down a wendys after killing a child
Kill a 23yr old mother for saying All Lives matter .
Kill a Decorated Black retired Police officer trying to protect his community .
Yea we all can see how BLM inc has made a positive mark on Our country .
I don’t see anywhere where all the monies you’ve all donated has gone to
to uplift black lives .
Listen if America is soooooo bad I’m sure Africa will welcome you with open arms .

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Silo Value

"Listen if America is soooooo bad I’m sure Africa will welcome you with open arms ."

Hilarious. You know, telling a white european like me to go back where I came from is a nice joke and all.

"Ahh yes says the while leftist liberal who lives behind closed gates with private security."

Make up your mind. Am I a white guy living it up in some gated community or a black guy who needs to go back to africa? If you can’t even be arsed to keep your ad hom implications non-contradictory the rest of your argument, frankly, doesn’t make sense.

"And what do you idiots do ?"

Sit from across the atlantic and watch the various US police departments proving beyond all doubt that the black US minority has been far too damn peaceful for far too long? Here in europe if the police were to kill even a tenth of what US officers do per capita the parliaments would be burned to the ground and general re-elections.

All I’m seeing – again – is a bunch of white trash trying to defend a nation which has so shitty a system of law enforcement and politics it can only compare to some banana republic from the 70’s in south america. Shit, from where I’m sitting, the US started looking like a third world country some time ago and is only getting worse. It’s no wonder american diplomats don’t have the balls to confront China about human rights anymore.

Yeah, there are riots in the street. I can fucking understand why. What I can’t understand is how the fuck anyone can live in a country which has been building up to those riots for 40+ years and be surprised it happens. You guys didn’t fix the problem of racism while it was fixable and so now you’ll just have to deal with a burning neighborhood instead. It’s a bit like not bothering to fix the gas line in your car means the car drinks more gas and eventually, at some point, spontaneously combusts with you in it.

No one wins from rioting, sure. Are you telling me the cops will stop murdering black people at random if the riots stop?
Like what was promised after Ferguson, Los Angeles, or any other riot all the way back to ’68?.

Fact of the matter riots don’t happen because people think it’s somehow fun. They happen because every other venue of appeal has failed. For about 400 years.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Silo Value

"Ahh yes says the while leftist liberal who lives behind
closed gates with private security"

No, those were the idiots who decided to point their guns at people (in a way that indicated they didn’t have a clue how to use a firearm) for walking ear to where they lived (but not actually trying to enter their property, only walking past)

"Yes his death was wrong the whole country was against it"

Well, not everybody, since the protests wouldn’t happen if they did. Remember how it took protests to get them to even look into the video evidence? Sane people do.

"Burn down a wendys after killing a child
Kill a 23yr old mother for saying All Lives matter
Kill a Decorated Black retired Police officer trying to protect his community"

I’ll need citations on those, but if they’re the cases I think they are, you’ve been lied to again. The actual situations did not happen that way.

"Listen if America is soooooo bad I’m sure Africa will welcome you with open arms"

He says to a white guy living in Europe. But, your racism and lack of connection to reality is yet again noted.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Silo Value

"He says to a white guy living in Europe. But, your racism and lack of connection to reality is yet again noted."

Don’t forget that in the same comment he also implied I was white US upper class living it out in a gated community.

It’s somehow telling that the Trump cult now has to apply doublethink on every single sentence. It’s an impressive feat of mental gymnastics if nothing else.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Silo Value

"Sorry I don’t look thru the world wearing rainbow tinted glasses…"

Given that you just said that having a judge and jury weigh in on the matter before a cop murders a person in the street was "putting criminals on pedestals" your vision problems are – by far – worse than something mere glasses can correct, i think.

It must surely suck to be one heart and mind with the KKK in this day and age where the only big bunch of true adherents of your racial and societal philosophies are the orientals in North Korea.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Dear Mike, podcasts are called so because of the iPod, whose integration with iTunes popularized the format. So your rant is 15 years late.

But podcasts (even pre-iTunes) were open, based on open formats. You put up an MP3 via an RSS feed, and anyone could listen to it in any app. That’s what I’m talking about. The fact that it was named after iPods and that iTunes popularized it didn’t change that. At all. In fact, it’s a good thing that Apple actually supported these open formats.

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