Based on the “Promote Your Podcast and Make Money on iTunes” email I just received from the iTunes Podcasting team, Apple’s podcast directory revenue-generation strategy is two-fold:
- Divert: Apple wants podcasters to point listeners to the iTunes Podcast directory listing of their podcast – rather then the one controlled by the podcaster. From Apple’s perspective, this increases usage of the iTunes Music Store. From the podcaster’s perspective, you’re handing over full control of your podcast to someone else – that’s suicide. Though, you might get to be listed in the Top Podcasts as a consolation (then again, you might otherwise).
- Distract: Once iTunes has your listeners, anything they purchase within 24 hours the directing podcaster receives a 5% commission on (4.95 cents here, 4.95 cents there, soon we’re talking ad money). As should be obvious, this distracts the listener from the entire reason they came to iTunes (the podcast).
As with the iTunes Podcast Directory thus far, the big loser is the podcaster. The smaller loser is the listener.