iTunes Podcast Directory Strategy – Divert and Distract

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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.

5 Replies to “iTunes Podcast Directory Strategy – Divert and Distract”

  1. Sadly, this makes sense. I just got the same email and of course Apple would want to say this. (although I wonder how many people would actually take them up on the idea)…

  2. 5% commission on any affiliate venture is hardly worth the bother, even for people who don’t do affiliate promotions. I’ve done some where the product publisher is willing to share 50% or more of his price, which is what I’ve offered on my products, too. I can’t see this making too many waves…there’s just not enough money involved for many podcasters to jump. I think it’s pretty much a non-starter.

  3. this doesn’t appear to have anything to do with podcasting. the affiliate program signup does not mention podcasts at all except to announce that you can listen to them in the directory. nowhere in the agreement does it state that you must link to the itunes version of your podcast site. this is probably geared towards music webmasters of all kinds rather than podcasters in particular. i don’t buy your analysis.

  4. Matthew, that’s exactly the point – there’s no inherent relationship between podcasting and the affiliate program. Because of that – I’m not surprised there’s no mention of it on the affiliate info page.

  5. The affiliate program is not new. They have been doing it for quite some time. The only difference is that they are targeting podcasters now. I agree it is a small amount of money, but consider that there are a lot of podcasts that play music that is sold on iTunes. With an affiliate link, your listeners can buy the song off of iTunes, AND you can make some pocket change from it. Of course, if the artist has a cd for sale, give your listeners a choice and list the artists website as well.

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