Spotify for Podcasters now a live threat to iTunes, Stitcher, podcasters

This is not a drill, and it's no longer a beta! Spotify for Podcasters is now an active, live system with which Spotify will take on the likes of Apple, Google, and the folks behind Stitcher. With Spotify for Podcasters, people making podcasts will have access to detailed analytics, user data, and options "to drive discovery" for their content.

Today Spotify sent out word to prospective podcasters, professional podcasters, and the press, that they'd be launching Spotify for Podcasters today for all regions across the planet. A Spotify representative suggested today that "more than 100,000 podcasts" signed up during the official beta period. But that time is dead and over! Now is the time for action!

This system is very similar to Spotify for Artists, but it's just EVER so slightly different because of the nature of the podcast. Quicker releases, impromptu updates, and masses upon masses of content appearing without any consideration for cash. Wait a second, you might be saying – aren't podcasts supposed to be free?

Why yes, Susan, podcasts are generally a listen-for-free sort of affair for the listener. But as any general podcast listener knows, there are many ways in which a person might profit (or "stay on the air" as they sometimes say) when it comes to a podcast – or any non-music sort of audio, really. Generally this takes the form of in-episode advertisements from companies selling mattresses, meal delivery services, and subscription fashion lines.

So how does Spotify deal with this situation?

Spotify pays music artists to be able to utilize their music to make money with their streaming service. Spotify is counting on podcasters to sorta... give them content so they can be the best podcast app in the world. In exchange, they offer analytics tools. Fair trade, I suppose, if you're a podcaster who didn't expect to ever make a living in the first place.

I've got a very similar criticism about every other podcasting aggregator app/system that's not sharing profits (if there are any to be had) with content creators. Unless they just want to give that content away, in which case, make your peace!

Spotify IS making deals with some podcasters for exclusive access to their future episodes. So it's not as if Spotify doesn't have cash to spend on content from podcasters they know will draw in listeners. It's just that they... don't want to pay for everything.