Life on the internet, and in podcasting, is a game of middlemen (middlepeople?). The middlepeople actually really benefit from being in the middle, more than we imagine, and it’s an easy position to hold, one that most of the middlepeople hold in secret. Spotify is muscling it’s way into becoming the middle person between you, your favourite podcast, and the 246 companies that receive that data. Meanwhile big-spending Amazon is muscling it’s way into our listening habits, and even my podcast app of choice, Overcast, is a middleperson by design in that the Overcast servers know what podcasts I listen to, and those servers are continually polling the different podcast servers.
Spotify and Amazon I take issue with because they want to put a toll booth, even if it’s a free toll booth, on an already open road. Overcast is operating a booth on the road, but it’s not taking a toll. Whilst all of that is going on, the original champions of the podcast space, Apple Podcasts is - more than possiblly unknowingly - oversharing to the nth degree about who is driving on the free road, and I feel like that sharing needs to be reduced.