Take a look at any list of top podcasts, and you’ll almost always find at least a few titles from NPR or other public radio producers. Now four of them have banded together to buy one of the most popular podcast apps.
What does that mean in the short term? Not much, really. Former iHeartRadio Owen Grover will take over as new CEO of Pocket Casts, but the original team of developers from Shift Jelly are all keeping their jobs, and in a FAQ, the company makes it pretty clear that there are no immediate plans to change anything: Pocket Casts is still a paid app and it still supports all podcasts, not just public radio content.
As for the future, it’s unclear what kind of new features we’ll see… but the developers now have access to data from some of the top podcast producers as well as from customers who use the app to find and listen to podcasts. Maybe that could lead to new content discovery features or new ways for the audience to engage with show producers.
This isn’t public radio’s first foray into podcast apps. NPR makes podcasts available through its NPR One app, which is sort of a Pandora-for-news type of app. And This American Life offers its own podcast app... with access to just a single podcast (albeit, one with 644 episodes to date).