Mark Zuckerberg and company are finally hopping about the podcast bandwagon next week — beginning on June 22, podcasters will have the option to include a separate tab on their show’s Page allowing listeners to stream episodes and clips directly from Facebook itself. Additionally, users will be able to link their shows’ RSS feeds, which can then upload new episodes as individual News Feed posts. Facebook will also soon begin including an option for hosts to allow listeners to cut up to one-minute clips from longer audio segments and post them separately as a potential way to boost “visibility and engagement,” as told to The Verge.
Facebook first announced its own podcast intentions back in April amidst a flurry of other audio-centric plans, including new EQ mixing and music options for users’ stories, a “Soundbite” feature for short, audio-only posts, and Live Audio Room, which looks to essentially be another Clubhouse clone. Prepare yourself accordingly for the onslaught of bros from back in high school sharing Joe Rogan clips even more than they already do.
It wouldn’t be Facebook without murky fine print — Facebook’s terms and conditions for podcast streaming are already available online, so of course there’s at least one or two points that might raise some eyebrows. As The Verge notes, the policy “doesn’t have clear limits around what exactly Facebook can do with the podcasts distributed on its platform,” and also grants the company the right to make derivative works, which although “may be necessary for distributing shows in certain formats,” could be a bit worrisome to some creators.
Welcome to the party, Zuck — Facebook is hopping into an increasingly crowded pool of podcast providers as companies hope for a share of that all sweet, sweet, advertiser revenue. Spotify is most likely the biggest threat to Apple’s market dominance... something Spotify execs seem to believe themselves, seeing as how they’re betting the eventual profits will make up for the next two years of net loss in that sector.
Meanwhile, even Netflix is considering trying out a podcast system of its own called N-Plus. To be fair, Facebook probably won’t need to worry about Netflix cutting into its action, but with privacy concerns abound at the House of Zuck, the Big Tech giant could have some problems selling itself as a worthwhile venue for podcasters’ actual content.