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An Open Letter To Apple: Why Selling Podcast Stats Makes Sense

Dear Apple/iTunes Executives:

I know that podcasts make you no money. I know it was an act of good will to even give us podcasters access to your iTunes store in the first place. However, I have a business case to make about why you should consider offering podcasters access to the statistics you gather about their listings in your store.

The premise is simple: You already collect the data. (You have to be collecting the data.) So why not sell us access to this data on a subscription basis? Consider these facts:

  • Unlike data from other portions of the store where it is to your advantage to, shall we say, "control" access, there is no such reason with our data. You make no money from us now, so there is no benefit to obscuring our stats.
  • There have to be 250,000 shows listed by now, if not more. But even by some old stats of 125,000 shows, there is definitely an active community of participants which can be pursued.
  • If even a fraction of this audience wants stats (let's say 10,000 shows), at $5 a month that's $600,000 a year — just for putting an accessible front end on the data you're already collecting!
  • With minimal marketing (say including an offer of stats with the listing of a show or via email blasts to existing listers) it is easily conceivable that you could quickly capture five or ten times that number — which I feel compelled to remind you is $3 million to $6 million dollars for just opening a front end web page tied to the data you already have.

I seriously hope you will consider this proposal. The direct access to your subscribe/unsubscribe stats as well as page view data would be enormously beneficial to those of us making a business of podcasting. It would help us tailor content to the desires of our audiences, it would help us justify media buys to advertisers and it would solidify your position as a singular destination for podcasting. 

Thank you for your time. Please feel free to contact me at bob[at]coolbeansgroup[dot]com if you would like to comment in any way.

Bob Knorpp, Host of The BeanCast Marketing Podcast

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