July 4, 2005 Podfather Cheating? “I guess I should not be surprised that Adam Curry has been given a platform from within Apple iTunes to promote podcasts. He is doing this via a new show on iTunes called PodFinder. It disturbed me though that he promoted a high percentage of shows that are under contract, and or aligned with Podshow.” [via Geek News] Todd goes on to say that he thinks Adam should disclose the fact that he has a financial relationship with a company/podcast every time he mentions them. He also mentions that Curry plays more Podshow.com content on his new Apple Podfinder cast than other podcasts. While I see his points I think there are some fine lines that need to be walked here. The point of the Podfinder cast is to introduce new people to podcasting. To me the best way to do that is to point them to a variety of shows, but with an emphasis on proven podcasts. When you’re trying to get new people involved, pointing them to proven, good content is the best way. They’ll stay interested because the content is good. Also by pointing them to the podcasts with bigger audiences there’s more of a feeling of participation in something which is important to keeping people hooked. The problem of course is that Podshow has relationships with some of the biggest and best podcasts. So should he not point to them even though they’re the ones he knows best and are proven to be products people are interested in? That leads us to the other issue of disclaiming his interest. That’s one of those things that sounds good and something that people should do but is it practical? This isn’t an industry like stocks where there is actually peoples money at stake. This is much more circumstantial. It’s also tied up with a show that’s supposed to be entertaining. If 3-4 times every episode Adam goes through a corporate disclaimer how entertaining is that? Another thing which is unclear is the relationship between Apple and Podshow. Perhaps Apple wants Adam to talk more about Podshow content then others in which case they should really do the disclaiming. Personally I don’t see the big deal. If the content he’s pointing to is real and not just sham stuff to make a buck then I’m fine with doing it. If the people listening to Podfinder find it to be a useful tool then what’s the problem? With the release of Podcasting support in iTunes some Podcasters feel like they’re being treated unfairly, but I think they can’t have it both ways. Podcasting was created because people like Dave Winer wanted to route around the mainstream media and alot of other would be podcasters felt the same way. Apple doesn’t have to be 100% fair and in fact podcasters shouldn’t care. They can route around them. Todd has stated several times that he wants to make his Podcast his full time job. If that’s the case then doesn’t his criticism here really need to be disclaimed? Isn’t this actually bothering him because it’s potentially costing him listeners as well as the (apparently) for profit http://www.techpodcasts.com network he’s a part of? I’m not trying to accuse Todd here, but wouldn’t he take a prime spot promoting his show on iTunes if he could?