Yahoo Kills Its Podcasting Portal

Sep 26th, 2007 | By | Category: iPods & Portable Media Players, Podcast Directory Sites, Podcasting Services

Yahoo has added a terse statement to its podcast portal, announcing the site’s imminent death:

Yahoo! apologizes deeply, but we will be closing down the Podcasts site on Oct. 31, 2007

Read/Write Web’s Marshall Kirkpatrick suggests that Yahoo’s decision to pull the plug may be a reflection of the rate of uptake of podcasting:

Some would argue that podcasting hasn’t caught on like it was expected to, that it’s been dominated by existing media giants and beaten as a medium by the rise of video. I still love me a good episode from ITConversations, Briefings Direct or our own new show Read/WriteTalk when I’m walking the dog – but Yahoo! users looking for podcasts will soon have to look elsewhere. I don’t know how many people ever cared for the site anyway. I hadn’t looked at Yahoo! Podcasts since just a few months after it launched, when there were no RSS feeds and you had to login with a Yahoo! ID in order to download audio files instead of listening to them through a pop-up Yahoo! audio player.

Yahoo’s decision to kill the site, though,¬†is more likely to be a reflection of the fact that¬†any attempt to create a major podcast directory is¬†competing with¬†iTunes, a widely successful, integrated solution for podcasts, video podcasts and digital media.

No Responses to “Yahoo Kills Its Podcasting Portal”

  1. Murphy says:

    My show is distributed through LibSyn, and for the entire two years I’ve been podcasting, Yahoo never got their portal to play nice with LibSyn ‚Äî unlike every other podcasting directory I can think of ‚Äî I had to ping them each and every single week.

    Hell, I think the most traffic I’ve ever seen from Yahoo! was maybe one download a week.

    So am I gonna miss Yahoo? Hell, no!!

  2. Carol A says:

    I tried Yahoo, but it seemed to be a pain to use (see Murphy’s post). Whilst ITunes doesn’t work with my MP3 player it does at least put the downloads into folders and deal with the MP3 tags correctly. I just wish Windows Media player would download podcasts – it does a good job of sorting them out but doesn’t do downloading. Perhaps the other reason neither Yahoo or Microsoft want to do anything about podcasts is because they are FREE! But if someone produced podcast download software which connected to the internet (like ITunes) and sold advertising they could make a lot of money. (A sort of podcast/browser set-up) If I was a better programmer I’d do it myself!

  3. Eric says:

    The real reason Yahoo Podcasts never took off was because they didn’t develop the site. Whether it was because of a failure to monetize something that is essentially free, or because they couldn’t find a successful closed system from which to consume podcasts that is to blame (from a corporate “bottom line” perspective), ultimately it is/was Yahoo’s inherent, and persistently horrible directory and interface that are the reasons Yahoo! Podcasts failed to achieve the excitement or popularity that iTunes’ has.

    Let’s face it, Yahoo’s search function was horrible (and if you’re Yahoo! there’s no excuse for that), podcasts didn’t update in a timely fashion, and the directory was pretty hard to find amongst Yahoo’s other prodigious offerings. Let’s also not forget their attempted closed-door environment, that required you to sign in to listen to podcasts. I mean, if you’re going to create a closed environment, then you’ve got to follow either the iTunes or YouTube model. Both places allow you to listen/watch their content right from their site without logging in (in the case of iTunes, I am of course NOT referring to iTMS purchases, only podcasts).

    I say good riddance to Yahoo! Podcasts. If you’re going to do a directory, then do it the right way, or don’t do it at all!


  4. […] Yahoo’s decision to kill off the Yahoo podcast portal has generated a lot of discussion, and appears to be a sort of Rorschach test that reflects people’s attitudes about podcasting. […]

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