Twitter Founder: “We didn’t like podcasting”

Apr 25th, 2011 | By | Category: iPods & Portable Media Players

Twitter Co-founder Biz Stone has some interesting comments about his earlier podcasting company, Odeo, podcasting and how it led to the creation of Twitter, in this month’s Wired.

Odeo was a startup that offered podcast directory and search services. Though well-funded, it was effectively dead shortly after launching, because Apple added podcasting support in iTunes.

But Stone suggests that that wasn’t the real reason for Odeo’s demise.

“We thought we were geniuses,” says Stone. “We worked on it for about a year, but we realised something that was a bad sign. We didn’t like podcasting. We didn’t listen to podcasts and we didn’t want to make podcasts.”

When Apple added podcast support to iTunes, Odeo was resigned to its fate. “We were like, ‘Well, that’s a good place for it,” says Stone. “Probably a better place than some website with a pink logo.'”

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2 Responses to “Twitter Founder: “We didn’t like podcasting””

  1. Todd Vin says:

    First: I really like Biz Stone. He was awesome on Fresh Air. Second, the guy has guts. He didn’t hang on to an idea just because he wanted to make money. Kudos for someone who understands his destiny as well as Biz Stone.

  2. Not a fan of this smug, bloated venture capital stuffed guy declaring podcasting dead. I’m not saying Twitter is dead, but look at the numbers. 75% of all tweets are ignored.

    Most twitter account users never log in more than once.

    Is Twitter yet making a profit? Nope. Does Biz read other people’s tweets? Nope. Why trash your old business just because you’re feeling insecure about your current project? What a loser!

    Podcasting is alive and well, and I could see a successful site developing where advertising or paid podcast subscriptions could be made. Maybe Soundcloud will go in this direction.

    There are ways to make money at podcasting, and our audience is alive and well and strong after 6 years. We just managed to raise $3,500 in 5 days in our latest fund drive.

    Biz Stone is simply wrong about this, why is he crapping on his old project?

    Odeo failed because it was Odeo-us to use, hard to find quality shows and tricky to subscribe to audio content. The site was ugly to look at, and failed more than even Twitter with all their resources fails today.

    Early on in 2005, we pushed for Apple to have iTunes support podcasting subscriptions because it was vital for our audiences to be able to sync their favorite shows with their iPods. 80% of our audience comes from iTunes, and yet no advertiser truly markets on the billions of downloads that happen every single day. Apple is sitting on a pile of money and for some reason won’t stick it’s iAd system into podcasts, the way Google has successfully done with YouTube ads.

    Also, take a look at Stitcher Radio iPhone/iPad app- that’s what Odeo could have been, but they didn’t have the wisdom or insight to make it go there.

    CONCLUSION– Twitter is a joke, don’t trash your old job just because your new job isn’t doing well. Apple needs to open up automated advertising to popular shows, like YouTube does with their videos.

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