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Introducing The Podcast Standards Project

Press Release ·

Dedicated to Evangelizing and Evolving Open, Standards-Based Podcasting

The mission of The Podcast Standards Project (PSP) is to advocate for and help evolve open podcasting. This grassroots industry coalition is dedicated to creating standards and practices that improve the open podcasting ecosystem for both listeners and creators.

Why PSP is Needed

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In the beginning, podcasting was “open” by definition — any podcast could be enjoyed via any podcast app, just as any web browser can view any website. In the mid-2010s, podcasting broke through as a mainstream medium.

Big tech companies naturally stepped in to duplicate podcasting’s success with closed, proprietary platforms. They called shows distributed on their closed platforms “podcasts” to leverage podcasting’s popularity, but the cost was that the word “podcasting” lost its standards-based guarantee. These closed platforms remove choice — they lock audiences into one player, lock creators into a single vendor’s services, and take ownership of the relationship between creators and their audiences.

Evolving Open Podcasting

Open podcasting continues to be incredibly healthy. However, the standards that power open podcasting haven’t changed for decades, even as podcasting has become one of the world’s great mediums.

In its time as an essential supporter of open podcasting, Apple has created some thoughtful vendor-specific extensions to the RSS standard, helping pave the road for open podcasting’s success. We believe it’s time for the podcasting community to step up and commit to that road’s maintenance and future development.

The Podcast Standards Project’s First Standard

PSP’s first standard is PSP-1: Podcast RSS Specification. It defines standards-based feed elements for vendor-specific extensions that have proven useful, and codifies other conventions to remove ambiguities that app creators have wrestled with since the dawn of podcasting. These thoughtful, vendor-neutral extensions to the RSS feed format sets the stage for future PSP projects.

How to Help

This is a community project, and we’re calling on everyone in the ecosystem to help. Check out our proposals and join the PSP community to learn how you can help keep podcasting open and thriving.

About The Podcast Standards Project

The Podcast Standards Project (PSP) was established in 2023 to advocate for and help evolve open podcasting. This grassroots industry coalition is working to develop modern, open standards, unlock innovation, and improve podcasting for both listeners and creators.

This is a press release which we link to from Podnews, our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. This is reprinted verbatim; we may rewrite headlines and descriptions.

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