The Podcast Industry's Long Time Disdain For Spotify's Anchor.fm
Ever since I began podcasting, I've heard from either podcaster or representatives of paid podcast hosting platforms always dogging Anchor with things like Anchor owns your content, anything free comes with a price, and so on and so forth.
Headlines on platforms like Pod News read "Anchor podcast is a 'shameless rip-off'". Why can't it be just a podcast. Do podcasts that are "rip offs" on platforms like Blubrry and Libsyn mentioned as such being a rip off on that platform? In sessions at Podcast Movement 2021 in Nashville Rob Walsh VP of Podcaster relations at Libsyn himself had several digs about Anchor when he spoke, like Anchor is the graveyard of podcasts. Most podcast don't make it out of single digits when it comes to pod fade regardless of the platform that you host on. He had an overall condescending tone to elude that if you host on Anchor you're not a serious podcaster. Which in my opinion isn't professional and is biased based on him representing a direct paid competitor of Anchor. Especially when the room was filled with may new podcasters and those looking to start podcasting.
So why do people and organizations seem to put down Anchor at every chance that they get? One reason is money. Paid podcast hosts have potential revenue taken away when a new podcaster elects to host on Anchor or any other free podcast hosting platform.
Another major concern or talking point in the podcast space has been that Anchor owns your content and has a repressive user agreement. Anchor DOES NOT own your content you can leave at any time just simply create a 301 redirect to your new host and they do not retain ownership of anything.
Anchor Owns Your Feed
Another concern people bring up is Anchor owns your feed. You can have Anchor distribute your podcast on your behalf. But be aware for platforms like Apple Podcasts they'll submit your podcast under their group account. Which is where the argument comes in that Anchor owns your feed. The best way to do it, is handle your own initial set up and submissions. Or if you can't to begin with, go back and claim your podcast or take ownership of it on all relevant podcast platforms.
Anchor Podcast Editing Tools
Many people also bring up the editing tools on Anchor are somewhat cumbersome in terms of recording directly on and editing on Anchor itself. Ideally, I recommend recording and editing externally and then uploading with any podcast host that you're using.
Anchor Podcast Analytics
Analytics are also a concern. Yes the analytics are very basic and majority of platform specific data is from the Spotify for Podcasters dashboard. So yes, paid podcast hosts deliver a more robust podcast analytics stack, but for what your getting for free it's not bad. Spotify does have the capabilities to improve them.
Anchor Being Owned By Spotify
While I see Anchor being on Spotify a great reason to be on Anchor, others see it being an issue.
The acquisition a few years ago brings the backing and might behind Spotify for anything potentially exclusive to Anchor.
On draw that brought Joe Rogan to Spotify was their on Spotify video feature where you could listen or watch a podcast. That was initially exclusive to about 20 podcasts on Spotify.
Now Spotify has rolled out video podcasts for all Anchor shows where you simply upload a video file and your show populates as video on Spotify.
I believe features like this and others will keep expanding value to Anchor hosted podcasts. I believe if Spotify has or acquires more podcast analytics platforms it can provide more in depth analytics for Anchor. Two of which Spotify has already acquired are Podsights and Chartable that can be added and add value right away in terms of capabilities.
If you like Anchor stay on Anchor. If you like Libsyn stay on Libsyn. But don't be forced to choose based on industry vendettas and bad experiences. Make the choice for yourself.