SplashCast has added a new use for its mixed media player: podcast syndication. MyPodcastNetwork enables the SplashCast player to support video or audio enclosures in any RSS feed so that users can create their own embeddable podcast channel -- which could be a single show, or a play-list of their favorite podcasts. The idea, the company says, is to take podcast distribution beyond the central model embraced by services like iTunes. Think of it as the YouTube-ization of podcasting where content can be easily distributed anywhere on the web by producers and fans alike. In addition, SplashCast have created their own podcast directory to make it easier for users to find shows that they want to include in their channel.
The only downside of syndicating podcasts feeds in this way is that it will prove more difficult for content owners to track their subscriber numbers, which is essential to attracting advertisers (remember anybody can create a podcast channel that syndicates someone else's content). However, SplashCast says that they are committed to providing traffic stats - as they already do for other media publishers -- and are in the process of figuring out the best way to do this. One possible solution would be to have a mechanism where podcasters could 'claim' their content (perhaps by inserting a special code into the original RSS feed) so that they can access stats relating to every channel that includes their show.
Overall, MyPodcastNetwork should prove to be a useful tool for podcasters and listeners/viewers alike -- and is more proof of the trend towards the de-portalization of the web.
Related post: Interview: SplashCast’s Marshall Kirkpatrick