Pocket Casts makes source code open source to ‘go against Apple and Spotify’

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Pocket Casts makes the source code of its podcast app public. The company wants to offer the apps open source in the hope that podcasts and apps in general will become less dependent on third parties such as Spotify or Apple.

Pocket Casts for Android

Pocket Casts parent company Automattic has the code of both the iOS app as the android app posted on GitHub. The code is available under a Mozilla Public License 2.0, which means that the app may also be modified and distributed commercially. The makers write in an accompanying blog post hope that other developers themselves will get to work and actively modify the code.

Automattic, also the company behind WordPress, acquired Pocket Casts last year. The company switched to a freemium revenue model in 2019 instead of a one-time purchase price.

Making the code of the apps public goes against a trend in the podcast world where certain parties offer exclusive content in their apps. Although the source code and the app itself are separate from the content and podcasts, Automattic does specifically mention the ecosystems of Apple and Spotify. In recent years they have invested a lot in exclusive shows such as that of Joe Rogan. “We believe that podcasting cannot and should not be controlled by Apple and Spotify, and that a diverse ecosystem of third-party applications should be available instead.”