We’ve been eager to take this step since we joined Automattic last year...
Wow. Yet another company I didn't know was owned by Automaticc (parent company of WordPress). So not only do they have a stake in regular blogs and websites, but they also are in the microblogging space with Tumblr. With Pocket Casts they're now into podcasts too. Good for them.
We believe that podcasting can not and should not be controlled by Apple and Spotify, and instead support a diverse ecosystem of third-party clients.
I couldn't agree more. Though to be fair to Apple, in all the years since podcasts have been a thing, despite them being one of the main indices, they didn't make any overt attempts to lock down the ecosystem. It's not until companies like Amazon and Spotify tried to make certain content platform exclusives that the ecosystem has started to feel more closed.