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Ace of Apps: Adam Carolla’s App, and the Future of Podcasting

The most popular podcast on the Internet has found a new home.

The most popular podcast on the Internet has found a new home. Adam Carolla, whose podcast made the Guiness Book of World Records this past May by passing Ricky Gervais’s show as the most downloaded podcast, has developed a new app for his show.

The Adam Carolla Show, which features Carolla’s comedic and often filthy rants along with a team of other contributors and notable guests, broadcasts new, 90 minute episodes each weekday. The show has always been available for download on iTunes for free, but with the robust new app that’s being released today, listeners are able to hear current and past episodes within the app, as well as experience new ways to interact with Carolla. The app automatically downloads new episodes, and shows exclusive video featuring Carolla and his guests.

Carolla has already mastered monetizing podcasts as a viable source of revenue. Carolla’s podcast functions much like his now-cancelled radio show, with commercials and “live reads,” in which Carolla, who rejected a lucrative contract offer to return to morning radio in order to stay on the podcast, reads ads for sponsors throughout the show. Podcasts don’t have censorship laws like terrestrial radio does, so Carolla is free to curse and talk about whatever topics he pleases. This app is the next step for him to completely own his product, and set an example for other comedians to do the same.

In only a few short years, podcasts have become a desirable place for celebrities to plug their products and show a different side of themselves to a captive audience. Comedians like Carolla, Marc Maron (WTF Podcast), Chris Hardwick (The Nerdist), Doug Benson (Doug Loves Movies), and others have launched podcasts, and they’ve lured high-profile guests to their shows like Conan O’Brien, Robin Williams, Alec Baldwin, Zach Galifianakis, Francis Ford Coppola, and Andy Samberg. The free form style (there’s no dictating how long each podcast is; it depends on each show), portable nature of the medium, and captive audience that made a conscious decision to download each episode and play it makes for compelling interviews that can’t be found in other places.

While podcasts have become a legitimate replacement for standard radio, nearly all podcast traffic has been directed through iTunes. With Carolla’s new app, he’ll be able to control how people download his podcast, making the app another potential place for revenue. The app itself could be a great place for additional sponsorship, which has allowed the podcast to thrive. If Carolla’s app catches on, podcasting will have broken even further away from any sort of broadcasting outlet. The radio stations that used to be the middle man between talk show hosts and listeners have been replaced by iTunes, a far more liberal go-between. Fittingly, when talking about the success of his podcast and the other shows on his ACE broadcasting network, Carolla has often said, “We’re driving a pirate ship here. We’re going into uncharted waters, and it’s up to you (the listeners) to help us get there.” As of today, the waters have never been murkier, but the ship has never been stronger. The comedy and radio worlds will be eagerly awaiting its docking to shore.

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