Was Robin Williams the first podcaster?


Was Robin Williams the first podcaster?

Some compelling evidence has been unearthed suggesting that yes, he may well have been.

Podnews editor James Cridland notes in this article that while the word ‘podcast’ emerged in 2004, it could be argued the American actor and comedian was podcasting well before the term was even invented.

Williams was an early investor in audiobook service Audible, and released a bi-weekly talk show from January 2000 which lasted several years.

Cridland’s article notes “Amazon made a strategic alliance with Audible in January 2000, and on May 31, 2000, was promoting the new Audible ‘Audio Downloads’ store.”

This included Williams’ show.

Not long after Williams’ death, Audible founder Don Katz said “Robin appeared on all of the morning talk shows for Audible in early 2000 – on Entertainment Tonight, on Letterman and many other shows too. He would hold up the original Audible MobilePlayer we invented and talk about the future.”

Cridland says “Like paid Apple Podcasts subscriptions, the show wasn’t delivered using an RSS feed. Like Audible exclusive podcasts today, it wasn’t available for free. But, the show sounds identical in form to a normal celebrity-meets-celebrity podcast today.”

“Was it a podcast? (And does it really matter if it was?)”

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