Jake Tapper of the ABC News Shuffle podcast has interviewed Apple CEO Steve Jobs about iTunes 4.9 and podcasting. You can download the podcast interview or read a transcript of the interview online.
When asked if podcasts will remain free, Jobs said: “Well, you know, podcasting has been free since the beginning. It’s been an emerging phenomenon that has been growing very rapidly. But we’re hoping to take it mainstream with the latest version of iTunes, which has everything you need to podcast built right in it. So podcasts, I think they’re gonna remain free. Although I do think we may start to see some advertising tagged onto them in the coming months.”
Jobs went on to discuss why podcasting is so convenient: “I think one of the most precious resources we all have these days is free time. And that’s one of the great things about an iPod is you can use it while you’re doing other stuff. So you can use it while you’re exercising. You can use it while you’re taking the subway to work, driving to work, et cetera.”
“What podcasting does is it lets me pick out those precise things I’m interested in,” Jobs said. “Whether it’s a podcast on new films that have just come out, on music, whatever. And it automatically—every time there’s a new episode of that particular show, it automatically puts it on iTunes and syncs it to my iPod. So without any work on my part whatsoever, when I’m driving to work tomorrow, the latest and greatest episodes of the podcasts that I’ve picked are right on my iPod, saving me a ton of time.”