Buried near the end of an article about Barnes & Noble’s new ereader, Nook, I found this tidbit:
“the device supports a user’s pictures and MP3s (it includes a speaker and headphone jack…”
The Nook also supports RSS subscriptions, but only those approved by B&N and in an ebook format called ePub. Further, if you want these RSS subscriptions, you have to pay a subscription fee.
If the ePub requirement is for technical reasons, then the Nook is no good for podcasts; but if it’s just that it didn’t occur to B&N to combine the ability to listen to MP3s with RSS subscriptions (podcasts, duh!), then in the future the Nook could become another outlet for podcasts and a way to charge for premium podcast content–something podcast producers have been wanting for years.
Podcast producers have recently gained the ability to sell bonus content through iPhone apps, but it’s a less-than-ideal system because apps are expensive to create and the audience is limited to people with iPhones. We’d have the same audience limitations with the Nook, but it could be a step in the right direction and simpler if delivery is based on RSS subscription.
[After writing this, but before posting, I realized I’m a bit behind the times because the Kindle also supports MP3s and paid RSS subscriptions; but I haven’t seen a discussion in the podcasting world about combining those features to allow people to subscribe to podcasts through the Kindle either, so I believe my post is still useful.]