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malevolent design weblog

This blog is now defunct, but you can find more stuff over at my personal site

Cashing In On Karl

The world’s most popular Monkey-News-featuring podcast switching to paid-for episodes is a huge move for podcasting. If it succeeds, expect to see an unseemly gold rush, if it fails it’ll bolster the advertising-supported model most have opted for.

I reckon it’s perhaps too soon and too abrupt; if they continued with short free episodes and offered a much longer, feature-rich show for paid subscribers then it’d seem less cynical and greedy while keeping in touch with new and tight-fisted listeners. And I don’t think iTunes allows for subscription payments yet, so users will have to manually purchase each episode and not get any kind of automatic notification (or is that all in there now?).

Hopefully some figures’ll be release in a month or two so we can get a rough idea of what conversion rate a podcast can currently achieve in near-ideal circumstances (broad appeal, loyal fans, huge listener base, lots of press). How many subscribers do you think’ll cough up? 1%? 5%? 10%?


I think I'll be subscribing to the Gervais podcast, although I might change my mind because I don't like the Audible solution.

They're charging $6.95 for 4 episodes plus "maybe more". I personally would much rather pay per episode in iTunes' nice easy to use interface.

Another thing that's put me off is I tried to register for the free sample, half way through trying I was told I had to use the UK site because of different laws in my country. I couldn't find the podcast on the UK site and gave up.

— morcs, 21st Feb, 3:16pm

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