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Podcasting Goes Pay-to-Play

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the get-fans-and-make-em-pay dept.

277

James Draven writes "For the last year, people have been wondering - how to make money off podcasts? Some have dabbled with advertising, some with user donations, but now the most popular podcast on iTunes is moving to a subscription model. Bit-Tech is reporting that the Ricky Gervais Show will cost $7 a month starting next week."

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277 comments

internet radio (2, Interesting)

diablo6683 (556085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764166)

form a union, group of like minded producers and charge 7 a month for way more than 1 product.

Well duh! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14764171)

Of course people who produce content want to be paid. Unlike people who code in their garage and think information wants to be free...

Forget DRM-infested iTunes, use Songbird (-1, Offtopic)

UseFree.org (950344) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764240)

There is no reason why anyone would buy DRM-infested music from iTunes isBogus [downhillbattle.org] when there is such a wide selection of DRM-Free music [usefree.org] by independent artists.

This is especially true with the release [slashdot.org] of Songbird [songbirdnest.com] , which not only has many more features than iTunes, but also downloads songs from a greater variety of sites. All DRM-free and legal!

Re:Forget DRM-infested iTunes, use Songbird (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764303)

Can you get The Ricky Gervais Show on Songbird?

Re:Forget DRM-infested iTunes, use Songbird (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14764345)

Music? I thought the subject was podcasts.

Re:Forget DRM-infested iTunes, use Songbird (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14764350)

Another post which illustrates the desperate need for a "Dumbass" mod selection.

Re:Forget DRM-infested iTunes, use Songbird (-1, Troll)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764406)

Yes, Songbird at version ZERO POINT one (0.1) is going to wipe iTunes off the map.

Re:Well duh! (2, Informative)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764258)

I've been listening to the Ricky Gervais podcast since the first episode, and it is damn funny. (Monkey News kinda lost something after about the 4th week, but the damn diary more than makes up for it.)

This is one podcast I would be interested in paying for. I usually laugh out loud like an idiot during the whole show. These guys are pros, and it shows.

Sadly, the only other podcasts I have found that I like are Major Nelson and Distorted View.

I *might* pay for Major Nelson, just because I am an Xbox geek. But I can't see myself paying for Distorted View, even if I do like it.

Sorry Distorted View guy, it is funny stuff, but I just can't imagine spending money on it.

Re:Well duh! (1, Informative)

sprouty76 (523155) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764391)

The Ricky Gervais podcast is the only podcast I've unsubscribed to after one episode. But then I never thought The Office was too funny either.

On the other hand, I would pay to listen to Distorted View [distortedview.com] or Nobody Likes Onions [nobodylikesonions.com] . Give them a go, you might just like them.

Re:Well duh! (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764442)

Umm, yeah, I mentioned Distorted View. I do like it. But it is hard to keep up with a 5x a week podcast. I like the once a week thing.

I'll take a listen to Nobody Likes Onions.

The Ricky Gervais show might not be for everyone- but the thing I like about it is the character development. Mostly Karl's character, which is basically what the entire show is about.

Distorted View is funny, I once listened to 20 episodes in a row while waiting for jury duty...

You lost me from hello... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14764394)

"I've been listening to the Ricky Gervais podcast since the first episode, and it is damn funny. "

I see you're using a new definition of the word "funny".

Re:Well duh! (3, Insightful)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764289)

I produce content on my blog and don't expect to be paid. It would be nice, but it ain't going to happen. I would assert that 99% of podcasts are just some jackass going on about how awesome Ruby on Rails is and complaining about how much money he isn't making with AdSense.

This isn't even news, really (5, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764365)

The submission says, "For the last year, people have been wondering - how to make money off podcasts?" But Apple said when they first released podcasting support in iTunes that there would be support for podcasts you'd have to pay for. So really, nobody's been wondering this for the last year.

Re:This isn't even news, really (2, Funny)

MKalus (72765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764478)

I bet you didn't know Maynard James Keenan of Tool is against illegal music piracy


How does legal music piracy look like?

Great Idea!!! (3, Funny)

coolgeek (140561) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764172)

Remove shoe, shoot self in foot.

I think I saw that show! (0, Offtopic)

hunterkll (949515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764175)

Might have been half way down the list when I was looking for tech podcasts...

Seven dollars a month?! (5, Insightful)

HeavensBlade23 (946140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764176)

Good luck getting subscriptions at that rate. HBO is only like $25.

Re:Seven dollars a month?! (1)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764212)

That's what I thought as well. $84 a year...you could subscribe to several decent print journals for that.

Re:Seven dollars a month?! (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764516)

How many hours of audio books can you get for $84 though?

Prostitute Schedule for Feb. 20 at the MBOT in SF (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14764416)

Folks, check out the updated prostitute schedule [fuckedcompany.com] for February 20 at the Mitchell Brother's O'Farrell Theater (MBOT), located at 895 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco, California. The MBOT is the most convenient way for you to buy a blow job, a hand job, and full service (i.e. vaginal sexual intercourse).

I kid you not.

Please establish a hypertext link to this message. Spread the word!

Re:Seven dollars a month?! (3, Interesting)

Gerr (10139) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764526)

I listen to several different podcasts; if this pay-per-listen model becomes successful, it'll cost me more to listen to four shows then I'm paying for basic cable. Instead of paying for the show, I simply won't listen; or I'll wait for my friends to download them and ask if they wouldn't mind letting me listen while they listened (is that covered by the fair use model?).

Correction (4, Insightful)

Seanasy (21730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764177)

A podcast goes pay-to-play.

The title makes it sound like all of podcasting is suddenly going to a subscription model which is ridiculous hyperbole.

Re:Correction (4, Informative)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764349)

Not only that, but there are already numerous podcasts which charge money. For example, CarTalk is pay-to-listen if you want the podcast (the broadcast on radio is of course free), and Coast to Coast with ARt Bell is also for a fee, podcast-wise.

Re:Correction (1)

jsight (8987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764482)

Of course, you can always schedule streamripper to grab cartalk off of one of the _MANY_ NPR shoutcasts that are available. :)

Re:Correction (2, Funny)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764498)

Taco's Razor: Never ascribe to hyperbole what can be properly ascribed to sloppy prose.

Why this is stupid (3, Insightful)

Theatetus (521747) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764178)

This is stupid because nobody makes money for content directly off consumer in any broadcast medium. Why does the sudden addition of the Internet change this in people's minds? I pay $0 directly to the networks for their broadcast content. I pay $0 directly to the cable companies for their cable content (though the cable provider does filter some of my money back to the stations -- it's still not me paying the station; if it was, I could order just the channels I want). The only time a content provider gets money directly from me is Pay Per View, which seems limited to good boxing matches and pr0n.

The same idiocy of assuming the Net must play by different rules goes into advertising decisions too: execs get 0 click-through from TV ads, but they freak out when they don't get X% click through from Net ads that they are paying significantly less for. Consider yourself lucky for being able to shove your brand into my face for 15 seconds and then move on, dude.

Re:Why this is stupid (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14764246)

You live in a different world than I, where I pay directly for the BBC, and I'd pay directly for premier content from Sky.

It's capitalism. Deal with it.

Re:Why this is stupid (3, Insightful)

paulthomas (685756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764294)

It might be stupid for you, but that is exactly why it is great. BECAUSE you don't have to buy it.

People who do value it on the other hand, will buy it. I for example value WOXY.com, a radio-format webcaster of modern rock (and modern rock podcasts). When advertising $$s didn't come through for the new format, I was one of the first to join, because I value the service highly, and I was able to put my money where my mouth had always been.

Now I pay with a (truly minute compared to the value) amount of cash, instead of paying in terms of minutes of ads.

TANSTAAFL,
Paul

Re:Why this is stupid (2, Insightful)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764384)

This is stupid because nobody makes money for content directly off consumer in any broadcast medium.

Luckily this is podcasting, not broadcasting. You can control who gets your 'signal' in a podcast, for the most part. Also, check with DirecTV and find out how many people pay for content from them. They're broadcasting across the globe.

This is stupid because nobody makes money for content directly off consumer in any broadcast medium. Why does the sudden addition of the Internet change this in people's minds?

It's not the addition of the internet, it's the subtraction of advertising dollars. When the new format promotes very simple ad-skipping, you have to find another way to make money off it.

I pay $0 directly to the cable companies for their cable content (though the cable provider does filter some of my money back to the stations -- it's still not me paying the station; if it was, I could order just the channels I want).

I don't really understand your point here. HBO, for example, signs a contract with YourCableCompany dictating they will get, e.g. $2 per month per cable subscriber. As a customer, therefore, you are paying $2 a month to HBO for their content. If HBO raises their rates too high, your cable company raises your rates or drops them, in which case you decide whether or not to continue subscribing, and thus continue paying HBO.

The same idiocy of assuming the Net must play by different rules goes into advertising decisions too: execs get 0 click-through from TV ads, but they freak out when they don't get X% click through from Net ads that they are paying significantly less for.

If you think advertising firms have no way of gauging the impact of a TV advertisement, I would submit that you are ignorant about how they operate.

Re:Why this is stupid (1)

macaddict (91085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764393)

This is stupid because nobody makes money for content directly off consumer in any broadcast medium.

OK. So how can you then say this?

The only time a content provider gets money directly from me is Pay Per View, which seems limited to good boxing matches and pr0n.

Sounds like someone is "making money for content directly off the consumer" for that boxing and pr0n (and other sports and movies and concerts). Doesn't sound very "stupid" to me, from the provider's point of view.

And, you even have the option of not buying it if you don't like it.

Why this is good (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764401)

This is good because now the money will go to the people who make the contenet, instead of some middleman like advertisers. I'd rather pay a musician $4 for an album than pay $16 to a label. Or there is ad support, but under the old system, you have to watch a lot of ads to support content, because watching ads isn't very productive. Under the new direct system, the cost of programming will be much lower, if your time is worth anything.

I do think the market will drive the price lower than $7/mo though.

Howard Stern (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14764179)

$7!!

This guy must think he's some sort of Howard Stern.

my question... (1)

zxnos (813588) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764181)

is it commercial free?

i have never heard the free podcasts of their shows but if i had to sit through two seconds of commercials i wouldnt pay for it. actually why i dont subscribe the xm, there would be short adverts every now and again. content all the time for me if i have to pay.

Re:my question... (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764293)

In my experience podcasts are generally commercial free in the sense that I consider relevant. The World's Largest Dungeon from RPGMP3.com certainly JOKES about ads, but all they actually do give a "Thank You" shout-out to people who have donated money to their site since the last podcast, which I don't think any reasonable person can find offensive in the least. Generally that's the format I've seen in most of the podcasts I've found worth listening too.

Re:my question... (1)

a803redman (870583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764371)

so i'm guessin you don't have cable?

He was great in the Office (0)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764185)

I have not heard of him having a podcast before, but since he's a brilliant actor (you have to love how he does -everything- right in his character in 'The Office') and a very good stand-up comedy guy, I think it's only logical that he would be charging for Podcasts of himself.

Then again, since I don't know what the podcasts consist of: Isn't 7 bucks a month a bit high for 2 hours of combined entertainment? (and yes, I know that going to the cinema would be equivalent, ifnot higher than that ammount: But I can better qualify beforehand if a certain movie I am going to see in the cinema is worth that ammount of money in the first place)

Re:He was great in the Office (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764199)

You can find his current Podcast website here [guardian.co.uk] (sponsored by The Guardian) to find out what the show is consisting of.

Re:He was great in the Office (1)

_Swank (118097) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764245)

if you like ricky gervais in the slightest, you should find his podcast hilarious. in fact, it's one of 2 podcasts that actually come close to the podcast hype. i believe the rest all suck completely. but $7 bucks a months IS a bit high. at least for me, i'll skip the 30 minutes of continuous laughter i was enjoying. half that -- i'd consider it.

Re:He was great in the Office (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764300)

I am currently listening to Episode 9: And ten minutes in I can say that this random banter would -not- be worth my 7 bucks per month. It sounds more like the radio-babbles you hear DJ's do on the radio than actual funny pre-thought footage: A shame most of it isn't even funny...

Re:He was great in the Office (1)

sprouty76 (523155) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764427)

Actually, he's the exact opposite for me - I found it to be totally unfunny, and I unsubscribed pretty quickly. There are many, many funiers podcasts than this one out there.

Re:He was great in the Office (2, Informative)

sg3000 (87992) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764253)

> 7 bucks a month a bit high for 2 hours of combined entertainment?

Yes. It was vaguely funny, but really no funnier than listening to any other DJs frankly. It seemed too off-the-cuff for me to believe there was a lot of prep time to justify me paying for episodes.

The irony is I'm happily paying for episodes of The Office (US version, but Ricky Gervais is an executive producer there). At $2 an episode, it's a great deal. However, the show has replay value and nuance, where surprisingly, I catch other things when I re-watch an episode.

The podcast is another issue. At $7/month, there's just not enough content for me to want to pay for the show. If it were daily, then maybe -- basically, I pay $7/mo to listen to them every day. Then again, maybe it would get repetitive and boring if they had to do it every day. Ricky Gervais would be better off selling the BBC version of The Office through ITMS for U.S. viewers rather than chase down a paying podcast to pay the bills.

So, good luck Mr. Gervais. It was fun while it lasted.

Re:He was great in the Office (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14764296)

BBC Radio 2 is free and every bit as tedious as this. $7 (or £4) to listen to the irritating millionaire who was good in "the office" and shit in "extras"... I'll pass thank you.

Re:He was great in the Office (1)

thatkeith (916250) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764502)

"since he's a brilliant actor (you have to love how he does -everything- right in his character in 'The Office' "

To me, this does tend to indicate that perhaps he's not such a brilliant actor... not by the normal definitions of what makes a good (or brilliant) actor. Yes, he wrote a very funny sitcom and played a very, very funny character. But you're right: he *is* that character, whatever the hell he's doing. That's one giant leap beyond typecasting!

Ahh, perhaps I'm just still freaked out by recognising fundamental similarities between The Office and a company I once worked in. I never thought that a company weekend trip to Paris would include one of the directors standing on a restaurant table and mooning the other diners. Surely that was a bad dream...? Noo..... Hence why I sometimes couldn't sit through a full episode of The Office!

Doubt I'll pay to hear him in a podcast either.

pod casts (2, Interesting)

Jonny_Madness (794455) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764188)

I don't understand why people are so crazy over podcasts. We have had similar things for years now through things like realplayer. And from what I heard of them podcasts sound pretty bad- (but maybe I have havent heard enought) -- And YAYA I know its special cause its for the Ipod. But with that in mind it shows the stupidity of other companies for not jumping on the idea long ago cause the technology of it is not anything new.

Re:pod casts (4, Informative)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764398)

Yes, we've had similar things for years, but the difference now is that they aren't tied to some obnoxious proprietary player, like Realplayer. Podcasts leverage an open standard, RSS, to communicate the release of episodic material generally in a format everyone can play, MP3. You can access podcasts purely with firefox. That's the advantage. And it's not "for the ipod" The idea is that podcasts can function as a portable replacement for Talk Radio. The "Pod" in podcast comes from the fact that the iPod is far and away the most popular portable mp3 player. (You can argue whether that status is deserved or not, but it is true) The ipod name gets attached to vaguely related phenomena in the same way it is common to speak of "xeroxing" regardless of whether the device one uses is manufactured by xerox, or canon, or lexmark, etc.

The real advantage of Podcasts is that they can be accessed by anyone with a computer that has an RSS reader, and can be played back by any device that plays MP3. That's just about as darn near universal as I can imagine. And that IS a worthwhile contribution.

That it also lowers the barrier to entry of distribution is also valuable because podcasters HAVE to compete on quality, whether you are a megacorp with a $10Million dollar studio, or an amateur with just a mic and a dream, or anywhere in between, You compete based on quality of content.

Even better is that in terms of audio quality, studio equipment has become so inexpensive that with an investment of just one or two thousand dollars, it's possible to have quality indistinguishable from a huge studio to the average listener. It really is a means for democratization of the media.

true that (1)

doorbender (146144) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764507)

but I seem to remember a bunch of podcasts I thought I was interested in that were in the protected format != mp3 and therefore not being a pod-person was unable to listen.

Re:pod casts (0, Troll)

doorbender (146144) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764489)

dumb it down and give it a catchy name and all the tech illiterate will be logging onto DARPA in a few years thanks to Al Gore.

using Roger Wilco, Rainbow Six (and other game) players had realtime voice communications in 1999 over dialup. now any T,D and H can buy a videogame system with that capability built in.

People that took the time to learn what ftp and hotmetal was have been sharing images over the net for years. you remember when you could tell if a page was designed on a Mac or a PC by the absence or presence of an l. Now digital cameras can take pictures and the imgs can be uploaded without the picture taker even knowing what a jpg, or what a resolution is.

Techies have been sharing homemade audio files for years, but it took linking an incredibly convenient mainstream mythologised overpriced audio player to bring it to the illiterates attention.

Interesting (true) Gervais Story... (0, Offtopic)

heauxmeaux (869966) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764191)


I'm Chillin'

Onski ... Chris Rock
B Fats ... Chris Farley




[The "I'm Chillin'" clubhouse. Two hot dancing ladies in Afros, shades, and red, white and blue outfits shake their groove things as music plays and the "I'm Chillin'" logo appears.]

Don Pardo V/O: Live, from the Marcy Projects, it's "I'm Chillin'!"

Singers V/O: Hip-hop hooray! Ho! Hey! Ho! Hey! Ho!
Hey! Ho! Hey! Hey!

[B Fats dances into the room and pauses with one arm raised to herald the arrival of his smaller, thinner colleague, Onski. The two sit down on the club sofa -- but not until Onski has pulled a gun from his pants and dropped it by the door. The dancing ladies exit as the two guys, wearing shades, denim outfits and colorful headgear, address the camera.]

Onksi: Yo, yo, yo -- what's up! Welcome to "I'm Chillin'!" I'm your host Onski, to the highest degree, to the T.O.P. Yo! It's all about ME! And sittin' by my side is my main man, the dapper rapper, the toe-tapper, the Frank Zappa, the girl in his lap-a, the wine from the Napa, and I know a brother like you shops at the Gap-a! It's B Fats! Yo, B! Yo, B! Tell 'em how you feel!

B Fats: Yo, I'm drivin' my car, makin' lots o' dough/Knockin' suckers out like Riddick Bowe!

Onksi: Yo, yo, yo! I hear that! I hear that! Now before I start the sh-iz-ow - before I start the sh-iz-ow - I want to say, "What's up?!" to a new sponsor. That's right! That's right! I want to say, "What's up?!" to Bitch Come Running cologne! [holds up a bottle of the product] That's right! You know, I put a little d-iz-ab behind my iz-ears and the next thing you kn-iz-ow, I'm in the middle of a house sandwich! Yo, B! Yo, B! Yo, B! I heard you like Marky Mark!

B Fats: Naw, man, I don't like Marky Mark.

Onksi: Yo, man, yo, yo, yo! Check this out! I heard you got "Good Vibrations" on CD!

B Fats: No, man! Marky Mark ain't nothin' but Vanilla Ice in his drawers.

Onksi: Yo, yo, yo -- you got that right, yo man. That kid, Marky Mark couldn't rap a gift, man! Yo, Bizee! Yo, Bizee! It's about that time!

B Fats: Time to bust a rhyme?

Onksi: Naw, Bizee.

B Fats: Time for Gertrude Stein?
[Onski gives B Fats a look. They stare at each other. B Fats just shrugs.]

Onksi: Naw, Bizee! It's time for the Mother Joke of the Day! [makes a gesture cueing a rap beat that plays under the following:] Yo! Today's Mother Joke comes to us from Pam Brown -- Br- iz-own -- of the Horzy Pr-iz-ojects, Apartment Twelve J-iz-ay, you know the one where they found that body at. And it goes a little sumpin' like this: "Your mother's butt is so wide that when she backs up, it beeps!" Yo, Don Pardo, tell her what she wins!

Don Pardo V/O: [dissolve to a photo of a woman wearing hair extensions] You win... hair extensions! Over a year's supply or three miles' worth, whichever comes first.

Onksi: [dissolve back to Onksi and B Fats] Yo, tell her what else she wins!

Don Pardo V/O: [dissolve to a photo of a stand-up comic at the Def Comedy Jam microphone - his face is blanked out with an arrow labeled "YOU!" pointing to it] You get to perform on the Def Comedy Jam! Impress your relatives! Make fun of that white guy in the audience! [rap beat out]

Onksi: [dissolve back to Onksi and B Fats] Yo, yo, yo! Well, right now we gonna watch a world-premiere video from my man, Ice-T called "Fireman Killer" -- right? [Onski's pager, attached to his headgear, starts beeping] Ah, man! Yo, yo, yo, yo! I guess we gotta do that next w-iz-eek. You know what I'm sayin'? 'Cause right n-iz-ow, I gotta go pick up my baby's mother from her GED class. You know what I'm sayin'? She's studyin' to be a doctor! But 'member what I always say.

B Fats: Always wipe!

Onksi: And stay off the p-iz-ipe. And if someone gets in your face, tell 'em "I'm Chillin'!"

[Music and dancing ladies in. Onski exits, apparently forgetting to retrieve his gun, and everybody else dances as the "I'm Chillin'" logo kicks in and we f-iz-ade out.]

Subscription? (2, Insightful)

jomas1 (696853) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764192)

I'm suprised they are going with a subscription based model. $7 for 4 episodes and I'll get billed monthly? While I'd consider a subscription for something like the Daily Show aren't podcasts more like songs i.e. something people are willing to spend 99 cents to purchase at will?

Re:Subscription? (2, Insightful)

sg3000 (87992) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764305)

> While I'd consider a subscription for something like the Daily Show

Agreed. I'd be willing to pay a reasonable subscription for the Daily Show and the Colbert Réport. Unlike regular TV shows, they don't have as much replay value (A year from now, how many people will say, "Ooh! Let me re-watch that send up he did of Cheney shooting a 78 year old man in the face!"), but it would be nice to be able to catch episodes instead of staying up late. I can see paying $7/mo for a monthly subscription (20 episodes) for that.

Or they can do on-demand episodes, but I think it may be harder to get enough purchasers of each show to make it worth doing more than a "greatest hits" thing (like what SNL does). But the market is there. Consider how many Daily Show sequences end up on Crooks and Liars [crooksandliars.com] or Video Dog [salon.com] each week.

Re:Subscription? (2, Insightful)

Phroggy (441) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764344)

I'm suprised they are going with a subscription based model. $7 for 4 episodes and I'll get billed monthly? While I'd consider a subscription for something like the Daily Show aren't podcasts more like songs i.e. something people are willing to spend 99 cents to purchase at will?

No, the entire point of podcasts is that they're subscription-based. You subscribe to a feed (whether free or not), and new content is downloaded automatically as it becomes available, for listening/watching at your leisure. If I wanted to download a single episode, I wouldn't need a podcast for that.

I highly recommend The Onion Radio News podcast, it's under a minute long and updated daily. Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie has a weekly video podcast which is pretty damn funny too.

Really stupid idea (3, Interesting)

aychamo (932587) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764193)

This seems like a really bad idea.. I've never heard a single podcast that I would pay for, even a few dollars a month.

Re:Really stupid idea (1)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764239)

This seems like a really bad idea.. I've never heard a single podcast that I would pay for, even a few dollars a month.

Well, if the business model works, maybe there will be more podcasts. Anything that reduces commercial noise is fine with me.

Re:Really stupid idea (1)

jdunlevy (187745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764423)

In its "free" Guardian Unlimited form, at least the recent Ricky Gervais Show podcasts have included an ad for whatever UK TV network (Channel 4?) it is that shows My Name is Earl. I wonder if they tried finding more sponsors and failed. (In which case, see also, from just over a week ago: "Internet Radio Failing to Find Support?" [slashdot.org] on woxy.com [woxy.com] going to a paid-subscription model for "premium" streams...)

7/month (3, Informative)

sirnuke (866453) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764194)

No podcast is worth $7/month (at least the ones I've heard). That's more than what I used to spend on dial up Internet access.

Streaming goes pay-to-play (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14764202)

"Years ago, people had been wondering - how to make money off streaming? Some had dabbled with advertising, some with user donations, but then some random stream on the internet moved to a subscription model."

Just because it's on an iPod, doesn't make it new or innovative.

And shove your fancy revisionist naming up your arses, you yuppie bastards. "podcasting"... Please.

Ok (0, Flamebait)

cubicledrone (681598) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764203)

Cue 500 comments griping about how people who invest massive effort and talent always ask to be paid for some reason.

In other news, Corn Flakes are now $5 a box.

Re:Ok (1)

Ranger (1783) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764273)

In other news, Corn Flakes are now $5 a box.

Dude, that sucks! No more corn flakes for me. I'll miss' em. When did they start charging movie show snack prices for cold breakfast cereal?

Re:Ok (2, Interesting)

Danga (307709) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764466)

Cue 500 comments griping about how people who invest massive effort and talent always ask to be paid for some reason.

I believe they should be paid, but the amount they want for this particular show seems extremely high. $7 dollars for 2 hours of a show that for the most part will be listened to once and then never touched again. Woo wee sign me up for that. I would pay say 15-25 cents per hour but no way would I pay $3.50 per hour. They deserve to get paid for their efforts, but we also deserve to pay a fair price for the content we get in return.

How? (2, Interesting)

mccalli (323026) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764204)

Leaving aside the debate over why for a moment - I'm interested in how. You see, I'd like to create a protected podcast which just my family and relatives could listen to, but I saw nothing in the protocol to allow me to require a password, nor anyway in iTunes to specify security information for a podcast.

So how is this done?

Cheers,
Ian

Re:How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14764315)

um... you put it on your own server, and tell your friends and family where to get it? Why would Apple want to host your personal, password-protected (and therefore needing to be security monitored to some extent) and obviously not-of-interest-to-a-wide lot of people material?

Re:How? (1)

mccalli (323026) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764322)

um... you put it on your own server, and tell your friends and family where to get it? Why would Apple want to host your personal, password-protected (and therefore needing to be security monitored to some extent) and obviously not-of-interest-to-a-wide lot of people material?

That's your classic security-through-obscurity stuff. I already host things on my own server, but I want to ensure that this only gets distributed to particular people.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14764374)

Ever heard of putting a password on the server...?

Re:How? (1)

MKalus (72765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764465)

Then I suggest you go and stand in their living room and read your podcast to them, because as soon as they have the file they can do with it as they please.

Re:How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14764343)

You can pass a username/password in the url to your podcast but it will need to be served up by something that expects this information so that the request can be authenticated. More information can be found here [silverorange.com] .

Re:How? (4, Interesting)

machiabelly (791923) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764474)

I was very surprised to find out, but iTunes actually lets you access a podcast protected through the regular HTTP basic or digest authentication.

When you subscribe to such a feed iTunes will ask you for a username and a password.

Try subscribing to this feed in iTunes, for example: private feed [potionfactory.com]

So if your server lets you setup your own HTTP protection through .htaccess or what not, you can password protect your podcast. If you combine this with SSL, you have a pretty solid protection mechanism, but for just family stuff I would think that the digest authentication is good enough. Just don't use basic authentication because that will send the password over in cleartext.

More on this topic in my blog [potionfactory.com]

(Disclaimer, I write podcasting software for the mac os x)

Re:How? (1)

mccalli (323026) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764497)

Thanks. A good answer, plus you seem to be one of the few replies that's grasped the point...

Cheers,
Ian

NPR on Audible (4, Informative)

tfinniga (555989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764220)

You've been able to subscribe to NPR podcasts on Audible for quite a while - before the term podcast was widespread anyway. Recently, a few good ones like "Wait wait, don't tell me" have become free via sponsors, while others like "This American Life" [thislife.org] are still only available for download for a fee (streaming is free).

Re:NPR on Audible (1)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764279)

and more importantly, you can download "Off the Hook" for free as an mp3 and listen to it on your ipod.

Re:NPR on Audible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14764316)

You've been able to subscribe to NPR podcasts on Audible for quite a while

And they've been pulled off of Audible's site for a while too. I believe NPR hosts them directly now.

More Expensive Than T.V. (4, Insightful)

jonathanbearak (451601) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764222)

I'm very curious to see how it pans out. It would certainly see a lot of analyst attention, the first paid-for iTunes-only subscription.*

Yet this, $7, is almost 4 times the cost of a television show. I could buy two hours of Galactica (or something more popular. ... Desperate Housewives, for the mainstream audience) for $3.98. Or I could pay double for the same amount of plain audio.

They need to offer a lot more for this to be successful.

99 cents a show is simple enough. That, I'd try out.

This is an unproven medium. A good entry point is required. Individual tracks sold like songs would work well. What they're trying to do will put many people off. Then again, maybe enough people really really like Ricky Gervais. But probably not.

* (iTunes + audible, whatever -- everyone will focus on the Apple end of things; they're more newsworthy, whether or not you agree with it.)

Re:More Expensive Than T.V. (1)

Queer Boy (451309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764366)

I agree that $7 for audio content is pretty high when you compare it to $8 for a month's worth of a television show (we're not talking content comparison, we're talking platform comparison). i dunno why they don't just try $.99 a show. I don't like subscription models AT ALL. What if one month all the shows suck? Can I get a refund?

Re:More Expensive Than T.V. (2, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764383)

Yet this, $7, is almost 4 times the cost of a television show. I could buy two hours of Galactica (or something more popular. ... Desperate Housewives, for the mainstream audience) for $3.98. Or I could pay double for the same amount of plain audio.
In England, audio comedies regularly outsell all but the biggest music hits. It's a cultural thing. Check this Guardian article. [guardian.co.uk] It talks about a British company that gave free iPods + comedy audiobooks to all its employees.

However, in other news: The Ricky Gervais Show is no longer the most popular podcast on iTunes

Re:More Expensive Than T.V. (2, Interesting)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764408)

Yet this, $7, is almost 4 times the cost of a television show.

$7 == one month of gervais podcast == 4 shows. That's $1.75 per half-hour show. That is in-line with what apple is charging for TV shows.

But, but, but this is audio only. Whatever the market will bear...

Recalls discussion of online radio (3, Informative)

paulthomas (685756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764227)

This recalls the discussion we had a while back about online radio. WOXY.com [woxy.com] (The Future of Rock and Roll) is also going pay to play.

All of the podcasts of live acts playing in their lounge and also the podcasts of the unsigned band show will be available for download for subscribers, much like the example this article provides.

It looks like the reality has finally hit that nothing is free. At least though, WOXY.com is a good deal. You get the podcasts, and real DJs streaming quality music live over broadband quality streams.

I personally wish everyone the best in their efforts to make entertainment sustainable, independent, and listener supported, both with regard to the new effort via iTunes, and independent groups like WOXY.com who have seen the future of quality entertainment.

Best,
Paul Henrich

It is commercial from day one (4, Insightful)

serginho (909707) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764228)

I don't think will mean much for 99,9% of podcasters out there, since these guys mentioned in the article were already famous when they started their show and, on top of that, had the benefit of being promoted by a newspaper such as The Guardian. For most podcasters, I still think that donations are the way to go. There's one problem, though. Once you subscribe to a podcast, you rarely return to the site, so I would guess "impulse" donations are harder to come by. Maybe iTunes (or other aggregators) should include a donate option. I know, it will probably never happen, or they'd get a cut, but this seems to be a fair way of compensate podcasters without creating paid subscriptions.

Expensive (2, Informative)

Salo2112 (628590) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764249)

Rush Limbaugh charges like 5$ a month for his podcasts, and Al Franken's and Ed Schultz's are free. This guy is way over-priced. It's not that a subscription model can't work, but you can't charge way more than the market will bear.

Re:Expensive (1)

macsox (236590) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764464)

This is spoken by someone who has clearly not HTFP (heard the f*cking podcast). Ricky, Steve Merchant and the absolutely sublime Karl Pilkington [wikipedia.org] are worth the money, I'm convinced. I'd pay $2 a week just for Monkey News and Karl's diary.

Check the link above for a small taste of Karl's life, or you can still get the first 12 episodes for free at rickygervais.com [rickygervais.com] .

Karl Dilkington (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764252)

I have to say that I find the adventures of Karl Dilkington to be pretty humorous, but there's no way I'll ever pay 7 bucks a month to listen to Ricky and Stephen make fun of him...

Re:Karl Dilkington (1)

_Swank (118097) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764308)

pilkington

Re:Karl Dilkington (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764320)

I guess you didn't listen to last week's episode...

Um, no... (5, Informative)

jwachter (319790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764267)

Did either the submitter or the editor bother to read TFA?

The only "news" here is that a single, previously free podcast is now going to sell itself on Audible.com and remove itself from the iTunes Music Store. There is no new functionality being added to iTunes (such as a way for individual podcsters to sell their own content).

Nothing to see here. Please move along.

Jonathan

Yeah....right (1)

nighty5 (615965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764276)

$7 for 4 x 30 min shows?

I don't know how good this show is, but by god it would have to top some heavy hitters.

$7 for 2 hours of what seems to be average comedy skits - I think someone needs to ease off the drugs a little.

Re:Yeah....right (1)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764380)

"$7 for 2 hours of what seems to be average comedy skits - I think someone needs to ease off the drugs a little"

or do more so that your sense of time gets messed up and the material becomes funnier.

I Suppose.... (1, Flamebait)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764278)

Bit-Tech is reporting that the Ricky Gervais Show will cost $7 a month starting next week."

I suppose I just won't listen to the show then. Not that I've ever heard of it before anyway. Needless to say though, if Mr Gervais thinks he's going to get all his listeners to pony up $7 a month, I think he's going to have to come up witha much, much better act.

Throwaway stuff (3, Insightful)

jack79 (792876) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764281)

I like the Ricky Gervais podcast a lot - but I'd class it more as throwaway entertainment. Unlike his TV shows I can't imagine ever wanting to listen to one of his podcasts multiple times. Right now I download, listen, delete. If I was paying for the show - even the small amount suggested - then I'd want something more substantial. And to be honest there is plenty of free content out there to keep me going.

Second point is that this is a small subscription - but for a half hour show. If all the shows I listened to also decided to charge a small amount then this would very quickly turn into a lot of money. Maybe it would make more sense to charge for a pick and mix channel of shows?

Gervais Inc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14764297)

I enjoyed the first 3, haven't listened to the rest yet, But Can't see wanting to pay £1+ a time for thirty minutes of rambling.
Also its actually priced less (at current rate) for Americans than for Brits, only available via american outlets, which tells me the commercial broadcasts will be going for the US market, and will probably be skewed towards it. (Commercial imperatives, market forces & all that bollocks) in the same way as a lot of the BBC stuff has been in recent years (Better funded, slicker, blander)
There's plenty of good free contant around. I would be surpised if it gets 10% of the previous audience

Go for it iTunes (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764338)

I can get every podcast I download off of iTunes by another means already. I use iTunes because it is easier. I certainly don't need it. I can have the iTunes client find the podcasts I download manually and add them to my library.

Now, if they start getting exclusive content, or worse making content I can get free elsewhere only available through them I will just move on. Podcasts are successful because they are free expression. iTunes gains more by providing them for free than by attempting to charge. Hell most of the time I get a song off of iTunes is because I was there updating my podcasts! Well if they want me to pay for podcasts I will not be visiting them for those podcasts and at the same time not buying new songs or videos (both music/tv) as often as I was before.

It was inevitiable in one way or another, there was too much opportunity to make money off of them somehow.

$7 for FOUR THIRTY MINUTE shows???? (1)

Danga (307709) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764413)

Okay, before I actually RTFA I thought this show might be every day of the week and would be at least two hours per episode considering most morning shows I like would be at least that long with all of the commercials cut out. Even if it was about 40 hours per month I don't think I would pay $7/month for something I would for the most part listen to once and never listen to again. But $7 for 2 hours of content? Give me a break, that is approaching the price of say a porn which at least I could get some fun out of and would watch more than once. Are there really people who would pay that much for 2 hours of throwaway content?

If it is going to cost that much I will just go back to turning on the radio. Oh yeah and doing it that way is free. I would be willing to pay for shows I really like but they will have to lower the price to something like 15-25 cents per hour before I would even consider it.

Pay for a podcast? (1)

grappler (14976) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764421)

I have downloaded so much podcast content (nearly 12 days worth of audio) that it will take me a while just to sift through it and get caught up. Anything that cuts this task down, such as a show going off the air, starting to suck, or starting to charge for their content, just makes this task ahead of me easier :-)

not new.. (1)

circusboy (580130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764431)

the al franken show went subscription-only a month or so ago...

Who the fuck is Ricky Gervais? (1, Troll)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764445)

Sounds like LiL Jimmys younger brother with super aids

OK TERRIFIC!

Fuck! (1)

Milton Waddams (739213) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764462)

The Ricky Gervais podcast is the only one I listen to! Like blogs, the vast majority of podcasts are complete cack. The Ricky Gervais one though is brilliant! That's pissed me right off :(

It's only 12 bucks for Howard Stern a month (1)

Billistic (722359) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764470)

and he has the sybian.

This is not the first[1] (1)

Mille Mots (865955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764472)

[1] At least not the first one that I became aware of.

Back when I first got my iPod (September/October 2005), the first pay-for-play podcast I found was for The Phil Hendrie Show [philhendrieshow.com] . I was hoping to find free (as in beer) versions of his shows just to have something to laugh at while in the car (the local AM stations no longer carry him, but some of his 'episodes' are riotously funny). You have to be one of his 'Back Stage Pass' members (I'm not), but you get access to the podcasts. I first stumbled on that back in October or November and thought, 'Damn, that sucks, but man, I don't blame him.'

--
Sig monde

People are mormons. (1)

shaze (665876) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764509)

Oh man people are greedy and stupid, where did they get the idea that this would work? People barely pay for crap as it stands, much less some moron who doesn't know enough about the web to use a real webcasting tool. I will enjoy laughing my ass off as sponsorships die and people lose interest.

too much, mate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14764483)

$2/month, yes. $4, maybe.

$7? Piss off.

That's too bad (1)

Deanasc (201050) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764491)

I've been listening to Gervais. I can see how they'd be willing to experiment with turning his show into a pay show. I mean if I'm listening to him he must have thousands of listeners. I'm not saying I'm so tapped into what's hip as I'm saying his show was worth listening to. But not for seven bucks.

They're not the first (1)

ringmaster_j (760218) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764493)

2 weeks ago, I downloaded my Al Franken show podcast, only to find a message before it saying "In one week, podcasts will only be available to Air America Premium members, please subscribe to continue." It cost me a heafty 60+ dollars, for 1 episode a day, 5 days a week. I understand the logic in Air America's decision, though; if they allow everyone to get commercial-free episodes off the internet, only 1 hour after they air, they'll lose a huge source of income. This compensates them for the cost of hosting 10 3+ hour episodes for every day of the week, the bandwidth for all the downloads, and the lost advertising revenue. Podcasts do cost money to make, host and distribute; and advertising isn't very popular. The only way a popular podcast, such as the one mentioned in the article, can stay afloat (or at least avoid becoming an enormous, gaping money pit for the maker) is by charging you, the viewer, for the privelege.

Re:They're not the first (1)

shaze (665876) | more than 8 years ago | (#14764536)

That's not the only way to make money off shows; they, like you, are just too lazy to come up with a better model.

Tons of people and companies are taking a google-esqe approach to public broadcasting on the internet, and are making more than enough to stay afloat. Advertising and sponsorships make MORE than enough money to pay all parties involved. I take it back, it's not all just laziness, most of it is greed.

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