Although I still have yet to see why podcasts are “the next big thing,” within the past few months I have regularly listened to four podcasts:
- The Majority Report (on Air America Radio)
- Pop Is Now King (PINK)
- The Official Lost Podcast
- The Transmission Enhanced Podcast (an unofficial Lost podcast)
This morning, I learned that two of the four podcasts I listen to are either ceasing to exist or charging for content.
The Majority Report (and other Air America podcasts, I assume) are now requiring a premium subscription in order to listen to the show. This one really discourages me. I’ve started listening to The Majority Report on my iPod before the whole podcasting craze happened. A day or so after an episode aired, I downloaded the entire mp3 (for free) from a website, the imported it into my iTunes library. The Majority Report was great to listen to at the gym — it was entertaining, kept me up on politics, and kept my mind from wandering too much while doing my workout. Alas — no more. I typically only listen to the first 45 minutes of the show, and I can hardly justify paying for just that.
On a sadder note, Jen and Ryan over at The Transmission, which I fell in love with after I started watching Lost, decided that they were going to give up the whole podcasting thing due to personal reasons. I totally understand where they are coming from, but it’s still too bad.
Although that does leave two podcasts left (if PINK were to go away [which I do sometimes worry about since I donâ€™t think the guy pays to license the music], I would be totally devastated, since it’s inspired me to start doing my own DJ mixes), I wonder if this is a sign of things to come? Podcasts take a lot of time and resources, and would predict that the smaller, DIY podcasters are going to fade away while the larger podcasts start requiring a subscription. As iTunes and various other websites have proven, users are starting to warm up to the idea of paying for content on the Internet, and I bet podcasts will go the same way.