Dithering and Podcast Subscriptions

May 22, 2020 • #

A couple weeks ago Ben Thompson and John Gruber launched Dithering, a new podcast they’re doing together with a unique model: 15 minutes per episode, 3 times a week, only for paid subscribers. They launched with a dozen or so episodes in the can from over the previous month, so I’ve already gone through the back catalog.

As with the open web and individual creators running their own web properties (versus only creating for other platforms like Twitter or Medium), I love to see certain folks in the podcast space pushing for business models that allow them to remain independent. Like with web content, advertising has been the dominant monetization path for podcasts, but the ad reads can get annoying. Most of the time for my favorite programs, I’d be happy to subscribe and avoid ads. The creator also then gets the luxury of more regular cadence of revenue (since ad revenues can be volatile), maintains direct relationship with the audience, and has more flexibility with the programming structure not having to worry about ads.

I now have several shows in my subscriptions that I pay memberships for. There’s room to get even more creative with it, too, and I’m sure we’ll start seeing more experimentation on monetization strategies as podcasting keeps expanding.