Tuesday, February 21, 2006

To Free Or Not To Free

So, Ricky Gervais, who claims his podcast is the most downloaded in the world, has decided that the second series/season will no longer be free, but cost money. Now, don't get me wrong, I happen to think it's one of the funniest things out there - fucking hilarious, if you want my unfiltered opinion. He's a really smart guy, and nowhere is it more obvious than when he's just talking off the cuff. But there's a hole in his logic of "if I had a dime for every podcast that was downloaded" because, well, if they weren't free, there probably wouldn't be as many downloaded. What also irks me is that he has obviously started selling advertising, even on the free ones (intermittent pitches for British TV's Channel Four), so isn't there already a source of revenue? I also find it interesting that it's the "world's number one podcast" and yet I've never seen it at #1 on iTunes, which you would suspect would be somewhat reflective of the pulse of the industry. Maybe I just don't check on the days it's released.

But seriously, go check out his podcast if you haven't yet - the first 12 episodes are available on iTunes or Guardian Unlimited and are still free.

The New York Times has started putting out podcasts (for free), including one called "Front Page." At first I thought someone actually read the whole front page to you every day, which sounded cool. I once heard that there are more words on the front page of the New York Times than in an entire half hour network newscast. I wanted to test that theory, but it turns out the podcast is just "highlights" of the front page of the Times.

PS - Dear Blogger: "podcast" was named the most important word of the year by the New Oxford American Dictionary. You think it's about time to add it to your spellcheck? Oh, you'll get to it? Right after you add "blog?" Thanks.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're obviously looking at the iTunes US store. In the US and Australia (and maybe others, I haven't checked), it's been Number 1 for the past 2 and a bit months.

12:50 AM  
Blogger medusa said...

Anonymous, if you return, maybe you can expand on that - I think you mean in the "UK and Australia" not the "US and Australia."

However, he says it's the world's most downloaded, not the UK's or Australia's. Seems to me to get to that point you'd have to be number one in the US and the UK as well as many other countries.

5:27 AM  

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