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All very cool stuff. Let's just say that the reasons why I stopped listening to KATG were not tech related.

There was a point when I was beginning discussions with a former KATG guest to develop an app for his podcast, but that didn't work out. Similar to your work it would've involved going much further beyond simple RSS feeds and I would've needed to write an API, provision servers, and write a front end (I was looking at possibly Meteor/PhoneGap), and we didn't see eye-to-eye on time frame and compensation/profit sharing for such a project.

My point is that it does appear that there's a market for podcasts that can go beyond the simple RSS/iTunes feed, and I wonder if there's any developers doing any serious work on this front. Like a "podcast community as a service", where the fractured elements you noted are all combined in one ecosystem.

The biggest issue I see with podcasting is the complicated subscribe process and monetization of the show. The biggest fish (Marc, Joe, Leo) have a team behind them to help with monetization but subscribing is still problematic.

Without having a custom app for your podcast, you need to explain to people what an RSS feed is. You just lost 80% of your potential listeners.

Alternatively, you can suggest they use a 3rd party app, like Stitcher and search for your show. Now you're promoting someone else's product and it's impossible to create a sales funnel using someone else's app, if the customer even manages to jump through the hurdle of installing Stitcher and then finding your show.

From a developers perspective, there are the problems that you described and there's no white labeled podcast app. That means, most podcasters can't afford to have their own app.

Podcasting is a medium that's dying to be upended. I'm experimenting with some ideas to do just that. First step is getting the KATG app into production, so I can test some of my theories.

Sounds like you're an app developer as well. Working on any fun projects?

Interesting discussion! I'm the author of SkipCast (http://www.skipcast.net), an iOS client that worked with http://www.rawvoice.com/ to implement an in-app, direct donate feature.

If your Podcast feed contains the tag:

<rawvoice:donate type="text/html" href="URL HERE">Label</rawvoice:donate>

SkipCast displays an in-app link to that location with the text 'Donate'. Uptake for this feature has been quite positive.

I'd love to expand support for this to other systems and tags. It's an interesting little feature, and as an avid Podcast listener as well as app developer, hope content creators find success with it. It's quite literally the least we can do as developers.

Finally: Quick shout out to KATG, I've spend hours staring at your cover art as it was one of my favorite test feeds used when developing the app!

No offense to you or your product, and I did read the description, but I still don't see how can you justify $25 for a podcast app. More importantly, I don't see how a regular user would even bother to read the description after seeing that price.

Goodness, no offense taken, it's a completely valid point.

The price point deserves a more thorough write up. For now:

I released SkipCast last July at $2.99. Considering I had video playback, advanced audio effects (including skip silence), and lots more, I thought this was a solid fit for the current marketplace.

The result: In the next 5 months I'd get just 6 sales, 3 of which were from family members (thanks mom!). Total app store revenue: $18.

Of course I did my best to market the little bugger, and even added features as the result of partnerships with the aforementioned RawVoice. Press releases went out, Nada.

And so after 6 months, out of sheer curiosity I went totally free and saw my downloads SKYROCKET to ... 5-6 a day.


At this point then I had a choice. I ain't getting sales and I ain't getting free downloads.

And so I did what anyone with a lick of pride would. Charge real money. I literally did it to not get sales, as I wasn't getting them anyway. At least this way I'm not whoring myself out. Honestly, for how many hours I put into this project it felt wonderful to jack that price up!

The kicker: Since the price increase I've finally had enough sales to cover my developer fee, and I've only recently renewed for another year.

The reason? I think it's easy to see why.

For one, it immediately sets you apart in the app store. You're scrolling around and see a $24 app and you're bound to take notice.

Of course most will scoff, but, apparently, enough have not. It at least gets someone on my app store page.

Second, I make specific mention of the price in the very first line of the description, and later, actually mention the fact that I'm trying something different.

Look, the bottom line is in my naiveté I thought that in a potential marketplace of 1 billion users there was room enough for 15 or so Podcast clients. Turns our I was wrong. I can't control that, but what I can do is add my voice to the ranks who should stand up to cheep bastards who expect all software to be free. You want SkipCast, you'll have to pay for it.

Man it feels good to say that : )

Not to mention iOS only (judging from his post)

Cool to hear about the KATG cover art =D

Interesting app. How do you think the price point is effecting the revenue? Are you following a model for higher priced apps or developing one as you go?

>Podcasting is a medium that's dying to be upended.

I couldn't agree more, specifically in the realm of comedy podcasts. I don't have the hands on experience you do, but I've followed a lot of podcasts that have grown to the point where they have a rabid fanbase that's dying to pay for more content, but existing means of doing so are clunky or otherwise unappealing (some podcasts that come out of a certain Mexican restaruant/comedy club in LIC come to mind). The closest thing (short of joining a subscription network like KATG's) is probably Patreon, which in my experience has been less than ideal.

Also, many comedians treat podcasts as means to an end (increased album sales, drawing bigger crowds on the road) where as I imagine many comedians could be earning more from their podcasts than any other single thing they do (short of maybe attaining that Louis CK/Kevin Hart/Amy Schumer level of fame). If there was an easy way to set it all up it would take minimal extra effort from the comedians and could turn into a really nice revenue source.

But enough of me blathering about things you're already well aware of, I'm sure. I work for a desktop software provider mainly handling integrations with other companies through our webservice -- mostly backend LAMP stack stuff. No fun side projects as of yet, but the more I think about this podcast stuff the more I think I should try to do something.


You mentioned LIC, are you local to NYC? If so, it'd be great to continue the conversation in person. Feel free to email me. It's michael@my HN username.com

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