Podcasts do not suffer from this. It’s much harder to identify a user, the ads aren’t software, just audio, so security is better and there’s not much way to see who is listening to the ads other than voucher codes/referral links (which are inherently opt-in).
Yes I can always skip ads. Do I feel any security or privacy need to automate doing this? No.
If/when podcast advertising goes the way of web advertising, then there will be an eager market for this product, but until then let’s enjoy unobtrusive, respectful ads from hosts we trust, with targeting done broadly by podcast rather than personally identifiable information.
With podcast ads that are just inlined in the audio stream and based only on content, not user tracking, I'm perfectly happy to either listen to them if they're interesting or tap the 30 second skip button if they're not. (I probably only bother fishing my phone out to tap the 30 second skip button 15% of the time. They're more frequently interesting me enough for me to do a web search for the company that's advertised.)
I block ads on the web due to the invasive tracking and targeting. I'm not opposed to ethical, reasonable ad space which is why I don't tear ad pages out of magazines when they arrive. If news sites would run their ad infrastructure focused on presentment rather than tracking I would grant them an exception to my ad blocker. While they outsource ad space to adtech and use their platform as a method to execute arbitrary code on my computing devices the block stays up.
Podcast ads tend to be non-intrusive, are much harder to track and are non-executable. I listen to some very niche podcasts and am happy for the hosts to receive compensation for their creation, especially since it doesn't come at the expense of my privacy.
You may have this stance, but most people doesn't, even though your argument is the one that you hear the most, it's just that people that doesn't care about stealing content takes argument from all around to justify themselves.
I wish people would just avoid content that doesn't fit their criteria instead of just acting like we deserve that content for free. I got an auto playing video ads twice over Engadget and I stopped going there quickly after informing them about it.
If we do stuff like this, the podcast industry will switch to a closed system which would require you to install proprietary apps to listen to stuff. Likely several different apps for different shows and companies.
As it exists today, it's a very open system, with publicly accessible feeds and the ability to use any app. Don't ruin it. It's not hard to press the "skip forward 30 seconds" button when an ad starts playing.
Edit: also, it's super unethical to have a paid app that profits by taking away any scope for content creators to monetize. Leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.
Didn't realise it was a paid app at first. Shame on you, OP.
When I see ads on the NYTimes I know they're just whoever paid for the space. It isn't the NYTimes claiming to have curated the best of the best and they're only showing you the greatest products and this just happens to be The Best pickup truck out there, etc. Eh.
 - Every podcaster is going to claim that no, it's really what they think, what a marvelous coincidence. It's amazing what someone will "think" when their paycheque relies upon it.
When a normal ad comes on, it's outside of the "content" you're used to. A different voice, a different presentation style, a different part of the webpage, a different section of the newspaper.
When the content producer themselves is presenting the ad, however, you feel a bit more subconsciously inclined to trust them. IMO this is why YouTube ads have taken off so well.
Obviously I know that it's just an ad, but in the back of my head I'm paying more attention to it.
I think there's a lot of truth to this, but there are also plenty of podcasters who will literally try all the products themselves (or have some staff do so) and if the thing is no good, pick a different sponsor. The biggest shows are often in a position to do this without any real sacrifice, other than the time investment in testing: they have loads of sponsors knocking at their door that are all offering similar (large) amounts of money, so they're free to pick the one they honestly like.
Here, I feel like the gray area is that they're unlikely to have tried the alternatives to the product. So they'll give a ringing endorsement of Squarespace or Mailchimp or Purple mattresses, but all that shows is that it's probably decent stuff, not the actual highest-quality or best-price option for the listener.
Overall, though, I feel like it's practically a miracle that we have an online media industry that is free of the totally maxed-out creepiness of website advertising (tracking across media, profiling down to the individual level, etc.) And it's even making money. Just listen with a healthy skepticism about the ads. I think most people do.
I profoundly doubt this. It is a tiny set of sponsors who keep the entire podcast industry afloat, and remarkably every podcaster is just a great fan of that tiny set. It's transparent and profoundly disingenuous. It's an old school friend now bothering you to buy their MLM bullshit candles or knick knacks.
But again, I have absolutely no doubt that each and every one of those podcasters have convinced themselves that they thoroughly considered every option and this foam bed (indistinguishable from any other) at a huge premium, this fear-mongering VPN, this insurance option, this piece of luggage, etc, are all simply the best for their listeners. One would have to be profoundly gullible to actually believe that.
From an ethical perspective, if a podcast is doing this tactic they deserve every skip they get.
On the scale of scumbaggery, tracking ads that pitch to my profile are a world less vile than the current podcast pitch.
I'm all for adblockers on the web, due to their tracking nature, but podcast ads aren't served from some third party that eats up bandwidth, causes page jumps or autoplays video. They aren't even like Spotify ads, which seem to know when you've muted audio.
Is it really that taxing to fast forward through them?
I don't know if that's a representative opinion. Ads are ads. Having the host read copy doesn't tell me anything about whether the product works for me.
There's a scene in Fight Club where Brad Pitt gestures at a bus stop men's underwear ad with a chiseled model on it and says dismissively "Is that what real men look like?"
Moments later, he is shirtless, with a perfectly chiseled body (that fitness trainers will tell you is impossible to keep year-round) fighting waiters and parking lot attendants.
The movie itself is an ad. It would never have sold well if two schlubby middle-aged actors had been cast to play it.
Stuff like this https://podads.podbean.com
This is in essence no longer something that's just a cool idea and a nice novelty, it's why streaming companies and creators especially complain about losing revenue.. OP is taking what I would prefer to go to creators.
For me some podcast hosts are so ridiculously funny that I actually intentionally listen to their ad reads. There's been a time or two when I've gone back and re-listened to an ad because I was dying from laughter the whole time. Most of the time it's because the hosts are ripping on the advertiser a bit but it still seems like an amazingly good value for them. The only other time I'll ever do this is for Super Bowl ads, even though those are generally pretty lame. (Other hosts do just dryly read their ads with nothing ad-libbed -- or don't read ads for their own show at all (NPR) -- and I'll usually skip those when it's convenient.)
Podcast advertisers often fall into a category of product where name recognition is important. They are okay knowing that most of us skip the ads because they know the audience will hear the name before they have a chance to skip the ad.
Actually... now that I think about it... I think I do respond better to podcast ads. There's 5 or 6 instances, this past year, that I checked out companies because of them. I've only done that once for a tv commercial in my lifetime and... I don't think I ever clicked on a banner ad before... on purpose. Never on purpose. Accident, yes.
I think it's because they're not, "OH MY SHIT LOOK AT ME! PAY ATTENTION TO ME!" types of ads.
Advertisers care about conversions -- this is why promo codes exist. If podcast advertisers don't see a steady tick of users spending money via the promo codes they distribute, they'll stop advertising. The impressions are way less valuable than conversions are.
So is it unethical (or "un-strategic" if you prefer) to not buy from brands that are mentioned by your favorite podcaster? If people en-mass start making educated purchasing decisions and ignoring openly silly ads from WeWork or matress companies, is that harmful to the industry?
Advertising itself in its current state is harmful. People treat it like, "you listen for ads and you get the content for free." But no -- the ads manipulate you. If on average most people are not being manipulated, then the system doesn't work. The manipulation is the part that advertisers care about. It's not free. Objectively, if advertising was not manipulating your purchasing decisions in a non-optimal way, it would not be worth doing.
From that perspective, I'm more than happy to burn advertising to the ground, even if it means taking out a few podcasters.
You can also take the perspective that advertising is a zero-sum game where nobody wins and consumers aren't affected, but every business has to spend just to keep up with each other. In which case, I'm also happy to burn the industry to the ground to reduce pointless corporate waste and reduce the cost of entry for new businesses.
You just decide the transaction isn't worth it, and then not execute the transaction. I do it whenever I decide not to buy a Tesla.
Edit: meant to say I regularly don't buy a Tesla, not regularly do. College student, definitely couldn't afford one
No. It works the same way any newspaper, radio, and TV advertising work.
If advertisers sponsor a podcast and get zero return, then the advertisers stops sponsoring the podcast and the podcast dies.
Is it ethical to mute the TV when commercials come up?
I think it's just your choice, right?
> Is it ethical not to look at a billboard when you're walking down the street?
This is fine, you're in a public space where somebody paid for an ad on nearby private property, and society wouldn't be worse off if everybody ignored billboards, advertisers were no longer willing to pay for billboards, and we got rid of the lot of them.
> Is it ethical to mute the TV when commercials come up?
This is fine, you paid for the TV and you pay for cable, and there will be no consequences to many people muting the TV during commercials.
If, however, you're given something for free that could be taken away, and it is able to be offered for free due to the business model of ads, taking this concept to its conclusion where everybody automatically skips over ads will make the free and open podcast system no longer viable.
Advertisers will no longer be willing to pay for ad space on podcasts, and the podcasters will have to move to charging per episode, or more likely, getting tiny royalties from a company like Spotify.
The nature of advertising has turned the entire TV device into an advertising machine that phones home whether I mute and look away or watch "ad-supported" content, or paid-for content, or my own content. I cannot buy a TV that does not funnel my private life into someone's advertising budget thanks to Smart TVs and the normalization of surveillance capitalism.
If a podcast can not survive off its syndication, its advertising, its royalties, nor off its direct subscriptions, then the market has clearly spoken: that podcast is not providing value to listeners, and if it weren't subsidized as a channel by which advertising campaigns reach a desired market segment, it wouldn't exist at all. Clearly if this scenario causes you to shed tears, perhaps consider donating or subscribing, otherwise that podcast isn't a valuable product, it was a line item on an advertising campaign meant to reach you.
A better example would probably adblocking on either YouTube or any website. The service is otherwise free, and you're demanding it in some sense.
There are still lots of people who watch ad supported TV broadcast over the air. So I think muting commercials or recording with a DVR and skipping over later is a decent analogy.
Imagine the advertisement was not on TV but it was ringing your doorbell.
An option is ethical, one when you replace someone else's work is not. (i don't like advertisement thrown in my face either).
As much as I hate the clever marketing tactics that happen, I wouldn't want them to have one more excuse to invade me more.
This seems like one of them
it's probably not ethical to vandalize a billboard so other people can't see the ad on it.
it's definitely not ethical to sell billboard vandalism as a service, or to patronize a service that does that.
If the advertiser isn’t given any information about playback at ad time, then the revenue would not be affected.
It shouldn't take long for advertisers to realize that a) podcast listeners tend to skip over ads or b) podcast ads don't result in sales.
a.) Patronage/donation model
c.) Integrated the advertising into the program rather than making it a separate ad read
OTOH, I've seen a number of youtube and podcasts where the Ads are read by the hosts as part of the show and are unique for each podcast. I heard one once recently where the host must have had 10 different versions of their travel ad, for the same place worded in slightly different ways. Maybe they were just ad'libing them. Either way, I have a hard time believing this can be easily detected. The flow and voice intonation was such that I didn't even realize it was an ad until 3/4 way through.
That being said:
>If we do stuff like this, the podcast industry will switch to a closed system which would require you to install proprietary apps to listen to stuff. Likely several different apps for different shows and companies.
You can dismiss all adblockers that way. Except it's not really how it'll work: if people really make it inconvenient to access the content people will pirate instead. Podcasts are also generally small audio files which makes them super easy to share.
Instead I think that blocking ads (which, IMO, are a cancer for our society and I have no moral or ethical problem blocking everywhere) will incentivize podcasters to find alternative schemes to make money. For instance you could have a "Spotify for podcasts" that lets you watch podcasts ad-free with a subscription. There actually already are a few services for that (Stitcher comes to mind). I actually pay for a Stitcher subscription to listen to my podcasts ad-free.
I want to believe in a future version of the internet where everybody and their dog aren't spending their entire resources conning me into watching ads I don't want to see.
The benefit of podcasts being an open system -- of them being raw MP3 files, is that users can manipulate and control the content they're being served. An open, ethical system that can only exist because users don't exercise their rights is of little value.
There are already segments of the industry that want to turn podcasting into a closed system (see Spotify), because as good as the current model is, it's still more profitable to turn podcasting into a top-down controlled system with gatekeepers. If business interests are currently what is keeping the ecosystem open, then I think we're doomed, because Netflix is always going to be the more profitable business model.
Cool, let's automate away creators' ability to make money by giving away free content. Sure, podcasting will die and be replaced by closed, DRM-encumbered audio platforms, but then I'll just steal that same content. And really, isn't killing an open medium better than manually skipping ads a couple times an hour?
Ads aren't free.
Yes, it sort of stinks that we might have to come up with another way to fund podcasts. But we should come up with an alternate funding model anyway -- ads aren't ethical, and they're not free. The only reason anyone pays a podcaster to display ads is because statistically speaking, that recommendation is going to manipulate someone into buying that product regardless of its quality or relevance to that person's life.
If you listen to advertising but don't buy the advertised products, you're not supporting creators. Other people who buy those products are supporting creators, and they are subsidizing you. Your money is valuable, not your attention. Your purchasing decisions are valuable, not your ears.
So the idea that advertising is a completely neutral act that somehow magically gives us tons of content for free, without any knock-on effects towards society or business costs or acceptable content is one of the most widely-shared, pervasive misconceptions on the modern Internet. Ads are not magically making money appear from nowhere, ordinary people are indirectly paying for those ads by having their consuming habits altered against their will and without their permission.
It's better for us to just acknowledge that podcasting has a cost, and to just deal with that fact -- not to keep hiding behind the idea that there's a payment scheme out there that will somehow pay someone's salary without affecting anyone else in any way. Just directly support creators: it's healthier for the ecosystem, and it's healthier for you.
> And really, isn't killing an open medium better than manually skipping ads a couple times an hour?
An open medium that you're scared to manipulate is not an open medium. If we're all scared to attach metadata to an mp3 file, then who cares what format the file is in? Who cares whether or not a file has DRM if you're not willing to touch it?
Users have the right to exercise their rights. They also have the right to delegate those rights to other people and software products -- ie, to have a piece of software exercise their filter rights on their behalf. Any world in which people aren't free to filter the content they consume is just another dystopia.
Because most podcasters make no money and don't have the skills to write an app or service to do it for them.
Larger companies like NPR and BBC already do it.
OP's concern isn't about individual producers. It's about media and tech companies like Spotify and Stitcher gobbling up the market.
Make the ad-skipping automatic, then it's guaranteed that no one is listening to ads. (no ads == no revenue). This will completely ruin the system as it exists today.
Breakdown the ethics violation you see happening here. The way I read your argument, Podcast apps have an ethical obligation to ensure users can't easily should the ads.
But no major podcast apps have implemented it (because why the hell would they?)
Allow me to propose a pivot.
Most listeners know in the first few seconds whether an ad falls into the “hey, that actually sounds interesting” category or the “no, I still don’t need a Squarespace/Casper/Mailchimp” category. Take a page from YouTube and play the first 3-5 seconds of the ad, and then give the user a big skip button that skips the entire ad segment.
Your app will still have the USP of a better experience than jumping back and forward in 15-30 second increments, and it preserves the ad-supported model with a proven UX pattern validated by one of the biggest advertising platforms in the world. You could even form partnerships with podcast networks who want insight into what ads get skipped and which get played for longer.
This HN post brought to you by mortenjorck product consulting.
There is another medium which has a similar interaction model, and most people seem to really dislike those, i.e. in-game cut scenes with surprise quicktime events.
Let them read all the NordVPN and Dollar Shave Club ads they want. I'd rather put up with that than the wastage that goes into production of merch and swag.
Because if they do, that's an ad.
I don't like being guilted, I really don't. But I understand that some feel differently.
Public funding makes a ton of sense, personally I think it is the only economically efficient solution, but doing it well is hard. I scanned your history here to see a bit more on where you are coming from (I agree with you on a lot of things), and I see that this is something you talk about a lot.
I notice you say elsewhere "the enemy is the state". That makes it tricky to say "the state should decide what stuff gets funded." I always tend to be up against that whenever I suggest that state funded IP makes sense. I still believe there is a way.
I have more thoughts on how we could actually move toward such things, my contact info is in my profile, feel free to email.
* see chapter 25 of the Grapes of Wrath for a beautifully written essay on the evils of artificial scarcity: https://genius.com/John-steinbeck-grapes-of-wrath-chapter-25...
When I look at the list of podcasts I subscribe to there aren't really any that I would miss terribly if they decided to stop. I have too many options when I want to listen to something.
The smart thing to do with apps like this is to keep it to yourself, but inevitably someone will release one for the masses.
A lot fewer people would be using ad blockers in browsers if web ads were as simple as podcast ads (the equivalent would be unobtrusive static images with links) .
You could also have dynamic images thank to GIFs. Just think of the possibilities that would be enabled by that - "Hit the monkey!", "Shoot the gangster!" - An incredibly effective way to drive engagement.
Practically, what is different about manually skipping every single ad (which I - and presumably other people who might consider a skipping feature useful - currently do) versus automatically skipping them? It seems to me the only difference is that automatic skipping frees me from a minor annoyance.
Even if this app is successful beyond OP's wildest dreams it's going to take 1% of the market or whatever -- the idea that this is going to cause a sudden shift in business strategy, and that that shift will be in favour of proprietary apps in a way that people aren't trying now, beggars belief.
Skipping a portion is equal to redacting the part of a landscape image with a billboard in it.
Furthermore, the digital medium is inherently copyable and malleable. If you want to distribute content via this medium, you need to accept that. Sure, make it harder if you please.
Absurd. Software's whole deal is wrecking people's jobs to save someone else money or make their lives easier. This time it's ad-supported mp3 makers instead of any of the tons and tons of other people who've been tossed around by software. Often this does suck but to single out helping people avoid ads as the one thing you must not charge for is silly.
So respect the effort of the creator and stop automating ad skipping. Heck, I even implore you to listen to the ads that make your favorite shows available for free, but you always have the skip-ahead button in your player
I think NPR bought Pocket Casts and I doubt they spent all that money with no plans for a return on that investment.
It's turning into the video streaming scene
Any podcast app can play any podcast, full stop. Podcasting is a simple and open medium.
Creators can make their shows available on closed platforms as well as distributing them as podcasts. When closed platforms become the only option for creator monetization, podcasting dies.
Hell, I know a few that for $1 or $2 they get the full ad-free podcast
Frankly, I would say that you are a hypocrite.
1. You charge $1.99 for an app that strips revenue streams off content creators, while simultaneously expecting people to pay you for your work. The equivalent would be someone simply taking your impending Android apk, cleaning out the part where you get paid and putting it up for free download. a.k.a piracy
2. Your TOS  is a draconian piece of work, implying that the mere act of linking to your site requires your permission (which is obviously inaccurate). However, you have the gall to strip parts of someone else's content in an automated fashion? I'm certain you are violating ToS of podcast creators by doing what you do, and I hope they hold you accountable
Even the list of podcasts you currently support (like ones from NPR) are publicly funded, universally acclaimed and mostly ethical in their labeling of ads. You are not a net benefit to the ecosystem
We messed this up 20 years ago when online print media tried doing the same, and the result has been an endless and wasteful arms race. Let's not mess this up again.
That regime has been stable for decades, and I can't imagine it will change unless something changes to make it stop working for podcasters. Because moving their distribution channel from RSS to some sort of closed app risks alienating their audience.
The MP3 file might not change, but there's a chance that they are going to start watching you play it.
A lot of investments have been made in the podcast world recently and VCs usually don't make things better.
I made SponsorBlock (https://sponsor.ajay.app/), which is a similar premise for YouTube videos except free, open source, and with a publicly downloadable database. I posted about it on HN back in August.
I'd be curious if you'd be willing to do what I've done here and make it more open. When you are dealing with things like this (ad blocking), it gives you more of a responsibility to share.
Anyway, how do you do this? Is it a reporting system? Or is there some kind of algorithm you made?
I mean, I am using it and it is working :)
But yea, it's good that you made your own idea instead.
Skeptoid did offer a nice/hacky/old-school solution likely to work with your favourite player - subscribe manually with ~ http://<username>:<password>@<site.com/ad_free_url/>podcasts...
Providing your player lets you put in a URL - it "works" and doesn't require you switching your client.
I do wish there was a slightly more formalized process letting you provide credentials to your app and it sorting this all out for you - but then I'm reluctant to engage in a movement that might f'up the XML+MP3 standards approach that's allowed podcasts to flourish.
There is. The app I use, AntennaPod, allows you to specify a username and password for each podcast feed, and iirc, it uses those for good ol' HTTP authentication.
The hard part at the moment is the friction from your podcast app to paying to "unlock" that feed to importing it back to your podcast app. Some of us are working on a standard called PodPass (https://www.niemanlab.org/2019/08/podpass-wants-to-build-the...) to make it seamless, but without the walled gardens.
As stated - it's getting the initial adoption going that's problematic. Probably pointing out the obvious, but NPR bought my favourite client Pocket Casts. At naive glance, looks like a good fit. NPR already has an excellent group of people who've donated (so whole bunch of people paying already) and with this would give them a way of rewarding them with the adverts removed. Plus think both sides of this would be advocates for still allowing the output to be available widely, and not walled up somewhere.
My listeners should never feel guilty about skipping ads.
If my ads aren't interesting or don't improve your life, you owe it to yourself to skip.
I keep working to improve my ads. Most recently: I hired a copywriter (Neville Medhora) to go over my ad reads. And today I recorded interviews with 10-second ads, instead of 3-minute ones.
They want you to keep working your tail off, and entertaining them for free - they are apparently entitled to it.
I’d also expect listeners to be much less likely to mind, since it would be such a nicer experience than the norm.
I've been curious for a while how hard it would be to proxy my podcast feeds through a local server that stripped ads. As far as I can tell, this stuff has to be done dynamically per-file -- sharing timestamps don't work because ads are dynamically injected during each download.
I also find it interesting that this is in the terms, when their app is $1.99:
> To the extent that the app and the information and services on the app are provided free of charge, we will not be liable for any loss or damage of any nature.
I wish more would do that.
Some of the major podcasters tried going paid route and reversed back to ad based model. i.e. tim ferriss
I do listen to one podcast that has an ad-free feed for patreon supporters. It works rather well and they have add a surprising amount of bonus content for subscribers.
You get a unique RSS feed for the commercial free episodes and bonus content.
They already had a superior product to competition, in my opinion: Google Play Music, better than Spotify. Better UI, didn't crash, better app, more reliable casting, etc. But they're closing it and making you switch to Youtube Music. Under the hood, they won't register new agencies for submitting to Google Play Music. Current ones can so you'll still see new music, but the point is they're pushing everyone to probably the worst music playing app I've ever seen in my life.
So, if they were going to do it, they'd do it on Youtube Music, but that app is hot garbage, so, don't expect too high.
If I'm really tired of the ad I can just skip ahead 30 seconds.
"The party enters the wizard's keep. It smells fresh and clean, like it was recently cleaned with Febreeze, which the wizard uses for all his odor-destroying needs."
If I were making it, I would listen for keywords (ex: Cash App, Onit, MyBookie.com, Manscaping, Dollar Shave Club) that could be updated like an AdBlock filter list. Combine that with obvious changes in inflection, notable differences in the waveform, etc.
I would also assume my implementation would cut the podcast down to about 4 minutes with all the false positives.
Popular podcasters do make money through Patreon for example, not everything comes down to advertising.
And for frank, honest commentary, I think I would rather not have advertiser influence over podcasts, just like the news.
And many people do podcasts just out of passion or a hobby...they are more like blogs than anything else.
I'm already aware of these brands, I even recommend one of them to clients. At this point, the ads aren't telling me anything new, don't make me aware of a new product, they are just annoying and waste my time.
Is it still wrong to block these ads?
If you implement automatic ad blockers, that guarantees that no one is listening to the ad. Which would mean no revenue for the content creators. Which would lead to a really crappy system.
Did you pay full attention to every ad you listened to in a podcast? I don't even know what your point is.
Full disclosure, I use ad blockers online (but whitelist sites and subscribe to others). The reason I do so is first and foremost for security reasons. Ad networks deliver malware, despite their best efforts. They also deliver battery-draining ads and bloat. I'm not inherently opposed to advertising, however. Last I checked, listening to ads in podcasts is not going to give your phone malware or spin up your CPU 100% so I don't really see the point of blocking them. As far as advertising goes, podcast ads are pretty benign. Sure, you can do it and I'm not even going to call you a bad person, but it just seems like the wrong battle to be fighting.
Either it never takes off and the whole thing is moot, or it really takes off and forces podcast creators to monetize in ways that are less benign. No real gain.
This is a great tool and saves people their only truly nonrenewable resource: time.
Thank you for making it; if I listened to any of these podcasts I would be using it.
Always block everyone’s ads.
Mysteries of The Deep
The latter is even in alac-m4a lossless, something that surprised and delighted me.
One is run by a friend and the other is run by a friend of friends. They’re both truly excellent.
Neither have ads.
Most podcasts are pretty grassroots without financial backing, I think.
I don't really mind the ads, and most podcasts apps seem to have skip buttons anyway. I mostly use the iOS podcast app, but it has a 30 second skip button. That usually gets me right past the ads.
But honestly manual flagging wouldn't be too hard either.
I also want some system that fast forwards all the intro stuff straight to the meat and potatoes.
I think that many people already skip the ads using the 30 second skip forward button. I know I did before building this app.
I'm also thinking about safety -- people driving their car and reaching for their phone to skip the ads.
It really would have been an attractive project to play with. But it looks like you just wanted a 'snatch and grab'.
Again, well done: You did the work but I wont be participating.
If the content provider offers it, and I want to give it, cool.
But paying for this, has nothing to do with the provider.. At all actually. All money goes to someone who filtered out Adverts, if you wanna have a better argument you could say : can't anyone do this: And yes, but its the time and effort that goes into it, maybe release it open source and free so others can build a network of methods to remove more ads and even support the content provider without them needing to invest in a 'special ad-free' streaming service.
Nobody is telling you not to use this, just their own reasons for not.
Honest question: were you expecting this backlash - I would assume you wouldn't have used a throwaway account otherwise.
If the same was done for TV on a mass scale then you'd sure as shit see invasive DRM in TVs ready to stop you from altering the stream during an ad break.
It downloads the podcast, finds the ads, plays it, and skips over the ads. The ads are still in there. After it skips the ads, you could manually skip backwards and hear that they are still there.
Question for OP: how would you feel about a browser extension that automatically recognises submissions of this nature and hides them?
I thought the whole purpose of Show HN is to show what you've created. Should there be restrictions on the types of things being created?
In your example, I think the browser extension would hide every submission on Show HN.
I'm also curious if you think you'll face any challenges or if Apple will allow this to live on the play store?
I don't see why Apple would have a problem with it. Their own "Podcasts" app lets you skip ads. This app finds the ads and skips automatically.
I get why you might have done it, hey a nice adblock feature. But you are asking for money for it.. Did I miss something ?
Ads detract from the value. In other words, as a resource, ad-laden podcasts are worse than ad-free podcasts.
If you ask people to pay to access the ad-free versions, that's a "club good" (non-rivalrous but now exclusive). That also dramatically reduces the value to the world. (Also, the existence of ad-laden ones is a detraction itself, even affecting the ad-free versions because ads create conflicts-of-interest).
So, all the economics here is about about the public goods dilemma. How the heck can fund the work without all these detractions? Taxes? I'm not saying the answer is easy, I'm saying we should get the question right.
The one view I reject: that somehow ads in podcasts are a good thing. Rather, ads are an unfortunate compromise given the challenges of funding public goods. There's little room for debate there.
What is called for is specifically funding models that somehow coordinate critical mass of people without the use of paywalls or detractions like ads.
That's not what this app does.
"When AdSkipPro gets to the ads that were found above, it skips over and keeps on playing. The ads are still in there, and in fact you can go back and hear them if you like. This example shows AdSkipPro jumping from 23:49 to 25:09, past several ads:"