> From 2014 to 2020, Spotify bought 15 companies, companies that build everything from data analytics to music and audio production tools to audio ad tools to licensing platforms, and podcasting networks.
> Spotify is directly mimicking Google and Facebook, and attempting to roll up power over digital audio markets the way Google and Facebook did over the internet. It has already done so in music.
As it exists today, the podcasting ecosystem is a very open system, with publicly accessible feeds and the ability to use any app/player.
I'm very afraid that if Spotify keeps this up, it's going to lead to a very fragmented system similar to the film/TV streaming industry (Netflix, Prime, Apple TV, et al.) which would require you to install proprietary apps and pay for multiple subscriptions to listen to stuff. Likely several different apps for different shows and companies.
Unfortunately, it appears that Spotify is motivated by increased profits and getting a market monopoly to completely destroy the open system that we have today, which will also make it undoubtedly harder for newcomers to enter the industry.
Right now Spotify complains about how Apple apps have an unfair advantage on Apple's platform, but they're doing the same thing. Spotify podcasts have an unfair advantage on Spotify's platform. I don't believe the platform should also be a content creator. This is really shitty of Spotify to do.
As far as Apple, Apple’s podcast directory and app are the very definition of “open”. Apple just indexes publicly available submitted RSS feeds. When you subscribe from Apple’s podcast app, the app itself polls the publishers RSS feed and plays directly from the publisher’s servers.
You can also subscribe to a podcast directly from the app using the url to the podcast - it doesn’t have to be in Apple’s directory.
Apple even offers a public API of the podcast directory that can be used by anyone on any platform.
I've already seen this start happening with Parcast. Since being purchased by Spotify, they're using their existing podcasts to advertise other "podcasts" that are only available streaming on Spotify. I'm guessing the ones I listen to now will eventually go away into the Spotify walled garden.
The Talk Show - the most popular (and profitable AFAIK) Apple related podcast. The chance of Gruber going Spotify only are basically 0.
Accidental Tech Podcast - seeing that one of the cohosts (Marco Arment) actually developed one of the most popular podcast apps for iOS, I don’t think he is going to make a podcast that can’t be listened to on his own app.
Under The Radar - another podcast by Marco Arment.
Exponent - Ben Thompson of Stratechery. He doesn’t directly monetize his podcast. He has a very successful paid newsletter. He wouldn’t want to put his podcast out of reach of the most people.
Manager Tools/Career Tools - the only ads they do on their podcasts are for their own products.
Some developer focused podcasts
Various NPR podcasts.
All the podcasts I listen to have a vested interests in reaching the broadest audience possible.
Emphasis on "I". You are not everyone, and so you don't control all the demand, and so you don't control the direction that the market moves in. Though it's not self-evident that we're headed towards podcast centralization, I think it's a legitimate concern here.
Social networks like Facebook ate a decent part of the open internet's cake in the 2000s because the centralized services were easier to set up and user for the end users (compared to the RSS and SMTP hacks).
I think that's what is going to matter here: If Spotify does a significantly better job than plain RSS, then they're going to be "the" place to listen to podcasts, and can start building a closed ecosystem and then use their monopoly to rent seek. And like in the social networks case, I don't think it's going to be that hard to improve on plain RSS. Some podcasting apps already have comments, user ratings, etc. and I definitely find this sort of thing useful.
Maybe the path of least resistance in these sorts of situations is always some degree of centralization, but I obviously hope the tide starts going back out at some point - preferably complete decentralization, rather than just federated protocols. I think it's a bit like how native apps can move faster (in terms of new APIs and stuff), and the web slowly follows along, waiting for certain things to be "proven" before standardizing them. I think the web wins in the long run, but native apps end up being the "exploratory" instrument in our search algorithm.
How many of the top 50 podcast do you suppose would be willing to give up their broader market to be Spotify only?
If you were creating a website, how much would Microsoft have to pay you to be exclusively discovered with Bing and not be found with Google?
How would they even measure this? What share of those is Spotify users?
Spotify is at 10%
However, Overcast also caches RSS feeds but it does send the number of subscribers for a feed in the header of the GET request. It also doesn’t cache the actual audio.
We've refused to put any of our 8 podcasts on Spotify for various reasons. One of the reasons is that they will accept money from paying customers and from ad co's for non-paying listeners, but simply want our content for free. Ummm... no thanks.
Could this be Spotify’s version of AdWords for audio?
Most podcasters that are made an offer that they can’t refuse, probably won’t refuse.
Would you take your website off the web and host your content exclusively as a Facebook page?
If the most affluent audience is iOS users, then Spotify probably sees this as critical to success on iOS because it gives them something that people can't get from Apple Music.
It's interesting: exclusive deals haven't worked well in the music industry because artists make most money outside the platform in concerts etc, and exclusive deals eats into that. OTOH, media plays (eg streamers, TV shows) make most of their money directly from the show and so exclusive deals make sense.
I think many of the top 50 podcasts are exclusively advertising supported, and so they will be tempted by an exclusive deal.
We know that the top Apple related podcasters charge between $5500-$6500 a spot for three to four ads per episode. How much do you think the top more general podcast like Stuff You Should Know charge?
Do you think they would stop publishing podcast that can be found not only when people click on the Podcast app that comes preinstalled with all iOS devices, but can also be found on other podcast apps that use Apple’s public API to its podcast directory?
It may even be cheap - Howard Stern's deal is reported to be $90m/year (and that is exclusive to one publisher).
These open spaces and preferred arrangements have to be defended or they will die.
But now, we are actually in a golden age of having ad free content for TV.
Of course you have Netflix, Amazon Prime etc. But you also have Hulu’s ad free tier that offers content from NBC, ABC, and the Fox networks without ads and you have CBS All Access. You can also get ad free content from AMC.
Someone has to pay for the content. If you are willing to pay for ad free video, there are plenty of options.
All four of them?
And Hulu's fake ad-free tier is pretty ridiculous.
Is that not the case?
And probably knowing the demographics of HN, you wouldn’t be that interested in Greys Anatomy.
What ads do you see on Hulu’s ad free tier? The extra on demand content you get is from Hulu Live.
You are grossly underestimating the threat. The majority of people don't even know what an RSS feed is, and a lot of users are already listening exclusively through Spotify. For them, those are the "podcasts". The change is already ongoing, and Spotify will not stop until staying out of its platform will no longer be an option for podcast producers. They will swallow up the whole ecosystem if they don't get stopped, just like Facebook did with the publishing industry.
And there is a difference between people listening to standard podcasts through Spotify where Spotify just caches RSS feeds and audio (where you can still get pretty good stats from what I’ve heard.) and going Spotify only.
In the former case, Spotify is just another podcatcher.
This is exactly what happened when FB took over content distribution. People didn't necessarily like it, even as they adopted it because of the convenience.
Why could they do this? Was it because you were exclusively on their platform? No. It was because your readers were exclusively on their platform. And that is what Spotify is already accomplishing. Slowly but surely, more and more people are using Spotify for all of their listening needs.
This seems like the kind of thing that can flip very suddenly.
For Spotify users, who are already used to streaming everything, listening to podcasts through Spotify might offer a fair amount of convenience. For podcasters looking to monetize, Spotify can offer something special: The ability to get paid for your work directly, without having to deal with hawking mail order razor blades, which I imagine can feel degrading to some creators, or take on the extra work of maintaining an attractive set of Patreon incentives. It might be that the only missing ingredient is a critical mass of Spotify users to give the first few podcasters reason to feel confident taking the plunge.
Maybe they don't even need to get anyone to jump in feet first. I could see a more prolific podcaster such as Aaron Mahnke perhaps being willing to give it a shot with one of his projects. But a few initial successes might be all it takes to kick off a chain reaction. Sort of like how, at the party we were hosting last night, it seemed like people were settling in for the night, but, once the first person left, our house was empty within 20 minutes.
Godwin is alive and well.
I think the risk is that Spotify can throw a big bundle of money to a podcast that is currently listed on a feed, and bring them into a walled garden where the only way to hear them is on Spotify.
For now. But we've seen this game before. When a critical mass switches to a closed ecosystem, you're either going to be forced to move with the herd (because most of your podcasts will move and new podcasts will start-up exclusively within the walled garden), or you'll be left behind.
If you target a high income demographic. It’s a lot easier to get direct response advertisers selling either expensive items or subscription based products where the lifetime value of the customer is high.
Back in the day people said the definition of a podcast was two guys talking about tech sponsored by SquareSpace.
That's because podcasts are still part of an open ecosystem. I think the current system works very well and I don't want it to change, but I can see a walled-garden arise and lock the majority of content away behind proprietary podcast clients (much as video content is locked inside the YouTube garden).
Well that's just bad faith use of semantics.
Spotify bought companies that produces podcasts. As of now you can still enjoy said podcasts outside of Spotify, using your preferred player but if they decide to force you to use their software will those programs suddenly stop being called podcasts?
One of the most successful podcast over the past decade is “Stuff You Should Know”. The hosts go out of their way not to talk about the subject before hand to make the show seem more organic.
Would you call something that couldn’t be viewed in a browser a “web page”?
If you told me I should listen to this great podcast. I’m going to search on Overcast (which uses Apple’s podcast directory API), if it’s not there, it doesn’t exist. I can’t put it in my playlist, control it from my Watch app etc.
There are various numbers floating around the internet and they are are all in the range of fractions of a cent per play, which is a weird metric to begin with. At $0.00473 per play , an artist needs ~100k plays to earn 500 bucks. Then has to be divided up between the label, songwriters, musicians, producers and whoever else was involved in the project.
Compare this to me buying their album on Bandcamp, where anyone can sell their work and keep 85% to 90% of the money . I get to have lossless files on disk forever + streaming while Bandcamp lasts, and the artist gets more money, more control over the distribution and an (opt-in at buy) email list to update their fanbase.
Clearly the era of musicians that are not pop stars earning decent money by selling audio is over, but this is one of the things I like to spend a little more time and money on.
The _only thing_ Spotify is doing here is distribution. That is some brutal split if you ask me. The only thing holding them back from converting their user numbers into a more silly-level profit margin, like a proper Silicon Valley SaaS, is the power of a handful of major record labels, which in turn hold the artists by the balls.
As in most online industries nowadays, the ones doing the real work get the smallest piece of the pie. The best course of action for them would be to decentralize, which is entirely possible, but deep pockets need to kickstart that process and there is zero incentive for them to do that.
I used to have a big list of DJ sets. Not random bootlegs or anything, but ones that were released on CD in relatively big name series- global underground, Renaissance, etc. Slowly they began to disappear and now they're just gone and they've been removed from the lists they were on. No warning of any sort.
Just feels like we're going backwards for some of this stuff.
You mean all the artist's songs in your library? You just go into Artists and choose it, you get the list of saved songs.
a.) It doesn't have all the podcasts I listen to
b.) It's obvious the ads on Spotify aren't the same ads that are in the normal RSS-feed version of the same podcast, which feels very skeevy to me. I have no idea of the business arrangement but it doesn't feel like I'm supporting the podcaster when I listen to them over spotify.
What I mean is, if the zombie apocalypse happened, and you were lucky enough to have solar power to keep your devices going, it wouldn't matter because you would loose access to your favorite songs.
There are a lot of folks who's only music source is Spotify.
I just hope for their sake, there is never a zombie apocalypse ;)
I realized that needing every song I'd ever want to listen to on my local disk was just a form of digital hoarding. I backed up hundreds of gigabytes of my music, deleted it from my computer, and realized I never cared enough to restore it despite years of collecting and organizing it.
In other words with no active Spotify service even downloaded songs simply stop working.
I was even thinking of writing an open letter to Spotify to allow the user to choose 10 zombie apocalypse tracks that would Always keep working no matter what.
Bonus question: what about when this happens to a Spotify-exclusive track?
But, otherwise, I started to organize/curate my collection which I've largely not done anything to speak of with for literally years. (And which is messed up in various ways.) And I sort of came to the conclusion that it didn't really matter that much at this point.
That said, I'm honestly not sure I'd take the same path were I starting from zero.
Also I don't want my play queue to mix podcasts and music. When I want to listen to podcasts I continue playing in my podcast app and when I want some background noise I pause it and play my music in Spotify. Spotify's GUI is too simple and dumbed down for me and I prefer an app to do one thing.
On Android, I bought an SD card (because my internal storage was too small to host my downloaded library, for offline listening on airplanes). I found that when I rebooted, every single time, it would redownload all 11G of my downloaded songs.
Turns out, the Spotify service starts before the SD is attached and their program has a bug. I sent them the Stackoverflow link to delay the service. Support wasn't interested in helping me.
My fix was to get a phone with larger internal storage.
Uploading your own music sucks (unreleased tracks get blocked for some reason), tags are messy (there is no standard, the labels do whatever they want), you can't customize your listening experience at all (no replay gain, dynamic playlists, custom tags or equalization) and obviously not owning your collection (which admittedly is irrelevant for most people).
But yeah, you are renting the music from them so you have to give it back the way you found it. I don't really consider spotify a music player of the same sort as winamp or foobar2000, it's much more like radio where you have agency over the playlist rather than a local executable to manage and play your local files.
It would be interesting if they provided some a way to get an audio stream you can then further process for replay gain and other stuff, though honestly fiddling with all that stuff seems like busy work.
Library available to outside of Japan is significantly larger on Spotify compared to everyone else. It looks like some tracks are blocked outside of Japan, but compared to other services, this phenomenon is a lot less, actually magnitude less common compared to, say, Google's offering. (Haven't really done extensive research for Apple but doing a quick search, it's not very promising...)
I don't know what making this different, but as far as this relatively small segment of music, certainly Spotify's doing this right.
Actually, this convincing the big players to centralise is the real value Spotify provides, and this picture of them being a technology company could be viewed as smoke to obscure that they are basically an IP management company (though I expect the music industry is well aware of this and made contracts that reflect this).
Classic interception attack
They say "Spytify records the same quality that Spotify outputs" but that implies a loss in quality if it's recording an mp3 and re-saving it as a new mp3. There's no lossless option in Spotify.
Thats like saying the only thing McDonald's french fries have going for them is that they taste good and are cheap.
It also might be that you haven't liked/listened enough for it to be useful yet.
OTOH when I used google play for a few months, they managed to recommend a new to me band that was based in roughly the same area and playing the type of music I listened to.
So at least for that type of music, they were a lot better than anything I've ever got in multiple years of using spotify
Solutions like patreon would be favourable, since Spotify just condenses the most generic content.
As one might imagine, though, that low low price means something is getting squeezed. Some of the answer vs past models is in exchanging fixed acquisition and distribution costs for fractional marginal costs. But some of the answer is also in squeezing artists (and/or less powerful owners), both in the appalling fractional revenue compared to other models and in how it's distributed. The result shows up in either stuff getting pulled from the catalog, or never added, or.... never made because the artist that would have made it is doing something else in order to make up for the revenue that might have come from a system that actually assigns value to recordings.
But don't forget -- they'll also squeeze you too! Oh, sure, they know that price increases are a risk, but what risk is in there collecting as much of that sweet sweet data trail and harnessing it to sell you to others?
So if recreational heroin had never been made illegal, pharmaceutical companies would today be "forced" to sell it?
Some things simply should not be allowed to be profitable, and it is not up to for-profit companies to decide what is and what isn't. It's up to society as a whole, though government, to decide what is allowed to be bought and sold. Personal data should be in the category of "not legal to buy and sell".
If one company does start to sell it, its competitors will probably be "forced" to sell it too.
> Some things simply should not be allowed to be profitable, and it is not up to for-profit companies to decide what is and what isn't. It's up to society as a whole, though government, to decide what is allowed to be bought and sold. Personal data should be in the category of "not legal to buy and sell".
Podcasting is currently as open as anything can possibly be and it would take a conscious choice from a podcaster to stop listing things in open formats.
It’s important to remember one of the biggest benefits podcasting offers – at least imho – hobbyists who just want to make a show about their favorite interest. Almost every podcaster does it as a sideGigFunProject.
And just like anything, we see it time and time again, the real damage will come when a critical mass decides they need to do it full time and make millions. A conscious choice to move away from a passion project.
That move is what has consistently shifted open projects into walled gardens, time and time again. It very much so harms the hobbyist in the interest of “the professional.”.
This is what the previous gen-Xers call “selling out” and I think they were correct that you lose something in this transition.
Me personally, I wont be buying into Spotify, I tried it years back (2008 ~ or the early days) and it didn't convince me. The All Music Access option that Google has is the best option for paid music so far.
Anybody making their podcasts exclusive to a platform will have to produce really enticing content or I will not go out of my way to add a new subscription to Spotify. I have my doubts I ever will join Spotify just because of a particular podcast.
Edit: It's called Overcast.
Edit 2: I think I read that on Twitter... but I can't find the tweet anymore.
> Edit 2: ...
Why not just inline your edits instead of acting like people are tracking the revision history of your 12-minute-old comment? I guarantee nobody will notice or call you out.
Keep doing it, screw the people who can somehow find umbrage at such a non-issue.
I recently listened an episode to ELT (Every Little Thing, a gimlet podcast) where they embedded a survey into spotify. Seems like an omen for things to come.
My major qualm in the short term is that the spotify app doesn't do a good job separating music and podcasts.
I actually really like their daily drive auto-generated playlist, it is a combination of podcasts and music (And for a 1hr+ commute I have time to take in both long and short-form media).
They're not doing the same thing. From the article:
> I’ve heard there are some issues with how Apple deals with ratings, but so far, Apple operates as a benevolent despot, largely not collecting data and not privileging its own content.
Also worth noting: Apple distributes Podcasts using RSS, and has kept the ecosystem open for decades. They only provide a platform for distribution and discovery. Spotify, on the other side, wants to seize the whole ecosystem and lock it up in its walled garden. Let us not compare the two.
Spotify is doing with podcasts the same thing that they complain about Apple doing with apps.
Every time you say that shit, you choose to accelerate the decay of society. A flower will die in the autumn... does that justify you stomping through the garden in May?
It's especially ridiculous in the context of podcasts because Apple- a company that understands the principle better than most, has failed to destroy the podcast market for 20 years and counting.
MBA: Is it something we can monetize? It might be worth considering.
> It's especially ridiculous in the context of podcasts because Apple- a company that understands the principle better than most, has failed to destroy the podcast market for 20 years and counting.
I don't understand this part though. I haven't gotten the sense that they ever tried to monopolize or destroy the podcast market. Hell, from what I can tell, they've enabled it to thrive as an open marketplace in a way that Spotify certainly isn't interested in.
Spotify annoys us, being used to free and open things on the hobbyist's dime, but as we smugly advise on HN when it's convenient for us: sometimes you need to shake up the business model. That's what Spotify might be able to pull off for podcasters.
Not sure it will ruin anything, though. The people who prefer to beg for donations in their podcast episodes are always free to do it. Our unwillingness to support content creators is what ruins things and puts everything behind an explicit paywall.
The best case to expect is an average Spotify user listens to about 500 songs a month (25 hours) and has an ARPU of about $5 (https://techcrunch.com/2019/07/31/spotify-108-million/). There cannot possibly be more than $0.01 (1c) per play available to pay the artists. Spotify paying out 37% of that actually looks pretty good.
That's as high as the users will go, it seems; the equilibrium point against piracy or other music services.
And who buys albums nowadays? I made some digital download purchases, but now they don't make much sense.
Smaller artists get paid less on Spotify but bigger artists get paid more (not sure about the details)
Per play, yes, not in total. But they compensate by getting artists a lot more plays than others.
I think that's very subjective. Spotify pays musicians the equivalent of what a user would actually pay the musician, which is basically nothing. We are to blame. As OP said:
> Our unwillingness to support content creators is what ruins things and puts everything behind an explicit paywall.
That's 100% true with most users. It has to be a very small % of users that will actually go out and purchase music that doesn't exist on Spotify for free/apart of their subscription. At the end of the day, the users just don't want to support content creators. Spotify isn't to blame for that.
There needs to be some reason for podcasts to move from where they are currently to Spotify. That reason is generally more listeners, more money or both.
As opposed to what, an advertiser like Casper or Harry’s begging for your purchase?
OR, will spotify provide this value by throwing out the open standard of RSS and providing a closed system they fully control?
A benevolent player could take the first route, working with RSS to do better adds in podcasting without destroying the eco-system. They'd leave some money on the table for themselves, because they'd actively choose not to get a monopoly. But it would undoubtedly be better for everyone else.
Altogether, I think people who enjoy the long-form productions should be excited by this additional attention, but anyone who has been listening to off-the-cuff shows (like me) will have to get used to the shifting ecosystem. Hopefully content creators can adapt to the shift towards "Quality over quantity"
I'd like to hope everyone gets a paycheck equal to their worth in the new world of podcasting, but I'm more realistic than that...
We are under absolutely NO obligation to support them. They like to talk. We may or may not like to listen. They are the digital equivalent of HAM radio operators, and Spotify is acting like worse than a leech on a free and open system.
That is really overlooking a lot of time, effort, and money that many people and companies put into their podcasts. A lot of the best journalism and story telling in the world is in podcast form right now. That won't be the case for very long if the creators can't monetize their work.
Also: note that restricting entertainment to that which is provided for free is a big restriction.
this isn't really accurate any more. A lot of podcasts these days, in particular, the ones Spotify seems to pick up, are professionally produced audio dramas or documentaries that come with significant cost.
Look at some of the more popular ones like Homecoming with Oscar Isaac, Blackout with Rami Malek or Carrier with Cynthia Erivo, those guys and the teams behind it don't work for free.
After the podcast was over, it took about an hour or two to listen through carefully and edit the podcast down to something pleasant to listen to, removing the crosstalk, pauses, weird noises, and things I wish we hadn't said.
People who care more about their podcasts and have longer podcasts spend much more time researching and editing. That time has a lot of cost, especially for people with demanding jobs and families.
Imagine all the books that never would have been written if we seriously thought free Reddit r/writingprompts fiction should be good enough for anyone. "Fiction should stay open and free!"
Producing podcasts costs money. If listeners aren't paying for the costs, someone else has to. If the podcaster can't afford to pay these costs, they'll end up going to someone like Spotify rather than bankrupting themselves for our entertainment.
Look at all of the money made in the 90s Premier Radio Networks, Westwood One, etc. They aggregated content ranging from conservative babble to psychology shows to Art Bell and did very well. Podcasts could be a similar phenomenon as radio dies out.
Eventually AM and FM radio will be auctioned off to cellular carriers, and networks like Spotify will take over. The current podcast ecosystem only exists due to the benevolent dictatorship of Apple. That can go poof any day.
I know it is a little silly and they probably do what is (in the short term) the best financial decision for them, but I already accepted that this is it and I won't listen to them anymore.
If you go exclusive to any plattform you never do it for your fans, but essentially against them. They might have a podcatcher they listen to you on they used for years, which they now should change because you want to limit the plattforms you are on.
The german podcast scene gladly seems to be quite resistant against these kind of things and they say they earn more through direct donations than spotify and/or audible is able to give them anyways.
Why would you voluntarily give up that freedom? And why is it so often US podcasters who do it first (they are also much more plastered with ads)?
It’s great if things in the German podcast scene are different than rest of the world, enabling German podcasts to make more from donations than Spotify.
But if that’s not the case elsewhere, can you really blame the podcasters? Let’s say you decide to bake specialty cookies and give them away while relying on donations. Months in, you realize the donations aren’t really covering your expenses and effort. Then someone comes along and offers you a multiple of your donations for an exclusive, enabling you to make a decent wage.
I guess you could say “you’re doing it against your cookie-loving fans”. But I could just as easily argue “your original fans didn’t help you get fair comp, so you found another set of fans/arrangement to get fair comp”
The US values free speech very much, yet for some reason you will have a hard time to find any podcast who isn't dependend on or tied to some coporate interest (and be it the Nord VPN thing they are selling).
I am btw. willing to throw money their way, as I do with other podcasts. But the option wasn't there to begin with.
Having one sponsor like Spotify means you get paid but also retain a lot of freedom and distance from the audience. If I was a podcaster I'd much rather take that route, even if I lost some listeners.
I'm not sure I understand the "yet" here. Freedom of speech protects the ability to say things but has few implications on the incentives for saying things. It seems to frequently be cited as a variety of different things that are tangentially related to public discourse. Anyway, I'd hardly expect people in the 18th century to come up with a comprehensive framework for protecting against media outlets depending on corporate interests to monetize, if that's your concern.
Perhaps that's because I'm selecting content with little political or controversial content. But even there, I suspect that people who do want that content will find that the advertisers who want them are the ones who naturally appeal to them anyway.
Consumerism in general is always insidious, but that's hardly limited to podcasting. There are a lot of paradoxes associated with being wealthy enough to be in an advertiser's demographic, and yet still be vulnerable to wanting something to make you happy.
The TV world is so fragmented these days, almost nobody will have access to every show on every network and streaming platform. Similarly in music even, not many people have Spotify and Apple Music and Tidal to have access to all the exclusive music. The openness of the podcast world is pretty great, but I won't be surprised if it goes the same way with more and more exclusives.
The flip side, though, is there's more really good TV content these days than ever before, it's just expensive (& annoying) to access it all.
From the perspective of the podcaster the question is: what kind of fans will they loose with such a move, and what kind will they gain in return?
Fewer, or different fans, but a funded show may be worth a lot more than more / great fans and an unfunded show.
The most expensive thing in podcasting is the gear and your time.
For the gear, I went fairly cheap, I got a Zoom H5 , which is super small, light and portable and two lavalier mics, one for me and one for the person I interview.
I then upload the two WAV files to Auphonic  and they add the jingles to it, clean up the sound, normalize it and let me download the mono mp3 which is really small but good quality, which I then upload to my server.
The whole workflow is surprisingly easy and fast. The most time I spend on finding people to talk to and trying to arrange a meeting at a specific time and place.
It's still good to get a decent quality recording. But seeing all the people who do video and broadcasts from trade show floors and the like got me to a point where I don't sweat it if I don't have pristine near-studio conditions. As long as I get interesting guests, 20-25 minutes of conversation IMO comes out pretty well without a huge amount of work.
Fest & Flauschig?
I support a few English-language podcasts on Patreon and that model seems to work quite well for them. Meanwhile, I rely on fan-supplied RSS feeds to keep up with F&F and GH :)
I was a regular listener of Sanft & Sorgfältig back in the days and stopped after their switch to spotify because it was just inconvenient to use compared to overcast. I'd probably do the same with other podcasts I regularly consume.
I get it through a Telegram group where someone rips the casts ;)
The fact that half of its hosts are Justin and Griffin McElroy makes me worried the whole McElroy family of podcasts might flip eventually.
I'd be happy to funnel that money through Spotify, but I suspect there won't be enough to fund the truly jaw-dropping array of content that I've been getting for free for years. And I'd miss my existing podcast app (Pocket Casts), which I'm a very comfortable with.
I'll be very sad if my favorite podcasts decide to jump to Spotify, discover there's no money there either, and drop out.
i don't even need a word to answer that: $.
Why do people actually do that?