One of the worst decisions in the history of podcasting was Ricky Gervais’ decision to go paid last year. He had the largest audience of any podcast in the world and then he forced people to pay to listen. I have no idea what his sub numbers are, but I am certain they are a small fraction of the audience he had.
I discovered Ricky via podcasting and went on to buy the entire series of The Office and Extras. I even got into the NBC version of The Office a bit because of Ricky. None of that would have happened if it weren’t for his free podcast.
I don’t mean to say that he shouldn’t be able to charge for his podcast. He and his partners are free to monetize the show any way they want, but I am fairly certain they could sell sponsorships for a lot more than they are getting in subscriptions.
But today I found out that RIcky is available for free again in iTunes. See the screenshot below. It’s back in the top podcasts (currently number two):
I have no idea if Ricky’s decided to go free again (I sure hope so). But in any case, the show is up there. Go check it out. Ricky’ and his friends are the best podcasters I’ve ever listened to.
And while I am on the subject of iTunes podcasts/videocasts, I am thrilled that Wallstrip, the show I am tangentially involved in, is in the top business podcasts on iTunes in its first month. Great work Lindsay, Howard, and the rest of the crew.