…’s free. 91% of Americans listen to terrestrial radio while only 13% listen to podcasts every week. As those live on-air listeners convert to digital on-demand listeners, the popularity of podcasts is positioned to experience massive growth, but apps that erect paywalls will limit their user base to an affluent fraction of the total opportunity. Other monetization methods can be added on later (donations, merch, recurring fee to skip ads between shows, etc.), but the core service must always have a base, free level of access to be competitive (free alternatives will always exist).
Counterpoint: Netflix killed free, network TV with a monthly subscription service whose original value proposition was mere time shifted streaming — later enhanced by differentiated, original content.
The podcast opportunity is the same as any other: a sliding scale between high ASP/low volume and low ASP/high volume.