Free Podcast Apps Are Nothing New ➝

A great response by Matt Birchler to Samantha Bielefeld’s The Elephant in the Room from Wednesday. And certainly the most well-written and level-headed commentary I’ve seen that disagrees with her ideas.

Matt points out that Overcast isn’t a unique specimen, there’s plenty of free podcast clients available. Which is absolutely true, but I subtly disagree with his argument and believe that this is still a conversation worth having.

I would consider all of the free podcast clients he mentioned to be of a different class of application. They are targeted to the mainstream and don’t have the same finesse that Castro, Pocket Casts, and Overcast do — they appeal to a different subset of users. And even though the tech-centric, podcast-listening crowd is a small segment of the overall market, it’s still large enough to support multiple developers building apps for it. But all of these apps — premium podcast clients that appeal to those of us willing to pay for apps in the first place — might not last in an environment where a niche client like Overcast is suddenly free.

However, I do think it’s worth keeping Matt’s points in mind when we think, talk, and write about this topic going forward.