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Sad to see that @pocketcasts, my favourite podcast player, is in trouble: losing money by the fistful and up for sale. I'm genuinely wondering what's next for it.
Pocket Casts for sale: where did it go wrong?
I love Pocket Casts. But as it loses millions and puts itself up for sale, who would buy into it?
33 replies and sub-replies as of Jan 15 2021

Same. Hoping it doesn't get swallowed up by a tech company.
Ditto, but I bet anything that Amazon buys it.
just wants access to work with it/on it when @amazonmusic buys @ART19co. Seems like a bit of a day dream for Amazon to acquire yet another podcast capable app.
Why is it a day dream? Spotify's huge advantage is having device-level data, which Apple has but doesn't leverage. Having an app gets you infinitely more valuable data, and buying an existing app makes more sense than making one. Music apps can't easily turn into podcast apps.
...can I introduce you to Amazon Music and Audible?
Those apps are pretty average though. Bad experience for podcasts, let alone music and audiobooks.
If bad app experiences was a motivator for companies to buy an app, wouldn't Spotify have pursued that already?
I don't think they understand or care about the podcast listening experience enough to realise. They would improve it if they did because Spotify is also terrible for podcasts.
It’s honestly really hard to build the same app for music and podcasts. I was on the team that worked on improving the player for podcasts when I was at TuneIn, and it was more complex than I expected.
That's the problem. Doesn't surprise me!
Nooooooo Pocketcasts is my favourite. It all just works so well and the UX/UI is so intuitive
I wonder if it is because they have multiple people who are supported by it versus @OvercastFM which can sustain a single developer @marcoarment comfortably.
I'd think so. Plus there's not much reason to pay for the app; and no advertising revenue from podcasters.
I don’t know anything about their business, but I do know a lot about mine. I do well for a one-person business, but a few executives, a multi-person staff, and the overhead of an office would be difficult for me to support. I work alone for multiple reasons; cost is a big one.
I think I'm in a relatively similar place. I couldn't afford paid staff or office space, but I can afford to work for myself, and feel grateful for it.
If I recall correctly, their synced web app is a premium feature. This is the main reason I'm using Pocket Casts and I still don't know any other good podcatcher that does that. Maybe Google? But I'd like to avoid them.
Google does, as you say. Podfriend does, I think, too.
For someone so well versed in the podcast space this is a pretty poor take. Did you really just take NPRs reported loss and times by 3 without wondering what that was spent on? An organisation as small as Pocket Casts doesn’t have those kind of costs
Yes, I took NPR's reported share of the costs, and multiplied it based on their shareholding percentage. If that's a "pretty poor take", it's only because I'm applying the normal JV structure to this. Happy to take correction before it's seen by more folks tonight.
I'd wonder what $800,000 is spent on, to be honest. But as I hope is clear, I wish your company well - it's my podcast app of choice. I'd hope that the points made are helpful and constructive, and that your next chapter is just as rewarding.
I don’t think your article is helpful if I’m honest. It’s a reposting of a article without any extra journalism or research. I can’t be more helpful except to say you’re way off base. If you choose to publish it anyway knowing that, well that’s on you.
Current - For people in public media
For people in public media
Thanks. I'm unclear what's "way off base". Losses of at least $800,000 appears accurate. The Current story doesn't mention the shrinking market share, the lack of any innovation, nor the lack of product differentiation; so to call it merely a repost is wide of the mark.
…and updated for you - with clarification of the loss, and a little more research (there!) about your slipping market share. Sincere best wishes for the future - I remain a fan of the product.
Pocket Casts for sale: where did it go wrong?
I love Pocket Casts. But as it loses millions and puts itself up for sale, who would buy into it?
Of course they may have lost money on paper given that the app went free and how there’s been significant investment in growing the team. That’s not unexpected for a growing team. They’re still by far the best podcast app from a listener perspective though.
They really are the best.
Agreed on all points. Though $2m is a hell of a growth!
If that were an accurate number it wouldn't be out of the question once you consider the impact of developer salaries and sending the app free. They're a much bigger, and more international, team than when they were acquired.
What would be disappointing though is if they did end up selling to Google, or Apple. I understand the team initially turned back approaches from big tech, probably leaving a lot of $$ on the table, because the values didn't align.
To comment on the Podcastindex part: I did contact @pocketcasts some time ago and pointed them to the new Podcastindex. They did not seem to be aware of it. However, they had no intention of implementing anything. Too bad.
It's been my favorite too. I like it so much that I was happy to pay for it! Great article. I totally agree about PodcastAddict being unintuitive and ugly - not to mention the name.
Thank you. I've paid for it twice!
I also like the way it synchronizes with Alexa. I suppose that's standard with the other Apps.