Anyone who wants to download the Pocket Casts podcast app can now do so for free.
Previously, you had to pay a one-time fee of $ 3.99 to access Android or iOS apps, but CEO Owen Grover said this approach increasingly seemed at odds with Pocket Casts’ goals and the organizations vision. radio stations (NPR, WNYC Studios and WBEZ Chicago) which acquired it last year.
âWe understood quite clearly that we are limiting our reach and limiting the number of users who can take advantage of the quality and power of the app and the platform,â said Grover. âIt was wise and foolish to keep raising a few dollars at the topâ¦ We have the advantage of these owners who support us in a way that allows us to expand our audience, accustom new listeners and provide a pretty great user live. “
Going forward, he said that key features of the Pocket Casts app – including audio effects and cross-platform syncing – will be available for free.
At the same time, Pocket Casts is launching a monthly subscription called Pocket Casts Plus, where it said that “power users and super users” can pay 99 cents per month or $ 10 per year to access desktop apps, storage. cloud of their own audio. and exclusive video files and app icons and themes.
Switching from a one-off price to a subscription model may seem like a move to make more money, but Grover said the company is actually only charging a fee to cover the costs of Plus features, especially storage. in the cloud.
âIn the short term, we’ll make less money. It’s not about that, âhe said. âIt’s not about maximizing app revenue for us, it’s about maximizing the unique quality of the partnership. [with] our wonderful public media partners.
It doesn’t mean Pocket Casts is not interested in making money. In fact, Grover said the team will have “more to share on how we think about smart, healthy and scalable business models going forward.” (He also assured me that the model would not focus on advertising.)
He described this change as part of a larger strategy after last year’s acquisition, which was followed by upgrades to the back-end and front-end of Pocket Casts.
âIt’s really the third pillar – now we’re going to the races,â said Grover.