I heard that John Gruber and Ben Thompson were collaborating on a new podcast called Dithering, but I couldn't find it in Overcast. Then I did a little more digging and learned that it's a paid 15 minute podcast that drops three times a week for $5 a month or $50 a year. It sounds like they've already got 20 episodes in the feed and around 5,000 subscribers out of the gate- which doesn't surprise me given their online following and the quality of their tech analysis and commentary. With advertising budgets at risk because of the pandemic it makes sense that podcasters like Gruber would explore new revenue streams, and in fact I've noticed that Relay.fm is starting to promote their paid membership program more actively as well.
I have no problem with these efforts because I think quality podcasters should be able to make a living doing what they do. I also feel less motivated to go out of my way to support the podcasts that I listen to when they have sizable followings. I enjoy the podcasts that Gruber and Thompson have done together in the past, but they're both already quite successful and more short conversations for a monthly fee doesn't appeal to me at all. I've got to say that Relay centering their $5 a month membership around a Discord community, a couple member only podcasts, specials, and other perks is a lot more interesting to me now than it was when it first debuted. All things considered I'm a lot more selective about what I'm doing with discretionary spending right now and it's hard for me to get excited about spending money on what has always been a free diversion for me up until this point.