Would You Pay For RTE’s Podcasts?

Niamh Doohan had a small piece in yesterday’s Sunday Independant (which I actually found time to read) with the heading ‘RTE may cash in on podcast success‘. This news comes in the same breath that RTE are ditching their medium wave service, at a reasonable annual saving too to the national broadcaster (around a million euro a year).

However, yesterday’s article suggests that

…RTE’s own website may be outstripping traffic on Apples’s online store iTunes, the creators of podcasting. The leaked statistics from Montrose show its top 10 podcasts broke the three million mark in just nine months last year…

While I would argue the idea of Apple being the creators of podcasting, it’s worth noting that this is only considering traffic from RTE’s website, nothing at all to with traffic from iTunes where RTE’s ‘Nob Nation’ is one of the top downloaded podcasts in the country.

With RTE saving money in one area they’re obviously on the look out for money elsewhere. There’s been enough rows and debates over increases in TV license fees in recent times and with reported dips in TV advertising revenue in recent years as well, can we expect in 2008 to see RTE turning their podcasts into “pod-cash”? Podcast-only advertising deals? Podcast sponsors?

Would you

  • Pay an annual fee to subscribe to RTE’s podcasts via RTE?
  • Continue to download RTE’s podcasts if the advertising in shows increased?
  • Pay-per-podcast for specific shows? Perhaps free highlights and a nominal fee for a full download?

Personally, no. The only way I could imagine myself paying for podcasting material is if it was in an educational environment. i.e. part of an online course. I can accept people sponsoring podcasts (e.g. a sponsor’s plug at the beginning of the show / end of show or a subtle drop during the show) but I’m not overly keen on dropping full length commercial adverts into podcasts. If I wanted that sure I’d just listen to the radio…

Do you even listen to any of RTE’s podcasts? Did you even know that RTE offer over 70 different podcasts direct from their website? There was I thinking I was ok with doing 2 (Sound System / Playlist Mix)…

Or will we see the TV license system in Ireland revamped to a ‘Media License’ and see podcasting bundled in? New taxes on iPods and Zunes? Who knows…