A whole lot of monkey news

Having been sent into podcast orbit by the Guardian, Ricky Gervais is now planning to charge for his show via Audible. Hmmm. I enjoyed it but I’m not sure I’d buy.

  • Duneview

    Welcome to Web $2.0.

  • http://unbeknownst.net KirkH

    Maybe they should call it “Monkey Select”

  • http://geistbear.blogware.com Thomas

    *smirk* Dead On, Kirk

  • Jimmy

    Why not? If people are willing download broadcast TV shows, why not this? As your link points out, people like me who already have an AudibleListener plan will get it for “free.” Otherwise, it’s $1.95 — that’s rather cheap.

  • http://geistbear.blogware.com Thomas

    Jimmy, as someone who enjoyed the program I’d put up with advertisers, but I never got enough laughs out of the 30 minutes each program to justify the time and money to subscribe. Maybe if it were an hour, but I still rather doubt it.

  • Adam

    If I’m not paying for Howard, I’m certainly not paying for Ricky. It was fun while it lasted, now it’s marginalized.

  • http://richmanwisco.blogspot.com Rich F.

    I’ve enjoyed listening to his podcast, but he’ll need to do a whole lot better if he’s going to charge for it. But why resort to the old model? Can’t he monetize while keeping it free? Seems others are at least giving it a shot.

  • http://unbeknownst.net KirkH

    Maybe in 30 years advertising will be seen as a weird relic of a time, forgotten by man, when micropayments didn’t exist, people sat on couches waiting to hear about products, and the threat of boycott wrote scripts.

  • http://mrpatto.com Mathew Patterson

    Rich said
    But why resort to the old model? Can’t he monetize while keeping it free?

    Advertising supported products is a pretty old model too, Rich. As I wrote on my blog, Ricky is in the position of having a worldwide audience already, many who will have paid for his work before. I can’t be the only one who is sick of advertising everywhere and woould consider paying instead.

  • John Davidson

    I’d consider buying it for $.99 or subscribing for 12 episodes for $8.99.

    Not to mention that, like Howard Stern, Gervais’ best stuff will appear on the Internet swap meet within hours of broadcast.

  • http://richmanwisco.blogspot.com Rich F.

    But $2 per episode? Where’s the value? Jeff? Would you pay $100/year just for Howard?

    Of course there’s a choice here. Pay per listen with a much smaller audience and make good money, or perhaps go free with adverts, maybe making less money but much wider exposure? There is precedent. Look at professional boxing. Can anybody name the current world heavyweight champion (or should I say any of the four)?

  • Adam

    One can’t assume there will be no advertising on the paid version. Howard made it seem like he wouldn’t have ads, but alas.
    Go ahead and be sick of advertising all you want, but don’t think for a second it will be disappear when you lay down a few dollars.

  • Adam

    (Rich, to add to your question): Jeff, would you pay $100/year just for Howard? For a mere half hour a week?

  • afsvfan

    why doesn’t Ricky just put ads on his website ..

    2 million people a week should bring enough ad money for the 3 of them.

    Ricky hasn’t said what the hosting costs. whats the biggest expense..
    the technology or the people ?

  • Ron Pettengill

    howard is one thing. he actually puts on a 4.5 hours material per working day. While Gervais show was funny – it was really no more than a confection. I might listen to advertising as the price but i would not subscribe.

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  • Chris

    >One can’t assume there will be no advertising on the paid version.

    They’ve already said there will be no advertising in the paid podcast.

    I agree that it was entertaining but it’s not worth what they’re charging for it.

  • http://storycasting.blogspot.com Scott Smith

    Sadly, Ricky switching to Audible means we have to read and hear the word monetize a million more times. The only uglier word usage is when someone pings me.

    Enough of Strunk and White…

    I saw his podcast adventure as a way to promote his stuff, the broadband provider promoting their stuff. He keeps the Gervais products in the fore while his TV shows are in production. I had forgotten about Gervais until his podcast became available.

    Also, the numbers are going to look awful. He’ll go from millions of downloads to thousands of paid downloads. He’ll also lose a lot of buzz. He shorted his own worth. Too bad. I did like his show.

  • http://www.overvu.com Melvin Simpson

    As I said in my own blog a while ago, I’ve laughed out loud with Ricky Gervais and more often with Karl Pilkington. However, it’s become a bit hit and miss recently, which I suppose is to be expected in a collection of unscripted musings. I’m not inclined to pay unless I have a more consistent expectation of quality. Shame.

  • http://butterfly06.hut2.ru Nimer

    Go ahead and be sick of advertising all you want, but don’t think for a second it will be disappear when you lay down a few dollars.

  • afsvfan

    how long till someone types the transcripts of the shows and puts them
    on a site somewhere. will it still be funny .. will Ricky sue…

  • http://geistbear.blogware.com Thomas

    Let see Gervais half hour podcast for roughly the same price as a Lost episode video on iTunes…..hmmm yeah that will fly.

  • afsvfan

    Ricky is smart. he’ll make 1 million bucks per podcast.

  • Nina

    I wouldn’t mind paying a reasonable amount. $2 for 1/2 hour podcast is not reasonable by any calculation, when compared to other forms of entertainment: $13 for a month of Sirius, $3.99 for a movie On Demand, $2 for Lost or Desperate Housewives.

    >>Howard made it seem like he wouldn’t have ads, but alas.

  • Nina

    Hmm it ate the other part of my post.

    >>Howard made it seem like he wouldn’t have ads, but alas. >>

    As a regular listener to Howard pre-Sirirus, I can verifiy that he said many many times that there would be commercials, maybe 5 minutes an hour and that only the music station on Sirius are commercial-free.

  • Colin Jackson

    Where’s this 2$ per episode figure coming from? I paid £3.50 to subscribe (about $7) for a ‘minimum’ of 4 episodes, but the clear understanding is that it’s likely to be a lot more. Given that they’re calling it ‘Season 2’, and ‘Season 1’ was 12 episodes, then there’s a clear implication there. In any case, I’ve had not only had all the Guardian episodes for free, I’ve also had all the XFM podcasts (about 40 hours worth of what is the same formula but arguably fresher and less contrived – the 2005 season is downloadable, and earlier archives are streamed, though you can download them too if you know how – http://www.xfm.co.uk) for free.

    Gervais and Merchant’s stated aim for charging is to provide Karl Pilkington with an income, since he is actually unemployed and was while the whole Guardian series was being made – again a clear implication that Gervais and Pilkington are not making anything from it themselves. Gervais always makes a big point of how he no longer has to do anything for the money. I honestly can’t see financial reward being his motivation for this – podcasting is still a small niche compared to the mainstream media, and he’d make more money doing an actual radio show.