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Mark Kermode


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Oh I'm sure they will. I think there are enough examples of these dinky little patreon setups that show there is a market for them. 

But, I've got maybe a dozen regular podcast i listen to, art and history mostly, that I dip in and out off as a topic interest me. I'm not sure I'd want to pay for all of them. Especially as I don't religiously listen to every episode. 

 

I suppose I'm happy to listen to the advertising really. 

 

My worry may be, that as the "big names" arrive to to the party, all the other players will think charging is the way forward. Much like the charge into subscription streaming services. So the good free content with skiable adverts is slowly strangled out. 

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I'm with Dumpster on this too, and I am him.  It's not that I'm not part of that economy, I do support and buy stuff.  I pay £1 a month to Richard Herring, £10 to Netflix and so on.  But it seems the best course of action right now is for talent to drop the traditional methods of delivery and go out on their own. People can make more money with a relatively low number of subscribers (if Kermode and Mayo get 5000 subscribers worldwide at £3 a month they're rolling in it like Scrooge McDuck) but there surely comes a breaking point.  Because right now, I get a hundred shows on radio 4 per week, all free.  I get TV from the BBC and ITV and Sky and Netflix.  As the talent starts to peel away and do their own thing, I'm not sure people have the money.  £2.99 is not a lot, but that's in addition to my subscriptions to everything else.   TV is experiencing this phenomenon right now, as I'm asked to pay for Disney Plus to watch Mandalorian, HBO Max for Our Flag Means Death, Paramount for South Park.  If I want to watch all the shows I like the look of, I'll be paying about £150 a month in streaming subscriptions. Most performers would have dreamed of a TV show, now they can earn more In their kitchen with a laptop and microphone.  There are 2 fallouts from this.  One is people will simply do without (especially with the cost of living crisis, Kermode and Mayo would be the first thing to go), but also, if everything starts to be a subscription, those with the most money become the best informed.  Everyone should have access to the best news reporting for example.  Melvyn Bragg did a report on this when sattelite TV launched, stating that TV should educate as well as entertain and it was the beginning of a two tier society where the wealthy had better content than the poor.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, James Lyon said:

 

People obviously do pay, though. Otherwise the likes of Patreon and Twitch subscriptions wouldn't exist.

But where do they draw the line as everyone peels away from mainstream broadcasting in favour of their own podcast? How many £2.99s a month does it take to bankrupt a family of four in fuel poverty?  

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3 hours ago, Sidewaysbob said:

My worry may be, that as the "big names" arrive to to the party, all the other players will think charging is the way forward. Much like the charge into subscription streaming services. So the good free content with skiable adverts is slowly strangled out. 

 

Your worry is that you won't be able to continue contributing nothing at all and getting everything you want for free? I suspect you'll be fine. There will always be free content, as this podcast is visibly demonstrating.

 

You're not an audience anyone is chasing though, because you have no material benefit to them or their continued ability to produce said content.

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27 minutes ago, dumpster said:

But where do they draw the line as everyone peels away from mainstream broadcasting in favour of their own podcast? How many £2.99s a month does it take to bankrupt a family of four in fuel poverty?  

 

Oh do fuck off. This is a piece of entertainment. The fuel poverty comparison is cheap and unnecessary, and Kermode and Mayo's podcast is not a requirement to survive.

 

And even then - you're getting a show for free anyway. So christ knows what your point is on this particular issue. Try saving on South Park and Our Flag because they're both bad.

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1 hour ago, dumpster said:

I'm with Dumpster on this too, and I am him.  It's not that I'm not part of that economy, I do support and buy stuff.  I pay £1 a month to Richard Herring, £10 to Netflix and so on.  But it seems the best course of action right now is for talent to drop the traditional methods of delivery and go out on their own. People can make more money with a relatively low number of subscribers (if Kermode and Mayo get 5000 subscribers worldwide at £3 a month they're rolling in it like Scrooge McDuck) but there surely comes a breaking point.  Because right now, I get a hundred shows on radio 4 per week, all free.  I get TV from the BBC and ITV and Sky and Netflix.  As the talent starts to peel away and do their own thing, I'm not sure people have the money.  £2.99 is not a lot, but that's in addition to my subscriptions to everything else.   TV is experiencing this phenomenon right now, as I'm asked to pay for Disney Plus to watch Mandalorian, HBO Max for Our Flag Means Death, Paramount for South Park.  If I want to watch all the shows I like the look of, I'll be paying about £150 a month in streaming subscriptions. Most performers would have dreamed of a TV show, now they can earn more In their kitchen with a laptop and microphone.  There are 2 fallouts from this.  One is people will simply do without (especially with the cost of living crisis, Kermode and Mayo would be the first thing to go), but also, if everything starts to be a subscription, those with the most money become the best informed.  Everyone should have access to the best news reporting for example.  Melvyn Bragg did a report on this when sattelite TV launched, stating that TV should educate as well as entertain and it was the beginning of a two tier society where the wealthy had better content than the poor.

 

 

 

 

You are of course not forced to pay for every streaming services at the same time, nor are you locked into a minimum contract. Pay your subs for one for a month, cancel at the end and move on to the next.

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31 minutes ago, dumpster said:

But where do they draw the line as everyone peels away from mainstream broadcasting in favour of their own podcast? How many £2.99s a month does it take to bankrupt a family of four in fuel poverty?  

 

You can get half of the content for free, as long as you're willing to listen to adverts.

 

The free with adverts or pay for ad-free model is perfectly morally acceptable, in my view.

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1 hour ago, schmojo said:

 

Oh do fuck off. This is a piece of entertainment. The fuel poverty comparison is cheap and unnecessary, and Kermode and Mayo's podcast is not a requirement to survive.

 

And even then - you're getting a show for free anyway. So christ knows what your point is on this particular issue. Try saving on South Park and Our Flag because they're both bad.

 

You have a very polarized view of the world, you do know that, don't you?

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1 hour ago, schmojo said:

 

Your worry is that you won't be able to continue contributing nothing at all and getting everything you want for free? I suspect you'll be fine. There will always be free content, as this podcast is visibly demonstrating.

 

You're not an audience anyone is chasing though, because you have no material benefit to them or their continued ability to produce said content.

 

I could be wrong, but essentially are you saying "Why don't you fuck off, you free loading cunt" here ? because that's what is sounds an awful lot like you're saying.

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1 hour ago, schmojo said:

 

Oh do fuck off. This is a piece of entertainment. The fuel poverty comparison is cheap and unnecessary, and Kermode and Mayo's podcast is not a requirement to survive.

 

And even then - you're getting a show for free anyway. So christ knows what your point is on this particular issue. Try saving on South Park and Our Flag because they're both bad.

 

Bit harsh. 

 

I'm a fan of Kermode and Mayo so I will certainly subscribe to this new thing. 

 

But I mean, objectively the value proposition has changed. 

 

The status quo for a very long time has been the same. Everyone can listen to the same Wittertainment show at no immediate cost (yes technically we've already paid for it via our licence fee but that's not immediately relevant because, a bit like standing charges on our utility bills, you'd be paying that anyway). If you're really keen you could listen as it went out live on the radio, but more likely if you're a fan you'd wait and get the podcast version, with all the interruptions (news and sport) edited out, and, crucially, 30-40 minutes of podcast-only content. 

 

We don't quite know what the new shows will be like yet but for the sake of this comparison, let's assume the free one will be roughly the same as the on-air portion of the old show. It's still free (good), it's not going to be interrupted every few minutes by racing from Chilcott (good), but it will have ads (bad). 

 

Continuing with the assumptions, namely that the second show might be analogous to the previous podcast-only extras, the Dear Listener (who still wants to hear all of it, like they're used to) is now obliged to pay for the privilege. There's both a cost overhead (maintaining the subscription fee) and a convenience one (maintaining two streams of episodes rather than one. Which do you listen to first? Will one show contain references and in-jokes that don't make sense unless you've listened to the other one?)

 

I can't really blame K&M / Somethin' Else for doing it, especially if (as has been hinted) the BBC simply attempted to pay less while expecting to receive the same show. But more generally I'm not a fan of the ongoing march towards privatisation and monetisation of, well, everything. 

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49 minutes ago, Sidewaysbob said:

 

I could be wrong, but essentially are you saying "Why don't you fuck off, you free loading cunt" here ? because that's what is sounds an awful lot like you're saying.

 

Nope, plenty of room for people who don't want to pay and want to skip ads. Which is something you have said you value. This particular podcast is likely to offer you exactly that. You're complaining about a situation that doesn't exist.

 

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51 minutes ago, jonathanhoey said:

 

Bit harsh. 

 

...

 

I can't really blame K&M / Somethin' Else for doing it, especially if (as has been hinted) the BBC simply attempted to pay less while expecting to receive the same show. But more generally I'm not a fan of the ongoing march towards privatisation and monetisation of, well, everything. 

 

I'm not sure I get your point here. 

 

You know that they shouldn't have to work for free, but you think ads are bad. There's nobody willing to pay them to provide it to you free, and you don't like the idea it should be paid for by the listeners. So how does it exist in this ideal scenario? By the BBC changing their minds?

 

Capitalism being shit is not new, and it works in much more nefarious ways than having to pay for entertainment you like. Like actual fuel poverty.

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I think it's the splitting into two tiers that bothers me. If it was straight up "free with ads, or pay to get no ads" I wouldn't have any reservations at all, I'd just pay it (or if things were tight, cut it and deal with the ads).

 

I don't love part of the actual content being completely paywalled though.

 

In practice someone will probably put it up on YouTube, I imagine, and I mean it's all first world problems isn't it? 

 

But at the same time, "get you used to a service at no/low cost, then make it objectively worse unless you pay" is obviously not a good thing for the end user, consumer or in this case audience. Other (far more major) examples would be the likes of Dropbox and YouTube. 

 

I don't have all the answers by any means. Creators deserve to get paid fairly for their work, just like anyone else doing a job. On some levels I'm happier with them going down this route than, say, if they'd simply ported the whole show direct to a commercial station with on-air ad breaks. 

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Even the paywalled stuff will amount to the equivalent of about four cinema tickets a year, and you're bound to get much more entertainment out of it than that.

 

I think my favourite thing about directly supporting the creators is that they don't need a ton of money or subscribers for it to be worth their while. Sure, having 500,000 non-paying subscribers must be nice, but having 5,000 paying ones will likely free you up better to make the show you want without compromise.

 

It'll be interesting to see if the content changes without the constraints of the BBC.

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4 hours ago, dumpster said:

 if Kermode and Mayo get 5000 subscribers worldwide at £3 a month they're rolling in it like Scrooge McDuck

 

It's not nothing but:

 

Take: £180,000.

Apple's cut: £54000

VAT @ 20% on the remainder: £25200

Remainder: £100k

Split off - producer, agents, mayo, kermode, other costs...

 

It's not McDuck levels. Or even close to what they'd previously be taking home each.

 

Which does lead to the question - how many subscribers do they need?

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17 minutes ago, schmojo said:

 

It'll be interesting to see if the content changes without the constraints of the BBC.

 

Agreed.

 

Mayo in particular has had a kind of "last week of term", DGAF attitude for a while now. 

 

I imagine Kermode has had to be a bit more careful because he's still doing some work for the BBC (Culture Show I guess, and whatever else) whereas Mayo has completely severed his ties now. 

 

Edited to add: @footle I assumed @dumpster had made a typo and it was meant to say 50,000 subscribers. 

 

It is important to remember it's still going to be produced by Somethin' Else. It's not like the two doctors have pivoted to producing their own show completely out of Simon's spare room in Showbiz North London, by way of a video link to Narnia. 

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16 minutes ago, footle said:

 

It's not nothing but:

 

Take: £180,000.

Apple's cut: £54000

VAT @ 20% on the remainder: £25200

Remainder: £100k

Split off - producer, agents, mayo, kermode, other costs...

 

It's not McDuck levels. Or even close to what they'd previously be taking home each.

 

Which does lead to the question - how many subscribers do they need?

 

They will get revenue from ads too.

 

I think unless it's not successful at all they will probably end up better off than at the BBC.

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I haven’t really liked their attitude about the show coming to it’s end over the last few weeks. They barley mentioned it, and when they did it was always in a “so what” kind of way. I get that in their mind they are moving on to bigger and better things, but it felt a bit disrespectful to their very loyal fan base. I imagine a large chunk of their radio listeners don’t use podcasts, and are unlikely to start now.

 

I love podcasts and have done for many years, but it always takes me a bit by surprise when I often get blank looks from friends and colleagues whenever I say the word podcast.

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29 minutes ago, Bazjam said:

I haven’t really liked their attitude about the show coming to it’s end over the last few weeks. They barley mentioned it, and when they did it was always in a “so what” kind of way. I get that in their mind they are moving on to bigger and better things, but it felt a bit disrespectful to their very loyal fan base. I imagine a large chunk of their radio listeners don’t use podcasts, and are unlikely to start now.

 

I love podcasts and have done for many years, but it always takes me a bit by surprise when I often get blank looks from friends and colleagues whenever I say the word podcast.

 

I imagine that the BBC haven't treated them very well.

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3 minutes ago, Festoon said:

 

I imagine that the BBC haven't treated them very well.

Possibly, but the show is all them. They’ve shaped it and built up its following over the years. So it’s not been too bad for them. Just seemed odd to be dismissive of it and it’s listeners.

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I haven't listened to the full show in ages as I haven't had the time. I usually just to listen to the reviews on YouTube - I hope there's a way to still do that (without having to scrub through the podcast).

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2 hours ago, schmojo said:

Even the paywalled stuff will amount to the equivalent of about four cinema tickets a year.

Plus the cost of an apple device if you don't already have one. I'll never buy an iPhone because I just don't like how locked down they are, and I'm not listening on a pc because that's where I do my work. So for me only half the show is available.

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Everyone's making big assumptions about the nature of the paywalled content, especially the idea that you're only getting 'half a show'.

 

Last Podcast on the Left always had a ton of stuff that was Patreon only, but I never feel like I'm getting short-changed with the weekly free episode. Take Two could just be something they don't currently offer, like retrospective reviews.

 

Not making it available to Android feels a misstep. Apple must have either offered them a notable incentive - or nobody multiplatform bothered to. If it's not an exclusivity deal, here's hoping that get corrected.

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2 hours ago, schmojo said:

Everyone's making big assumptions about the nature of the paywalled content, especially the idea that you're only getting 'half a show'.

 

Last Podcast on the Left always had a ton of stuff that was Patreon only, but I never feel like I'm getting short-changed with the weekly free episode. Take Two could just be something they don't currently offer, like retrospective reviews.

 

Not making it available to Android feels a misstep. Apple must have either offered them a notable incentive - or nobody multiplatform bothered to. If it's not an exclusivity deal, here's hoping that get corrected.

 

Er, it's on Pocketcasts on my Android.

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On 01/04/2022 at 17:51, Stigweard said:

I listen to a few pods with ads and the skip button works a treat, so this is fine.


I listen to Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast, and he has mentioned quite a few times that the platform onto which he publishes (Acast, I think) know if ads are being skipped, and don’t pay out if that’s the case. When you write it down like that it does sound a bit like the license fee van with the radar dish that can tell if you’re watching TV without a license nonsense, but I’ve no reason to disbelieve him - the only reason he’d say that is if it genuinely affects his bottom line, I’m sure he doesn’t want people to listen to ads for the fun of it. 
 

Anyway, what a missed opportunity to rebrand officially as Wittertainment. 

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59 minutes ago, Popo said:


I listen to Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast, and he has mentioned quite a few times that the platform onto which he publishes (Acast, I think) know if ads are being skipped, and don’t pay out if that’s the case. When you write it down like that it does sound a bit like the license fee van with the radar dish that can tell if you’re watching TV without a license nonsense, but I’ve no reason to disbelieve him - the only reason he’d say that is if it genuinely affects his bottom line, I’m sure he doesn’t want people to listen to ads for the fun of it. 

 

I'm not an expert so I could be wrong, but I think that's half true (probably the important half). 

 

As I understand it, the way it works is it injects dynamic adverts into each podcast while the listener is streaming or downloading (as opposed to the advert just being part of the show audio). 

 

This causes weird and nonsensical results if you're in the habit of working through older episodes of a long-running show. For example I've been listening through old episodes of Kermode's other podcast (the one where he plays live recordings from his MK3D shows at the BFI). You end up with adverts referencing the Covid pandemic in the middle of a show from 2018, that kind of thing. 

 

Anyway I've noticed that if I download episodes at home, where I have a PiHole on my home network to block ads at domain level, the injected adverts just don't load. So the podcast will get to the insertion point and just carry on without a gap. 

 

I suspect that browser adblockers probably do something similar, if you were listening to a podcast via a web player on desktop, for example. 

 

So it's fairly obvious that Rich isn't getting paid if the listener never downloads the advert on his show at all. 

 

What's less obvious is whether or not the publisher can tell if you downloaded the ad, but then skipped over it. That's debatable and a quick Google basically comes back with "depends who you ask". I did find this though: 

 

https://medium.com/lawsonmedia/no-people-arent-skipping-your-podcast-ads-bb43d708d1db

 

Quote

The truth is — very few people actually skip ads, and we know this because of Apple.

 

In late 2017, Apple began rolling out their podcast analytics. The data they provided is not very comprehensive, and there are many limitations, however they do offer one very useful indicator — and that is completion rate.

 

As an example — at Lawson Media, most episodes of our Moonshot podcast achieve upwards of 85% completion rates, with many episodes being above 90%. Meaning the audience is listening to a majority of the content.

 

While previous surveys may have indicated that people skip ads — the truth is the data shows that very few people actually do. When we dive into the stats, Apple give us a graph showing points in the episode where people skip ahead based on actual listening data collected from Apple Podcasts.

 

Completion data for a recent Moonshot episode shows a relatively small dip during the ad breaks.

 

For Moonshot — most our ads run around 60 seconds and we can see a very small percentage of people actually skip the ads. Our show is very tech-savvy with Pocket Casts and Apple Podcasts being our two largest listening platforms — both which have ad skip functionality — so given our audience you’d anticipate that a lot of people might be likely to skip the ads. But the majority of people don’t skip, and will listen to the entire show including the ads.

 

So it might be, essentially, a moot point in the wider scheme of things. 

 

 

59 minutes ago, Popo said:

 

Anyway, what a missed opportunity to rebrand officially as Wittertainment. 

 

I think the BBC owns the name. At the very least the @wittertainment Twi'er account has been retained by the BBC, although it's had the bio changed to say that it will no longer be updated. Hence they're at @kermodeandmayo now. 

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21 hours ago, Festoon said:

 

I imagine that the BBC haven't treated them very well.

 

Mayo tweeted that his security pass was cancelled before he left the building on Friday, meaning the doors wouldn't open and he had to be helped out.  That was 45 minutes after they'd tweeted the announcement of the new podcast 😂

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On 04/04/2022 at 19:48, Marzipan Travolta said:

It going subscription based presumably means we will get a show every week, rather than school term time only, which feels a bit odd now their kids aren't at school. 

 

I wondered about that too, but I'm not sure really. I imagine the production team is a bit younger than Kermode and Mayo so it's not unlikely that they do have school-age kids themselves. 

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