Who would pay to subscribe to a TWIT+ ? Would it be possible or to much work to cut the ads out. Or would a show with the value for value model work on the TWIT network?
The reality of what tech becomes and how it’s used can in many ways exist independently of what it’s known broadly to be; so long as TWiT remains ad-funded, it places itself squarely on the trailing end of the food chain in my book, as critical as awareness of and consensus around tech such as forged in TWiT’s best moments may be to tech’s most hopeful potential. If I’m to pay for tech media coverage, it will not be in supplement to an outlet still beholden to the vested interests of whom it covers.
If TWiT did go “premium”, its influence would in large measure buckle due to difficulty in reaching an audience, and would probably have to survive in some form resembling The Edge Foundation (a comparison I don’t mean to make too closely, given its recently revealed enablement of Epstein), and in that its primary draw for my interest would also collapse.
Speaking completely ignorant of the details, here, I wonder if TWiT might have a viable future as a direct-support operation offering only a few more generalist shows for free, the way many Patreon indies now tend toward.
But the idea of a “+” meaning in addition to ads is anathema to me because I see it to be working against my own, and indeed tech’s and society’s, best interests. It pains me to find this conclusion unavoidable, as it seems to me that Leo, for one, tends TWiT with exactly the right motives, it’s just a shame that the way things function leaves TWiT pretty high and dry on the one hand, and its hands somewhat editorially tied on the other.
I do not see it happening. And, I remember Leo discussing something similar on the Tech Guy in the past - I think it will remain the same as it is.
I might pay $40-50 a year, I couldn’t afford more. But the ads aren’t that bad on TWiT. I like hearing the new ads, when it is an ad I’ve heard before, I just skip. In the car, I just keep tapping the skip button on the steering wheel, for example.
Inside.com has an interesting model where you can subscribe to the particular newsletter you want. I think you can subscribe to two individual ones before the cost goes up and they let you subscribe to as many as you want for a fixed price. I can think of at least one TWiT show I’d probably open my wallet for.
Not sure I’d pay for a premium service, as the ads don’t annoy me enough to justify it. In fact I usually find them of interest.
Well if you had a clever playback program, one could propose a model where one would listen to the shows, mark the start and end of the ads, and publish that info for auto-skip, at a subscription price. This would be the model @Leo et al would want to pursue if they were to go there, simply because it would be cheaper to do it as an “overlay” than to recreate the content in multiple formats. They could even outsource it to a 3rd party and revenue share.
Currently I couldn’t afford any sort of subscription. And I like the ads: I generally find the content interesting, and particularly enjoy the way hosts personalise the generic script as they deliver it. For me, a TWiT without ads would be a little less satisfying. I’d feel like something was missing.
I for one would not be interested in any subscription to anything, even if I did have the money for subscriptions. Adds don’t bother me. I listen to the ones that are relevant and skip over the ones that are not. Sometimes I listen to the ones on products I have no use for because the hosts are entertaining even when reading copy. I have gotten some good discounts from using TWIT codes.
The problem I have with companies, which have an ad supported level and a subscription model as well, is that I am constantly being hounded to enroll in the subscription. Subscriptions always seem to start offering contend that the ad supported viewers or listeners can’t access. Often it gets so irritating that I stop watching or listening completely.
I don’t think a premium service could work for TWiT. It is responding to news, so it is competing with all the other outlets that will be reporting it. The commentary of the hosts and guests is not compelling enough for a price with all the alternatives, especially the other sources the guests also work at.
Also, the back-catalog gets dated fast and has limited re-watch value.
I could see a Patreon type subscription working where you got some extra stuff. TWiT out-takes and the like. But that would just be extra stuff for the people that watch all the time and not just a few shows.
Don’t forget that TWiT is getting some payment from YouTube pre-roll ads. I least I hope they are, that could be a decent chunk of change.
Almost agree 100%. I’d change the wording of “couldn’t afford more” to “not willing to pay more.” I spend many more hours watching TWiT than I do Hulu+. If I had limited funds and had to trade I’d drop Hulu+ for TWIT IF that was the only way to get it.
Like you @big_D, I don’t mind watching new ads and skip most of the re-runs.
Here in Germany the pay-for-TV is very different than in the USA. We have to pay the state an annual fee for TV, which funds regional TV and radio stations and that is about it. There are a few dozen free-to-air channels and that is enough for most people - for example the FTA channel RTL II carried Game of Thrones. There is Sky TV, but very few people I know subscribe to it.
We don’t have any subscriptions for TV or streaming services - other than Amazon Prime and that is just a bonus of having Amazon Prime for deliveries.
I do subscribe to Thurrott.com and I would be willing to subscribe to TWiT, although I only listen to 4 shows regularly (TWiT, TWiG, Security Now and Windows Weekly). I generally listen to them when out walking the dog or commuting. But money for such luxuries is very tight.
Could there be a Twit+? Sure. Will there be one? Probably not. I imagine that if the business model would’ve been deemed viable for TwiT, it would’ve happened already.
As a paid version, I would expect minimal ads and higher quality video.
There’s also a question as to the business side and whether it fits in with their revenue model.
If the production team doesn’t see value right now in anything other than content, why would they offer a paid subscription?
I find many of the ads informative.
Honestly, I could see this as being a good service someone could develop for the entire podcast industry. A middleman (like Patreon) develops a podcast app which allows you to subscribe to multiple premium plans and handles payments while the individual podcast or network defines what each subscription includes (timestamps for auto-ad skip, optional bonus content, merch coupons, newsletters, etc).
The user would download an app and be able to subscribe to multiple premium podcasts or podcast networks (a “TWiT+”, Relay.fm’s Membership, etc.) and all memberships would be billed together as one monthly payment which the app divides up with a small fee to each podcaster. Said app would of course still be able to play normal podcasts and have your standard podcast features (like speed control and silence removal) so everything is in one place.
I think that would run afoul of Apple’s prohibition on marketplace apps, though (for their devices) (not that I necessarily agree against those).
It would probably have to work like Amazon does on iOS devices, you buy though a website instead of the app. Should be fine on Android and Web though.
I’m another weirdo who actually likes the ads. Our household would subscribe to TWiT if that was the only way we could get it – my partner watches it literally non-stop while working from home and on the road, so it would be more than worth it to him – but me personally, probably not.
For me, the ads on TWiT harken back to an age where advertisements actually informed me of things relevant to my interests and needs (e.g. air purifiers, small business resources, cloud storage).
It might help that reading it out and giving something personally relateable to the product makes it more of a “peer recommendation, take it or leave it” rather than a “marketing push please look at this because they give me funding” in my head. Psychology, I guess.