Podcast ads affect podcast content.
I’ve been listening to podcasts for several years. From the outset, I thought of podcasts mainly as a community of people helping people. There wasn’t much in the way of advertising. I didn’t think anyone was in it for the money. I thought podcasters were there to share and connect. However, podcasts have grown in number and popularity. Today, some formerly small podcasts are now commercial for-profit enterprises. There are more ads and the ads are longer. I no longer trust the recommendations the way I once did. Often, if a product is touted, competing products are never even mentioned.
Frequent advertisers on the podcasts I listen to include Squarespace, Backblaze, Gazelle and 1Password. To be sure, these are all fine products. But they each face stiff competition. By trying each of these products or services and their competitors, I found that WordPress was a better solution for this blog, the Amazon Trade-In program paid me more for my used devices than Gazelle, Arq turned out to be a better backup solution for me than Backblaze and Lastpass for my money is a better password manager than 1Password.
For example, WordPress, which is used by more than 25% of all websites, allows me to draft posts in Markdown on apps on my Mac in Byword or MarsEdit and then post directly from within Byword or MarsEdit to my WordPress blog. With Squarespace, I had to cut and paste the Markdown into a little box on the Squarespace website. The Squarespace solution is far less convenient for me than the WordPress solution.
I also found my Squarespace site would sometimes go down. Squarespace responded that they were the subject of a Denial of Service attack. Although I understand such attacks happen, I have never heard one negative comment about Squarespace on any of the podcasts I listen to even when these podcasts discuss website creation. To be sure, WordPress isn’t perfect; it has its own security issues. Every platform has advantages and disadvantages. A fair discussion needs to include the major competitors along with their strengths and weaknesses. In other words, podcast ads affect podcast content.
Blackblaze is another good example. Although Backblaze backs up external drives, it deletes the backup unless the drive is connected to the computer being backed up at least every 30 days. That’s an issue for me because I have a drive that I don’t connect every month. A backup solution ought to be as automatic as possible. With Arq, I don’t have to connect my external drive to prevent the backup from being lost. I store my backups on Amazon Cloud Drive and they just stay there until I delete them.
In retrospect, I was probably naïve because of the sense of community I felt within the podcast world. In any event, from now on when I hear a discussion of product or service category on a podcast that is sponsored by one of the competitors in the marketplace, I will take the recommendation with a grain of salt. Buyer beware. Having said this, I’ll continue to listen to my favorite podcasts despite the ads. I have learned a lot from these podcasts.