Garrek Stemo

The New York Times Makes a Podcast-like App

Tuesday, May 23, 2023  ⚓︎

The New York Times just released New York Times Audio, an app for “audio journalism”. It curates all of the New York Times podcasts (including a new daily podcast called “Headlines”) as well as podcasts from third parties, like Foreign Policy and This American Life. It will also include audio versions of written articles.

I think it will be difficult to penetrate the pretty well established spoken-word market. Podcasts are dominated by Apple Podcasts, and Spotify has had a hard time turning podcasting into a core part of its business. I can see NYT Audio being a niche product that appeals to a small subset of NYT subscribers, but not much more. I’m guessing the goal is to charge a fee for third parties to access NYT subscribers. I don’t really see how this app would generate more revenue from existing subscribers both because I don’t see huge numbers using the app and because podcasts are traditionally free and use open web standards. Again, see Spotify’s and other attempts to make proprietary podcasting formats.

I’ll try the app, but I don’t see it becoming a habit. Overcast is already on my Home Screen and adding another podcast app is a tall order. If I find something I like, I will most likely just add it to a playlist in Overcast.