“It’s very difficult to reach most iOS users with a paid-up-front app, and the biggest podcast apps by far—Apple’s Podcasts and Stitcher—are both free. When I ask most people which podcast app they use, they overwhelmingly say one of those ‘because it was free.’
“I want to offer a better alternative for the mass market, so it must be free. I’d rather have people using my app than one of its free competitors even if they don’t pay a dime. As long as I can keep the lights on with enough paying customers, this helps everyone:
- If they like Overcast better than they would have liked the other free ones, and they listen to more podcasts as a result, that’s a win for them and the podcasters they listen to.
- Overcast’s social features will work better with more input, so more people find new podcasts and it’s easier for smaller shows to find audiences.
- Overcast spreads to more people, and some of them will pay.
“I also want to prove that free doesn’t need to require creepy or manipulative ways to make money. I think, and hope, that my model will work.