This is great on a couple of levels. First, up until this change, you used to have to purchase Fresh Air via Audible, and now, uh, you don’t.
Second, and, more interestingly from a marketing perspective, is the potential rationale behind this move. Fresh Air was constantly ranked as one of the most downloaded podcasts, so revenue was certainly being generated. However, as we know that the goal of all businesses should not be profit, but rather the attraction and retention of customers, it stands to reason that Fresh Air – wisely – determined that it was more important to attract more (and new) customers, than it was to generate revenue from a fairly defined group of supporters.
I LOVE this!
Now, the fact that NPR is a non-profit might have had something to do with this decision, but I sort of doubt it. Just b/c a business is a non-profit doesn’t mean they don’t need money (particularly in this era of decreased governmental spending on the arts and Public radio/TV). So, it seems to me that this was a clear decision to go out and find some more listeners; knowing that if they attract and retain them that profit would be the axiomatic byproduct over time. Some percentage of these new listeners will become financial supporters of NPR and Fresh Air via pledges.
Musicians need to understand the importance of doing what they can to attract and retain customers. Often this means foregoing the quick buck in order to build a larger constituency that will bring the big buck over time.
Now, go grab that free Podcast. Lots of great music on Fresh Air.