One of The Athletic’s more recent focus points has been podcasts, and since April, The Athletic has been offering over 20 podcasts available to subscribers on both their app and website.
On Tuesday, The Athletic announced the launch of at least 40 new podcasts, and that they would be available outside the paywall. Subscribers of The Athletic will get bonus episodes not available to non-subscribers.
📢 We're excited to announce the addition of over 40 new podcasts!
These podcasts will be available free to listeners on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts + weekly bonus episodes exclusively for subscribers on The Athletic.
— The Athletic HQ (@TheAthletic) August 27, 2019
Most of the podcasts appear to be football-based, with much of the focus on specific teams. There are some new national based podcasts that have been launched, including NFL podcasts Geoff Schwartz is Smarter Than You and The Mailroom, the fantasy football-centric The Rankings Show, and The Andy Staples Show, which covers college football. While much of the focus was on football, The Athletic did note that a Premier League podcast is in the works.
The other part of the announcement is that episodes will be free, with bonus episodes exclusively for subscribers. According to Axios, podcasts will have one episode in front of the paywall and one behind, with the free episode containing advertising. Given that The Athletic’s podcasts were previously only available through the site and app, moving them (even just one episode per week) outside the paywall and onto traditional podcast apps is a great way to attract new listeners.
It will be interesting to see if The Athletic offers ad-free versions of the free podcasts for subscribers (which will probably only be available through the site/app rather than curators like Apple, Spotify, and the like), but more content (especially more *free* content) is something that few people will actually complain about.