Castro's developer on Overcast going free-as-in-beer-but-guilt-payments-as-in-German (or so I've heard):

Of course, Overcast developer Marco Arment is himself is an independent one man shop, but he's also a multi-millionaire off the back of the Tumblr deal. That personal wealth allows him to make decisions others can't. If he never made a single penny from Overcast he probably wouldn't continue development, but he certainly wouldn't starve.
When Marco first unveiled Overcast, he made clear that one of his prime objectives was to safeguard the third-party podcast app market from proprietary takeover by the likes of Stitcher. But this latest pricing move will surely have nothing but a deleterious effect on the viability of potential competitors, putting at risk the very kind of apps he sought to protect.

Emphasis mine.

Look, I'm envious of Marco too. And boy howdy, can he get on his high horse sometimes and give some not wholly earned, living in the ivory tower sounding comments. I even tend to agree with Anderson's claim that Marco takes risks that someone without his Most Favored Geek status might not be willing to try.

But Anderson's completely missing Marco's goal here. Marco's not trying to protect podcast apps. He's trying to protect open web platforms.

That make sense? He doesn't want Stitcher to close the doors on podcasts, putting them behind some creepy, stat-collecting paywall. He wants to use normal, open web conventions to put out podcasts. RSS feeds with podcast info, mp3 files that you download -- these mean that anyone that can parse UTF-8 and play an audio file has a chance to make the player they want.

It doesn't mean they get a guaranteed income in a crowded field.

Marco gets to do that. He has WARNING: LINKED VIDEO CONTAINS EXPLICIT LANGAUGE forget you money. That means he can say that he's going to create software that keeps the platform open. He doesn't have to make a living with Overcast to keep up his living standards. He can make political ends his primary motivation.

A predatory Overcast doesn't mean you can't make money off of a podcast app, and you're in a much better world than if podcasts were 80% behind the Stitcher wall. But look, just like Marco says happened to him with Instapaper, if you don't have the resources, you may very well "lose" the podcast market.

And finally, Anderson needs to know the only person who asked him to spend his career "working on Castro 2 for the last year, betting the company on a big launch and a sustainable income" was himself. Making an iOS app for an already crowded market is a heck of a gamble. Sometimes the market drinks your milkshake.

If that happens, that sucks, I agree. And I really wish them both luck. But before we get all crazypants, lets see what Overcast 2: The Predatory Pricer does to Castro's numbers first. It may not drink as much milkshake as Anderson thinks.

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