Under the Radar

214: From Subscribe to Follow


00:00:00   Welcome to Under the Radar, a show about independent iOS app development.

00:00:04   I'm Marco Arment.

00:00:05   And I'm David Smith.

00:00:06   Under the Radar is never longer than 30 minutes, so let's get started.

00:00:09   So WWDC 2021 was just announced the other day,

00:00:14   and it's online only again, which I don't think is a big surprise.

00:00:19   No.

00:00:20   Because in the state of the world, I think that's the right decision, and also not surprising.

00:00:23   It looks like it's going to be very similar to last year,

00:00:26   which actually I'm looking forward to, because even though there are certain things about the online only format

00:00:34   that are not as good or missing that we had in the in-person days,

00:00:38   as we discussed last year, there were a lot of things about the online only format that were better

00:00:42   and certainly way more accessible to way more people

00:00:45   and way less disruptive even to the people who were previously attending the conference in person.

00:00:51   So honestly, I kind of like this, and I'm looking forward to it.

00:00:56   Yeah, no, me too.

00:00:58   I mean, it's probably fair to say it has been announced, and it is June 7th through 11th,

00:01:03   so it's back in its kind of earlier in June slot.

00:01:07   You know, in 2020, they pushed it.

00:01:09   It's not like they ever announced a date, but typically it had been sort of the first full week of June,

00:01:14   and now it's sort of back in more of that slot.

00:01:18   I'm very excited for it.

00:01:21   I was sort of slightly stealing myself for the reality of having to decide if they had announced an in-person conference,

00:01:29   whether I would have gone, whether that's a really complicated calculus from, you know,

00:01:33   sort of the professional and business reasons to be there, but the personal and just general safety reasons,

00:01:41   and I'm glad that they didn't sort of cause that to be a choice that we had to make.

00:01:45   I think it's the right choice, but especially given how last year's one went, I think this is the way forward.

00:01:51   Like, this is, I think it worked really well.

00:01:54   I think it was a very effective tool for communicating what they needed to communicate,

00:01:58   and like the reasons to have an in-person one are mostly kind of the vague, amorphous, kind of soft things,

00:02:06   that it's nice to have an in-person thing.

00:02:08   It maybe is a bit more noteworthy.

00:02:10   It gets a little bit more energy and excitement, but it's also like super exclusive

00:02:14   and means that the majority of your developer community is not actually getting the prime experience.

00:02:20   You know, like in their press release for W2C, they say there's, you know, 28 million developers,

00:02:25   and so like the 5,000 who are there in person, or maybe it's 10,000 who are in San Jose that day,

00:02:31   if you imagine some people go for side conferences or just to be there, you know,

00:02:36   it's a tiny, tiny fraction of the actual developer community, and so having an event that is online first

00:02:43   and online only, I think definitely, you know, sort of, it works really well.

00:02:47   I think it was very effective, and, you know, I'm very excited.

00:02:50   I cleared my schedule for that week and expect to spend a lot of time, you know, watching videos,

00:02:56   diving into the new stuff, and, you know, learning, and it'll be, I think, my 12th WWDC, something like that.

00:03:03   I think it's like since 2009, I think was my first one, so it's, you know, it's just a tradition.

00:03:10   My family knows that it's like if it's somewhere in June, there's going to be this week that I just disappear,

00:03:15   and previously I would actually disappear and go to California, but now I'll just like disappear into my office

00:03:20   for the week, and, you know, they'll just sort of pass food under the door to me to keep me going.

00:03:25   Yeah, I honestly, there's so much about this that works better for me selfishly, like I don't have to leave the beach.

00:03:35   There's so much about this that I like, and even though I do miss the social interaction,

00:03:43   and I do miss like being in the auditorium for the keynote and like being part of that crowd, that was always fun,

00:03:49   but the rest of the week I don't really miss, you know, and the rest of the logistics and, you know,

00:03:56   spending the obscene amount of money, as you previously noted, it's an Apple Watch a day, basically, to stay there.

00:04:04   And, you know, you'd be spending thousands of dollars on hotels, thousands of dollars on ticket and flight and everything,

00:04:11   and it's just like, it's so much money, and it's such a big time commitment that it really pushes so many people out.

00:04:18   And, you know, the limited capacity, as you mentioned, compared to the size of the developer community,

00:04:22   there's no way that can ever be that inclusive just because of the nature of making people travel at all,

00:04:30   let alone to an expensive place like San Jose or San Francisco. So, I'm all for the new format,

00:04:36   and if I'm honest, I know this is maybe unpopular, but if I'm honest, when and if they ever return to in-person versions of this,

00:04:45   I'll be a little bit disappointed to lose this.

00:04:49   Yeah, and I think that's fair, and I think there was a, I think I saw something that Mark Gurman was saying,

00:04:54   that their hope is to return to in-person next year, I think was something that he had heard from his various sources in Apple,

00:05:02   which I think, from a general safety perspective, I can see that being a reasonable kind of like,

00:05:08   "Huh, that seems about right, that hopefully by then things will settle down and be safe."

00:05:12   And it isn't unrealistic to imagine that, but yes, I too will be kind of, like, I'll be happy, but also kind of sad,

00:05:19   and I like that it's not a big stress in my life. Like before, they would announce, like I used to have alert systems of many kinds,

00:05:27   and systems that were all trying to make sure that as soon as WWDC was announced, I was notified,

00:05:32   because I would need to book a whole bunch of stuff. There was a time when it was, I also would need to buy a ticket,

00:05:39   and thankfully, it's been more like, now it's just a lottery, so there's not that pressure,

00:05:43   but it definitely was very kind of weird that it was announced, I put it on my calendar,

00:05:47   and I just kind of moved on for the rest of the day, it wasn't like, "Okay, now I'm booking travel and hotels,

00:05:55   and all the things that I previously would have to do." It's nice that it's just a thing that I can just add to my calendar,

00:06:01   and look forward to, and it doesn't have the associated stresses and kind of logistical nightmares that used to be associated with it.

00:06:07   Yeah, and I think, and we know now, from last year's version of it, that this format works.

00:06:13   This is successful, it's going to be fine, it's not going to be the same as in person,

00:06:18   and we're going to miss the social experiences at the mostly terrible restaurants and bars,

00:06:24   we're going to miss hanging out in the very, very expensive hotel's lobby, and seeing people here and there,

00:06:32   and we're going to miss access to in-person labs, which I do think are very valuable.

00:06:39   But all of those things are things that are only applicable to a very small percentage of the developer community.

00:06:46   Like when you go, and when you have in-person labs, and if you try to meet people from the community in hotel bars and stuff,

00:06:54   how many of those 20-whatever million developers have access to that?

00:06:59   And even if they actually go to the conference, what percentage of those 5 or 6 thousand people that are there

00:07:07   will actually have that kind of interaction? And it's not zero, and that has benefited the two of us quite a lot over the years,

00:07:16   but it's also not very high. And so what this is doing is, it evens out the playing field for a lot of people.

00:07:24   And it forces Apple to scale what they're doing to be accessible to more of their developers.

00:07:31   From what I heard, the labs were actually pretty accessible last year, like the online labs capacity was pretty good,

00:07:40   and it was available to a lot of people. Certainly the conference material itself, they've been making available for years,

00:07:47   with live streaming and recorded streams going up pretty fast and stuff like that.

00:07:51   So that they've already pretty much solved. So I think this is a good thing.

00:07:56   Yeah, I will say as someone who went to the labs last year, I went to several of them,

00:08:01   I think they were actually a better experience than the in-person labs. And for two reasons primarily.

00:08:08   One is that it is a dedicated, scheduled appointment that you have, which was very just helpful in terms of like,

00:08:17   "I got whatever it is, I can't remember how long they were, 20, 30 minutes, something like that."

00:08:22   It was a good amount of time, I think.

00:08:24   You should get started.

00:08:26   Yeah, exactly. I'm very good at getting a lot covered in less than 30 minutes.

00:08:30   Everything you do is a 30 minute block.

00:08:33   Or at least a multiple of 15.

00:08:36   I think it was a 15 minute slot maybe, and then once I got a double slot, because I had a long lot of questions,

00:08:41   and they had availability, and so they just sort of like double booked me.

00:08:44   Yeah, well because there's two of you, that makes sense.

00:08:46   But I thought the labs were the thing that I was most worried were going to be missing.

00:08:54   I usually got a huge amount out of them, and I would spend hours every day when I've been in person at WBC in the labs.

00:09:02   And I really liked it. It was a scheduled appointment, which was great for like,

00:09:06   I'm not having the thing where I'm just waiting around, and then it's like,

00:09:09   "Oh, actually you need so and so," and they're talking to someone else.

00:09:13   And then you go and linger kind of in this corner over here,

00:09:16   and once they talk to this person and then this person, then they come and talk to you.

00:09:20   It was very much more like, when you make your booking, you put in what your questions are.

00:09:26   You put in what you're interested in.

00:09:28   And it seemed like every time that I went and had a lab, I was talking to the right person.

00:09:33   It was never this sort of situation where, you know, like the person who built the thing in Clock Kit

00:09:38   that I was having problems with or had questions about, I was talking to them.

00:09:42   And it was great, and it was very time-efficient from that perspective that, you know,

00:09:47   usually when I go to the labs, it's kind of like I would block off, you know, an hour to go and ask,

00:09:53   you know, I'm going to spend an hour in the labs, and I'm probably actually only spending 15 minutes

00:09:57   actually productively engaged with someone because the rest of it is the waiting around and things.

00:10:02   So I loved that it was scheduled.

00:10:04   And then also, I kind of liked that it was, like, the online format made it much more natural.

00:10:10   They did screen sharing. I think it was done over WebEx or one of those kind of, like, corporate things.

00:10:15   Yeah, it was WebEx.

00:10:17   And it's like I was able to just, on my own computer, I shared my--there's a few times I can, like, share my screen

00:10:22   and show them what the problem I'm having or see what it is, and it felt, in a weird way,

00:10:27   it was better because it's almost like I'm bringing an Apple engineer into my office,

00:10:32   and they're looking over my shoulder.

00:10:34   And so it felt much more natural, and I felt more able to prepare to effectively be useful in a way that,

00:10:41   like, it always felt like I was rushing.

00:10:44   And, like, sometimes I would, you know, pull out my laptop and show them things,

00:10:47   but even that, like, this can be kind of a weird and awkward interaction with, like, handing your laptop to someone you don't know.

00:10:53   Like, it's just weird in a way that it felt much more, like, you know, here's my code, here's my question,

00:10:59   and I was able to get my answers.

00:11:01   Because in some ways, all that's left, I think, that is a benefit of in-person WWDC is the social aspect of it

00:11:07   and, like, the kind of spectacle part of it, but the actual--like, that was--labs were the last thing that I thought would be where,

00:11:13   you know, would have been, oh, you know, in-person, they'll be better, and it's like, I think this is better.

00:11:18   And it's like, I could imagine a world where, you know, if they had an in-person WWDC,

00:11:23   but they kind of continued this online version of it, you know, so it's kind of like a dual conference,

00:11:29   I can imagine, where there's in-person labs and there's online labs.

00:11:32   I could imagine going to the online labs from my hotel room because I like the feeling and the flow of it better,

00:11:39   and I like that it's a scheduled appointment, and all of those benefits that mean that it's kind of silly in some ways,

00:11:44   but I could imagine being in San Jose, having a labs appointment with some other Apple engineer,

00:11:49   you know, sitting in San Jose at their computer, and, like, all that we're left with is, you know, the social part,

00:11:56   which is no small thing. It's not like it's nothing, but it's definitely a hard thing to overcome.

00:12:01   I mean, even I was thinking how previously they've had some, like, fitness events in the mornings of WWDC,

00:12:08   where they'll have, like, a run or a yoga class or things like that, and it's like,

00:12:12   I would be very surprised if this year there is not an Apple Fitness track, like the Apple Fitness Plus videos for WWDC.

00:12:21   Like, it seems like a perfect fit that they should have, you know, one video, they'll have, like, four videos, you know,

00:12:27   with different Apple Fitness Plus instructors that they can just sort of add to the feed,

00:12:32   and it's just a special event, and it's something about, you know, it's like they could totally even replace that part of it,

00:12:37   which was kind of fun, and, like, they have an entire mechanism and thing that they can do to, you know,

00:12:43   bring Apple Fitness Plus and have, like, little fitness events as part of it, too.

00:12:47   So, like, almost everything can be done online, and if, you know, sort of either approximated or improved by being online.

00:12:56   That's a really good idea. Yeah, so I'm all for it, and I think Apple made definitely the right call in doing this this year,

00:13:03   and I hope they consider it for future years.

00:13:06   Yeah, and it's funny, they're continuing to do their student challenge, which used to be the student scholarship program,

00:13:13   where you'd get a free ticket to WBC, so it was rather significant in terms of its actual, in terms of the monetary value,

00:13:21   whereas now you get a jacket and some pins, which is nice. Certainly is not nothing,

00:13:26   and I think obviously the bigger thing you get is kind of the resume builder of, you know,

00:13:31   if you were one of the winning, you know, Apple Swift student challenge people,

00:13:35   and my suspicion is it also puts you on Apple's radar, and there are benefits if you are a student,

00:13:40   if you're someone who is eligible to participate in that, to go ahead and do it, and if not, even just for the experience of it,

00:13:46   of going through kind of that experience and, you know, kind of coming up with an interesting self-conscious,

00:13:51   you basically build a Swift playground file that does something cool, and you show that to Apple,

00:13:57   and, like, that's never going to be a bad thing to have on your resume or to show a future employer or even to show Apple.

00:14:03   Like, I've definitely heard of several people who were hired or at least offered interviews at Apple

00:14:10   after they submitted their student challenges, that they're kind of a way, you know,

00:14:16   it's just a way to get on Apple's radar for all the benefits that that could potentially have for your life or your career.

00:14:22   Yeah, that's pretty cool. Way more than the actual, like, you know, $60 jacket and pin set.

00:14:28   I mean, it is much more exclusive, I will give you that. Previously the jackets were given to, you know, a few thousand people,

00:14:36   and now you've got to imagine, you know, the people who win these jackets, it's a few hundred people at most,

00:14:41   distributed all over the world. So if you do have one of those jackets or one of those pin sets,

00:14:46   it is much more exclusive, but perhaps not as significant in terms of its monetary value.

00:14:54   You can join the tens of people who try to sell WBC jackets on eBay for $500.

00:15:01   That is always a thing.

00:15:03   All right, we are brought to you this week by Spokes, a communications agency.

00:15:08   If you have a brilliant idea that'll change the world, Spokes knows that whether you're pitching investors

00:15:13   or selling products or services, a compelling story is the difference between your business struggling or thriving.

00:15:20   In a crowded market, the best story wins, and Spokes helps you tell your best story.

00:15:26   Spokes gives lean and hungry businesses the boost of a full service media agency at a scale that works for you,

00:15:32   communication services within your budget.

00:15:35   Their founding team has decades of experience in tech, news, government, public relations, and marketing.

00:15:41   They can amplify your story so your business can go to new places.

00:15:45   Are you the next college kid who forgets a thumb drive on your way out the door,

00:15:48   leading to an idea to sync files in the cloud that'll revolutionize the way we use computers, or something like that?

00:15:52   Maybe you're probably wearing a WBC jacket.

00:15:55   Whatever you're doing, Spokes will polish and promote your story.

00:15:59   Go to spokes.agency/radar21 and mention this podcast for a 25% discount.

00:16:07   And Spokes is spelled S-P-O-X, Spokes.

00:16:10   So that's spokes.agency/radar21 and mention this show for a 25% discount.

00:16:20   Our thanks to spokes.agency for their support of this show and all of Relay FM.

00:16:25   So what I want to talk about in addition to the WBC announcement this week

00:16:30   is a change that I think I'm going to have to make.

00:16:34   I'm kind of waffling over how and when to do it in Overcast.

00:16:38   The two biggest podcast players in the world are Apple Podcasts by a pretty big margin, followed by Spotify.

00:16:48   And Spotify, when they introduced podcast support, I don't know, maybe a year or two ago, whenever that was,

00:16:54   they didn't use the word subscribe to talk about the action of adding a podcast to your collection

00:17:02   in a way that automatically gives you every new episode.

00:17:05   They used the word follow.

00:17:07   Now at that point, any other podcast app used the word subscribe because it was based on RSS feeds

00:17:13   and RSS news readers that have existed for many, many years.

00:17:17   And the terminology used there was always subscribe.

00:17:19   And the action was you were subscribing to an RSS feed.

00:17:22   And so in podcasts, they always use the term subscribe to describe, you know,

00:17:27   subscribing to a feed, adding this feed to your specialized RSS reader that happens to be a podcast player.

00:17:31   So Spotify used the word follow, which was much more inspired by modern social media things

00:17:38   where following an account shows you every new thing from that account by default, which makes sense.

00:17:44   It's just not how podcasting was done.

00:17:47   And the big news now, you know, it's just Spotify had done it, oh well.

00:17:50   But Apple Podcasts has switched their terminology from subscribe to follow in the iOS 14.5 beta,

00:17:57   which is probably going to be released any day now.

00:17:59   So the biggest two podcast players in the world, which together represent probably about three quarters of the market,

00:18:06   are going to use the word follow instead of subscribe.

00:18:10   And so I think this means that all the rest of us have to switch too.

00:18:14   I think that means every other podcast player is going to have to switch

00:18:18   and definitely, you know, overcast trying to appeal to a wide audience.

00:18:22   And I was wondering kind of what you thought about this because, I mean, and there's two different ways to look at it.

00:18:28   Number one is like from some point of view I think it makes sense because the word subscribe,

00:18:36   people tend to think that means pay and that probably holds people back.

00:18:40   And I've heard, you know, anecdotes here and there of people saying,

00:18:43   "Oh, my so and so friend or relative thought that podcasts were all paid because they thought they had to subscribe to them."

00:18:52   And I'm sure the big companies have done like focus groups and surveys and stuff

00:18:55   to actually get some data behind this kind of theory.

00:18:58   Another theory is that Apple is going to launch a paid podcast premium subscription service

00:19:04   and they're going to need the word subscribe for that and therefore they have to like free it up by changing the other word to follow.

00:19:11   And that may or may not be true but whether or not that's true I don't think has any bearing on whether people will start expecting this to be the word everywhere.

00:19:19   And so my theory is that I should change as soon as Apple does because people will start expecting that

00:19:27   even though it will probably confuse and possibly annoy large parts of my existing user base, which is a tricky balance.

00:19:36   But like do I optimize for my existing users or do I optimize for what people expect if they're coming from the other 75% of the podcast market?

00:19:47   It reminds me in a weird way of I remember a while back where Apple changed in the App Store, they changed from free to get.

00:19:56   Oh yeah.

00:19:57   It was because it was like, which is the term you use for acquiring something has meaning, has power, is important.

00:20:07   In that case they were making it clear that free apps weren't free, that they were free initially and then you'd have in-app purchases and things.

00:20:15   And so they didn't want to, I think they were actually getting in regulatory trouble for saying it's free but then it's not free.

00:20:21   But I think in this case it is certainly an interesting thing and I think a lot of it comes down to also just the way that people communicate.

00:20:31   Because I think while there is I'm sure some confusion about subscribe having costing money, I think of one of the most popular,

00:20:38   probably the most popular media platform in the world, YouTube, which is constantly full of like and subscribe.

00:20:43   And it's not like and subscribe for money, it's just subscribe.

00:20:46   And I don't think people are confused about that in that context.

00:20:50   And so I think this particular move I think feels a bit more from Apple's perspective.

00:20:54   The one thing that makes sense to me is that they're creating space for essentially differentiating between for-pay podcasts and free podcasts,

00:21:04   things that you can just freely subscribe to or add to your subscription list.

00:21:09   And they're creating that space and in some ways Spotify created an obvious place for them to do that.

00:21:15   And so I think what is going to be interesting is are podcast producers going to start switching to that terminology themselves?

00:21:25   And they probably will because if the vast majority of where you'll actually go and sign up for something,

00:21:31   if they're going to say, "Oh, follow us in Apple Podcasts," like if that's the phrase that you're going to hear in the advertisement for a new podcast that's launching,

00:21:42   they always say it's like, "Right now it's subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts," is a phrase I hear many times on a podcast.

00:21:49   Then if they're going to change it to "follow us wherever you get it," then people are going to go looking for the follow button.

00:21:57   Or I think something that I was just looking at Overcast in preparation for this.

00:22:03   And I think what's also interesting is that you currently, in your main subscribe thing, you already call it "add podcast."

00:22:12   That's what you have as the header at the top of your subscription page.

00:22:17   And in some ways I think that's a much clearer term, I think "add" rather than "follow" or "subscribe."

00:22:24   I think "add" is actually a very good word there, and I think it fits with the, you have a plus button in the top corner, plus addition.

00:22:32   I think there's a consistency there, and it kind of also I think gives you that flexibility to not necessarily be tying yourself to one or the other.

00:22:40   So I think getting away from "subscribe" I think does make sense.

00:22:45   I think subscription is increasingly becoming, and especially because you offer a subscription inside of your application,

00:22:52   the place that you also say "subscribe" is if you want to be an Overcast premium person,

00:22:58   then you have "would you like a subscription," and you're using that term for two different things inside of the own app.

00:23:07   So changing it, I think, in general would have been a useful thing.

00:23:10   And for me, I think "add" is the way to go.

00:23:13   I think "follow" feels strange to me.

00:23:16   I don't know why, but I don't follow a podcast, but I could see adding it.

00:23:20   I'm adding it to my list, and so that makes sense.

00:23:26   But I definitely do think it's one of those tricky places where it's a powerful word,

00:23:31   because what you don't want is for a user to be going in your app, they see, "Oh, there they go, they hit plus."

00:23:40   They see the daily, they've heard of that, that sounds great.

00:23:44   And then they see "subscribe."

00:23:46   And you don't want them to not push that button because they're worried it's going to pop up a pay sheet or something.

00:23:53   And so giving it a less scary name doesn't seem like it costs you very much,

00:23:57   but potentially it gives you a benefit of get one more user who, and it may even be a small percentage,

00:24:05   but that one extra person who's like, "Let me try this out," and then they do, and then it works out better for them.

00:24:11   And then now you have someone who's listening inside of Overcast, which is great and exactly what you want.

00:24:16   So that's, I think, where you are. I think what you're saying makes sense, but I think it's only one place you'd have to change it,

00:24:24   mostly, in Overcast. It's not like you have a complicated sort of thing where this terminology comes up over and over.

00:24:31   So I would just change these. For me, I would change the subscribe button to add and move on.

00:24:36   Well, the problem is there's this, and first of all, the actual cost of changing things.

00:24:41   I'm not too concerned about that because, yeah, it's just me. The app is, it's a big app, but I'm not changing Photoshop here.

00:24:50   It's not that big. And I think it is good to have the right terminology even if there is some work required to get there.

00:25:01   Like, for instance, I was recently doing a whole bunch of database migration stuff for the first time in a couple of years, probably.

00:25:07   And I was able, because of the new version of MySQL I was using, I was able to change all of the replication terminology

00:25:15   from the old and pretty bad master-slave terminology to the new source replica terminology.

00:25:21   And so my policy was every time I was editing any kind of script that was touching the database that had the old terminology,

00:25:26   I would change to the new one. And that added a little bit of extra work, but it wasn't that much. It was a few minutes.

00:25:30   And then it was done. And I'm really happy I did that because every time I would see the old terminology, I would really cringe and just kind of be ashamed of that.

00:25:37   And so in this case, you know, obviously this has different reasons, but in this case, you know, I think I should get there,

00:25:45   get to whatever the newest terminology should be here because that's what everyone else is going to be doing,

00:25:49   and that's what my customers are going to expect, especially my new customers.

00:25:53   But there are some areas where it's a little bit odd, but in some ways it was always odd.

00:25:58   So for instance, the weirdest case for me to deal with is a podcast that you have added to your Overcast account,

00:26:05   but that you are not subscribing to all new episodes or following.

00:26:09   So there is that toggle on the podcast settings page for each podcast that says "subscribe to all new episodes."

00:26:14   Now this distinction I think already confuses people, and I think I already need to rethink it,

00:26:18   but what do I do with that wording, like maybe just add all new episodes,

00:26:24   and then what do I do with podcasts that you have on your account, that exist in your account,

00:26:30   but that you are not following or auto-adding or subscribed to?

00:26:34   And right now they all just sit there dimmed out in the bottom of the list once they're empty,

00:26:38   and it kind of sucks, and I've been wanting to rethink that for a while, and maybe this is a separate discussion.

00:26:43   But it is, like there are areas of the app like that that I have to consider, but I think you're right.

00:26:49   Add is a good word to use in many of these contexts, but it might not matter if add is a better word

00:26:57   if Apple Podcasts and Spotify are using follow. I might have to just match what they are using,

00:27:03   just so people aren't confused.

00:27:05   Sure. I mean, because I think what's tricky, obviously, is that phrase of like,

00:27:11   "subscribe to new episodes." It's like, "follow to new episodes" doesn't make any sense.

00:27:15   That feels really, like follow is, in that case, subscribe works better. I think add does work there.

00:27:23   But ultimately, this may just be something that's overcome by events, but I think you'll still have flexibility about this

00:27:32   in terms of, if they call it follow, I don't know if you have to, but I think getting away from subscribe

00:27:38   is the thing that is the bigger change. But yeah, it is kind of a weird thing, and it's interesting

00:27:44   because it deals with these kind of historical roots of something that, you know, podcasting is a strange technology

00:27:51   in some ways because it grew up from a very basic web technology.

00:27:55   And one of its great strengths is that it is this simple, open kind of platform.

00:28:03   And once it starts to become something, like you were saying, even just a phrase you used earlier,

00:28:07   where it was like, when you subscribe to something, you see all of the new episodes,

00:28:10   you imagine a world where podcasting isn't that and is more algorithmic and is more, like when I think of follow,

00:28:16   if I was using an overcast, if I was following something, in some ways you kind of increasingly have an expectation

00:28:24   that you're seeing an algorithmically driven timeline, which is different than what you would see

00:28:29   if you have an overcast or in most podcast plans, but I think it's very similar to how Spotify does it,

00:28:34   where it isn't the sense of, like, when I open overcast, all I want is a reverse chronological list of every episode,

00:28:41   of every show that is on my subscription list, and increasingly that's not what you get.

00:28:47   Increasingly, I imagine it's somehow algorithmically generated that, oh, you listen to this show at this time,

00:28:51   or I think this show fits better for whatever reason or is being boosted by something.

00:28:56   So there's a lot of external things pushing on you there, but I definitely do think they are kind of forcing your hand,

00:29:03   and you're going to have to make some change. Whatever that is is not easy, but it's something you're going to have to navigate.

00:29:10   Yeah, it's like, and I don't love that I have to do the amount of work to do this and to think about it and test it and everything,

00:29:17   but I do actually think, like, oh, this is a good point, we should have dropped this word a while ago

00:29:22   because it means different things to most people, and so to go from subscribe to either add or follow,

00:29:29   I think will be an improvement.

00:29:31   Absolutely.

00:29:33   Thank you for listening, everybody, and we will talk to you in two weeks.

00:29:36   Bye.

00:29:37   [ Silence ]