Danny Baker's podcasts (which I mentioned before) have come to a sudden halt. They started on Wippit on an occasional basis back in March, and became regular in May. Then in September they started charging £2 per week, but technical problems with the downloads from Wippit caused them to suspend it almost immediately. They did restart a few weeks later, only to stop it again in December - this time permanently, the two parties having fallen out in a big way, with Paul Myers of Wippit putting his side of the story in The Guardian and Baker replying on the ADBS website.
Danny Baker is unhappy because he has not received any money for the shows he has done (indeed it has cost him money because he paid for the production of the podcasts), whilst Wippit apparently feel that Baker should have quit his shows on BBC London so that the podcasts would be "exclusive". Somehow, I don't think that was the problem.
No figures have been released for the number of paying subscribers, but it seems that there was no realistic chance of generating enough revenue to make it worthwhile. This can't have been helped by technical problems - although they did eventually came up with a method of being able to download the shows through iTunes, it wasn't as easy as it could have been, and there were still complaints. I'm sure that a lot of people just gave up.
Then there is the added complication of Wippit subscribers (who pay £50 per year for unlimited downloads of the bewildering array of old and obscure tracks offered by Wippit). Even if you didn't want any of that old rubbish, it still made sense to pay £50 per year rather than £2 per week. The question is how much of that money would have gone to Danny Baker and his team. Not much, I guess.
However, the fundamental problem seems to be that people are reluctant to pay for podcasts. Well, why pay when there are so many available for free (notably from the BBC)?
It's also interesting that Ricky Gervais - who also started with free podcasts (on The Guardian website) and then started charging, has now gone back to giving them away. If he can't make money from selling podcasts, what chance has Danny Baker got?