Regarding the Giant Bomb announcement of their new subscription service, I’m all for it. While I can’t say that the Bombcast is a show I’d necessarily want to pay for, I believe in their business model.

The Ziff Davis-owned 1UP.com was slowly killed because of their ad-only, click-based business model. When you have people ”saying it like it is” on a popular free-to-listen podcast, advertisers get gun shy about investing their marketing dollars into that media outlet. One of the big reasons Shu was pressured to leave EGM was because of the Ubisoft ban. No one wants their products to be potentially slandered by their partners (just ask Jeff Gerstmann). Just because bad exposure is still good exposure to Madonna, it doesn’t always work that way in the gaming world.

Making podcasts takes a lot more time and resources then you would think. Sure, most gaming podcasts are just a bunch of dudes talking over Skype about whatever they’ve been playing recently and bitching about current developments in the industry. However, if you focus on making a good show like we do, there’s a lot more to it and at some point you start to question how far the “labor of love” can be justified when you’ve got bills to pay.

I can guarantee you that everyone who’s actively trying to make a living in the gaming media world is trying to figure out how to monetize podcasts. It’s going to happen so prepare yourself for it. Personally, I think that podcasts funded by a subscription-based model will provide better journalistic insights then those funded by an ad-based model.

Of course, I’ll be glad to be proven wrong. Maybe someday there will be a mainstream website that produces another 1UP Yours that’s completely free and ad-based. Until that day, my money’s on the Giant Bomb model.