A Frequently Asked Question




We’ve heard from a few people who are curious about why TLDR gets sent down two podcast feeds — On the Media’s feed plus TLDR’s feed. Here’s the reason: Right now, TLDR is a strange experiment that’s still in the process of justifying its own existence. We’ve got an audience who subscribes directly to our podcast. We’ve got another audience who listen to our audio directly from our website. But the lion’s share of our audience is comprised of people who listen to us through OTM’s podcast feed. (Obviously, the people who subscribe to OTM but skip TLDR’s episodes don’t count as listeners. Most OTM fans stick around though, which is nice.)

At some point, we’ll have built enough of our own audience to leave the mothership’s feed. But right now, being able to access the amazing and dedicated OTM audience is the best promotion engine we’ve got.

We’re working very hard to make TLDR as good as it can be for listeners, and we know this double feed situation is imperfect, and we feel your annoyance. And we also recognize the Catch-22 at play here. Namely, that if you like OTM and TLDR, there’s no real reason for you to subscribe to both feeds. But fortunately for us, a lot of people seem to do it anyway.

One last thought about all this. Some version of what we’re doing is probably going to keep happening, increasingly, with other shows. Public radio in general is trying to be better about starting new experiments, and at giving young hopefuls like us a shot. One of the obstacles to that is that there are approximately 7 billion other podcasts out there, which makes it hard for any new thing to survive long enough to find an audience that supports it.

We’re letting our baby show piggyback off of a bigger, more adult show, and if you’re impatient for us to reach the stage where we don’t have to do that anymore, all I can say is to please bear with us. We’re impatient, too.

PJ, Alex, & Katya