To some peoples' dismay, Ricky Gervais, creator of the Office and figurehead of the most popular, i.e. most downloaded podcast ever, has decided with his team to drop podcasting and try a pay-per-episode subscription model.
Even though the format of the show is going to remain similar, the (free) podcast subscription model is going to go. The first 12 podcast episodes of the show had been underwritten by The Guardian newspaper; Ricky Gervais and friends are now going new ways in financing their show.
Harald Schmidt, Germany's Late Night Show TV host has been trying something similar, with questionable success. The success or failure of the Ricky Gervais Show, this most-hyped and most successful podcast content ever, is going to be critical in whether paid audio content in serial form has any chance of taking off.
There has never been such a thing as a free lunch, not even in the podcast world. You can only listen to shows in return for listening to ads or at least for giving away your attention data.
Personally, I think the show was an interesting format, but certainly not worth spending a penny.