The current duel in podcasting business for both podcasters as well as apps is choosing between subscription or advertising. Companies do not want advertising on the pretext of saving it from misery.
While the listeners have no trouble with advertising (unlike video), some listeners go as far as claiming that listening ads on some podcasts is more entertaining ( since they do not interrupt the experience) than listening to the content itself.
The compromise might be the best solution where there are multiple revenue models involving both subscriptions and ads, so that listeners can choose what they want. That is the way to keep both podcasting and it’s listeners ‘free’.