Podiversity was like a Netflix for podcasts, $5 monthly subscription with advertising free episodes. It was born from the annoyance that as NPR and other public radio shows (This American Life, etc) transitioned to offering podcasts, they seemed to abandon their previous noncommercial nature and include standard podcast advertising.
Technically, it consisted of a Google App Engine Java backend, an Android app, and an iPhone app.
While everything technically worked (audio published, download, listen, follow shows on the mobile apps), there was never enough interest from listeners to the shows we had available. An unexpected barrier was that many larger shows with significant advertising had no interest in offering ad free options (fear of pissing off advertisers that paid their bills?) or contractually could not.
In the end, it would have been an even steeper uphill climb than initially thought and there are more interesting projects to pursue at that level of effort.
- Jason and Michele