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The new $100 million podcast startup Luminary has been getting blasted by top podcasters — here’s what’s going on

The backlash Luminary is facing has nothing to do with the way the app functions for users, or even the high price of the monthly subscription.

Instead, it’s the way that Luminary was serving existing, non-Luminary podcasts that caused issues.

In short: The way that Luminary was linking to popular podcasts made it impossible for podcast creators to quantify how many people were getting their podcasts through Luminary.

That may sound trivial, but it’s hugely important if you’re a podcast that sells advertising to pay the bills. The only way to put a dollar amount to advertising is by knowing how many people those advertisements will reach.

Luminary has since amended the issue, but not before several prominent podcasters — from Marco Arment to Ben Thompson — got very publicly vocal about the service.

“I wouldn’t advise that podcasters pull out of @hearluminary over their proxying yet — I’m giving them a short window to change it,” Arment said on Thursday. “Pulling your show out of a podcast player (which may end up a significant one) shouldn’t be a rash decision. But if they don’t change? Screw ’em.”

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