ColumnsDeep Insider

Deep Insider #4 – Sound. Fury.

When you go on to other websites, when it comes to audio, one of the things that seems to be most prevalent are instructions on how you can subscribe and download the subscriber-only shows to whatever device you’d like.

It’s kind of like this notion where, as a playing subscriber, you get to consume the content the way you’d like, in a convenient way that doesn’t take a lot of effort on your part. You know… that whole philosophy of people having busy lives, so you want to go the extra mile as a content provider in making it easy on your consumer to get what they want.

Peculiarly, this appears not to be “a thing” at PWInsider Elite.

Instead, at this site, when it comes to accessing audio, there is a kind of wormhole transporting their subscriber back to 2005.

I learn right away that I am permitted to download the files to my computer, and then put them on my device, you know, for convenience, should I choose to. The site, however, will not deliver their audio over RSS or any sort of feed so they automatically appear on your podcast app of choice.

These are your options, in 2015, on how to listen to audio content on PWInsider Elite. No audio subscription option.
These are your options, in 2015, on how to listen to audio content on PWInsider Elite. No audio subscription option.

This lack of functionality had me so taken aback by that, for a moment, I searched in earnest for a Real Player icon; none was found.

Because you see, dear reader, this is 2015 after all, and Real Player is not the format of choice for anyone with half an ounce of sense here in the present day. Of course, anyone with half an ounce of sense distributing digital media over a web-based subscription service would also offer a delivery of that media to my devices, and not make a customer work to download it…

Once I’m over the initial shock of not being able to listen to these files the same way I listen to all my audio from sites like F4Wonline and PWTorch to Voices of Wrestling and Shake Them Ropes shows, I resolve to just suck it up, and sample what I can from the computer.

Luckily, I have a pretty decent sound set-up in the Talking Sheet studio here at Sheet Sandwich World Headquarters, so I was able to put on an episode of something called Wrestling Eye Radio (again, not a radio show, but not really a podcast, either…) on the site.

The show features a familiar name and voice for subscribers to the F4Wonline site in that it features the legendary Les Thatcher along with his Mike Johnson. Missing, however, is Thatcher’s opening song of choice, the Ride, by David Allan Coe. Unfortunately, also missing is much of the personality and appeal of Thatcher’s Wrestling Weekly podcast because the role of Vic Sosa here is being played by Mike Johnson.

Johnson here plays more the role of instigator rather than interviewer as Sosa so amply does on the F4W version of the Thatcher show. And that’s not a good thing. The last thing Thatcher needs is an instigator to talk about how bad today’s product is compared to his day.

As I listen to Wrestling Eye Radio, it becomes readily apparent to me that if anyone doesn’t need two podcasts a week to talk about wrestling, it’s probably Les Thatcher. Unless you care what Thatcher has to say about Tough Enough, there’s very little he talks about that isn’t also covered on Doc Young’s Wrestling Weekly.

The only thing that makes me half curious to listen in for is to see if Thatcher urinates while talking half as much on Wrestling Eye Radio as he has over the past year or so while talking to Sosa on Weekly.

That curiosity, however, is not strong enough to get me to tolerate listening to Mike Johnson.

While his reporting can be fine at times and (at least) timely, I don’t particularly find much value in Johnson’s opinions or insights on the product of pro wrestling compared to others I listen to throughout the week.

My lack of patience or interest in listening to either of these men when teamed up for such mediocrity is exacerbated by the notion that – again (and, yes, I may now well and truly be beating a dead horse here) – I cannot listen to the shows how and when I would like to as conveniently as I would expect to.

Simple though it may be, I’m just simply not going to take even the short amount of time and effort it would take to download a file from PWInsider Elite, load it into iTunes and sync it with my iPhone or iPad.

I’ll reiterate here: It is 2015.

Much the same way as I feel like there is a better way to deliver timely, in-depth wrestling news to subscribers in 2015 than through a weekly newsletter format, I also – even more firmly – believe that when you offer audio content to a paid subscriber base, you provide the most convenient, passive ways for your customer to receive that content.

All of these things add up to make the PWInsider Thatcher show completely redundant and utterly skippable.

If I’m going to listen to Johnson on PWInsider Elite, I’d much rather take a chance with the train-wreck potential of Johnson and site proprietor Dave Scherer chewing the fat than listen to him talk turkey with Thatcher. Likewise, if I’m going to listen to Thatcher, I’ll do so when he’s paired with Vic Sosa and call it a day.

 

On our next edition of Deep Insider, we’ll shift from site exploration and becoming familiar with the territory, and more into the realm of actually examining the content they provide – particularly the editorial pieces provided by Dave Scherer, his Q&As, etc.

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The Author

Les Moore

Les Moore

Les Moore is a veteran ex-journalist, columnist and content marketing strategist. With more than 15 years spent subscribing to pay wrestling newsletters or websites, and at one time boasting a subscription to every reputable pay wrestling news service available, from Wrestling Observer, Pro Wrestling Torch, plus 1Wrestling.com and, later, PWInsider, Moore provides a unique perspective on how wrestling writers ply their trade.

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