I am a member of fan Facebook groups for several podcasts. If you’d like to lose interest and joy in a podcast, just join some fan groups. They take the joy out of everything.
Several podcast producers use Patreon, which is a great idea. They provide extra content for those who pay as both an incentive and a trade of labor for money. However, in one group, there is always complaining about how some of the best content is behind a paywall, and DEMAND they get access to it. The precedent of podcasts is that they were free, open to all, an open source utopia of knowledge and entertainment.
But then people decided they wanted to get paid for their labor. Not just for hosting fees, but for the labor, yes actually labor it takes, to be likeable and interesting.
My point is, if you like a podcast, pay for it. Either join the Patreon, or give a small donation whenever you can. It sucks to think that everything needs to be paid for, but it’s better than expecting someone to do labor for you- to give you something to listen to when you commute, to “get you through some tough times”- just pay them for their labor. I don’t know who needs to hear this, but people should be paid for labor.
Besides recording the podcast, the best podcasts do background research, while others just read Wikipedia. Roxanne Gay’s podcast is premium content only available with a Luminary subscription, and during the podcast she called out people who criticized her for that decision. If someone creates something you like and use, pay for it.