It’s unclear whether the audience will hang around, or if they simply wanted to check out something unusual and new; Hugo has released four episodes, and each subsequent installment has pulled a smaller audience than the last.
Of course views/listens are going down week after week. These fake podcasts are a novelty, but they fundamentally have zero value. Some people will go "don't you want to hear what Steve Jobs would have said about current event X?" Sure, but this literally is not that, and therefore it's not interesting.
The tech is fascinating and when it works, it's quite believable, but I (and it seems most everyone else) care about what people have to say about things, not what some algorithm has made their voice say.
He also believes Wondercraft will appeal to some independent creative types, like newsletter writers who might want to put out an audio version of their blog posts but don’t have the time to do it themselves or the money to hire a reader.
Now this is a reasonable use case, although I'm sure people will not like this one. I listen to a lot of articles I save to my reading list using text-to-speech right now, and it's great, but I will say it is a bit odd to hear a same voice for everything. I would absolutely prefer to hear, for example, Casey Newton's voice reading Platformer for me, even if he doesn't have the time to do a recording everyday like Ben Thompson.
Hell, I'd love to make it easy to listen to any of my posts here in my voice!
Again, I can see how this use case might upset people who want writers to hire voice actors for this, but in my opinion, this would be creating new audio for people (like me) who would never be able to justify the costs and effort of hiring someone directly.