Under the hood, audio and video content storage was driven by the files themselves rather than their context. If a podcast had a free version and a premium, ad-free version, they were stored separately as two entities.
In examples like the Giant Bombcast, one episode could have four versions: free audio, premium audio, free video, and premium video. This meant that there were four fragmented comment threads, four separate urls, and more.
Given that the site was originally viewed in a blog format, the data itself was structured more towards individual posts. This worked well at the beginning when there was a larger spread of content types (audio, video, written reviewed, articles, etc.) but couldn't scale for more robust audio and video content.
The concept of a show was a loose connection of videos or audio podcast recordings but was not built for a more scalable association.
Because each audio and video file was created separately without a strong connection between variations of the same piece of content, the user experience was fragmented across the site. One episode of The Giant Bombcast was spread across four urls depending on how users wanted to consume it.
This often caused confusion for users seeing the same episode four times in the same feed without much clear context as to how they differed from one another.
The Episode object was established in the CMS as a way to collect all of the variations of one episode in one place. There, any audio or video file belonging to a specific episode could be grouped together.
This allowed the process of creating episodes to be streamlined. Instead of adding and editing information in several places, it was all available in one part of the CMS.
Episodes being associated to shows rather than specific videos or audio files provided a better structure to be able to organize and present to users.
Grouping variations of an episode across video and audio files also provided the chance to have one singular interface for users. Less fragmentation for consuming and finding content across the site.