For almost 2 years and 50 episodes, The NoSleep Podcast has been made available to listeners all over the world. In the early days the episodes were barely 30 minutes long with a couple of stories and bare bones production. Presently, the episodes are close to 90 minutes long with full sound design and soundtrack along with an ever-increasing professionalism in both writing and narration.
From the very beginning, I have been the main producer and person in charge of the entire series. The time commitment required by each episode has grown exponentially. This includes the narrating, editing, creating the custom sound design and music, along with the administration and co-ordination of writers and narrators. I have also paid for all of the expenses for the show out of my own pocket, from the IT costs to the increasing quality of software and hardware required, to the marketing and promotion of the show.
The costs of producing The NoSleep Podcast in terms of time and money are becoming unsustainable.
I have had a vision statement for this series from its earliest days. I have been searching for a way to create an audio performance series that can do the following:
- Financially compensate contributors who share their talent for writing and narration.
- Create a self-sustained series that can support a full-time production schedule.
- Provide top-quality entertainment that is available to the widest audience possible.
I had to find an answer to this question, “How can I make this audio performance series available to the most people while at the same time generating revenue from it?”
I considered many different ways in which a viable source of revenue could be established in order to fulfill my vision for the show. Donations, advertising, affiliate programs, merchandising, and fundraising (Kickstarter and the like). Other shows have tried these methods in various combinations with limited to decent success. However, none of these methods provide a source of revenue that is both foreseeable and sustainable.
I concluded that the best approach would be to offer the listeners a chance to directly support the show in a convenient and affordable way.
I have decided to offer the audience these options for The NoSleep Podcast:
Each season of The NoSleep Podcast will be available by purchasing a Season Pass. The Season Pass will give the subscriber 25 full-length regular season episodes of The NoSleep Podcast. These are the 120-150 minute episodes that consist of 4-5 stories, the same style of episodes you have heard in Season 2.
Along with those episodes, each season will have a minimum of 3 exclusive bonus episodes. These are the special episodes like the Halloween episode that feature certain themes or authors. They will only be available to those listeners who subscribe to the Season Pass.
Premium Individual Episodes
Each full-length regular season episode will also be available for individual purchase. The bonus episodes are not available individually.
This version of each regular season episode will be available free of charge. This is to ensure that those listeners who choose not to subscribe to the premium services can still have access to the series. These free episodes will be shorter than the premium episodes. They will consist of the first two or three stories and will be 50-60 minutes in length. Also, once per season there will be a full-length episode of the series available for free. With 25 single stories and one full-length episode, there will be the equivalent of 8-9 full episodes of the series each season free of charge.
The Premium Season Pass is only $19.99 (US funds). With a minimum of 28 episodes in a season that’s less than 72 cents per episode.
Premium Individual Episodes are only $1.49 ea.
Aside from allowing The NoSleep Podcast to continue on and compensate its contributors, there is one further benefit for listeners. If we reach a certain amount of Season Pass subscribers the release cycle can increase from once every two weeks to once a week! This means more frightening entertainment to keep you up at night…on a weekly basis. It might not happen right away but when the numbers are right the schedule will change.
I know this change will not be popular with every listener but I hope you understand the reasons behind it. I also hope you will consider supporting the podcast by becoming a Season Pass subscriber. Doing so will mean many more seasons of sleepless nights and scary stories.
I hope you will consider this new approach this way:
If you only sort of like The NoSleep Podcast then the free version should provide you with plenty of entertainment. If you really like The NoSleep Podcast then 72 cents is a small price to pay for each episode.
Whichever version you choose to listen to, I hope you continue to enjoy the show. I greatly appreciate you listening and on behalf of the writers and other narrators I thank you for your ongoing support!
When and where do I sign up for a Season Pass?
Once you sign up and pay, you’ll automatically start getting episodes when season 3 starts on May 19th.
Can I pay using something other than PayPal?
I know some people have personal or ethical misgivings about PayPal and refuse to use it. I do accept credit card payments but they will be procesed via PayPal. I wish I had the luxury of offering multiple payment options but PayPal is the most accepted and widely-used payment system on the Internet. I feel it is the best choice to make at this time. I am looking seriously into the idea of accepting personal cheques but that may take a bit of time. For now, I have to stick with the easiest and most integrated payment system.
How much information do you collect from me?
Just your name and email address. Your payment is securely processed via PayPal. I won’t sell nor spam your email.
How do I access the episodes?
You will have access to your password-protected RSS feed that you can use for your podcast delivery system. This means you can also access it via iTunes like you normally would, you just need to enter your password to do so. You can also download each episode via your membership page.
Will I be automatically billed for future seasons?
No. I don’t believe in the “opt out” method of business. You pay for one season at a time and it’s up to you to renew for each subsequent season. This means no surprise charges on your credit card or PayPal account.
Can I gift a season pass to someone?
Yes, gifting of season passes and episodes will be available.
Most podcasts are free. Why should I pay for this one?
It’s true that most podcasts are free, but most podcasts also try to generate some revenue from their episodes. Some ask for donations, some have ads or affiliate programs. Some people produce podcasts to market their other paid services. Comedians have free podcasts so they can build their audience and promote their albums and live shows. Business people have free podcasts that highlight how you can connect with them for their business. With The NoSleep Podcast, the “product” I’m marketing is the show itself. I can’t do live shows and there is nothing else I can offer other than each episode of the series. Therefore, I’m asking the listeners to pay a small amount of money for each episode so the show can sustain itself.
When does Season 3 start?
Season 3 launces on May 19th, 2013.
You won’t gain any new listeners because you’re not offering enough in the free version. Have you thought about that?
I have to walk a fine line between making sure the free listeners get something worthwhile to listen to and giving people enough incentive to subscriber to the Season Pass. If new listeners want to find out what the show is all about there are 50 episodes for them to listen to for free. Add those to the 8-9 episodes worth of stories per season and that should hopefully be enough information on which to base their decision.
Your decision is putting the entire podcast at risk. Do you realize you’ll probably fail at this?
You are right. There is a high probability that this podcast won’t survive past season 3. However, if I didn’t at least try to make this change there would be a 100% chance it wouldn’t last past season 2. I chose the lesser of two evils.