Patreon: You Buncha F-ing Sellouts – Is It OK For A Indie Podcast To Ask For Money?

Punk rock. That’s what indie podcasting is. It’s fucking punk.

Doing it because you love it. Playing podcasting to small niche crowds. Not giving a damn if nobody else likes it. Not making any money. These are the things indie podcasters (and punk bands) have been used to for years. But, now there’s Patreon.

Although not really setup for podcasters exactly, Patreon provides a format for podcasters to actually make money doing the thing they love. It also provides the opportunity for podcast fans to give back to the podcasters that have been giving them entertainment for years.

I’m seriously considering doing this for one of our podcasts, The Perfect Pour.

Our craft beer nerd podcast, The Perfect Pour, has built up a little following. Not a huge following, but enough to warrant getting a sponsor, or, asking listeners for help. And since getting a sponsor feels like it would be work and lame, maybe it’s time to give Patreon a try.

Maybe the coolest thing about having a Patreon page is you, the podcaster, can give your listeners something more. Little nerdy things that only a hardcore listener would care about. Things that the podcaster would only be motivated to give to listeners if they were forking over a little cash.

It’s a win win. Right? Well, not totally.

I love the podcast The Morning Stream. I completely relate with hosts Scott Johnson & Brian Iddott and they churn out content I can totally get behind and they do it four days a week. Their Patreon page is huge. Easily the top grossing podcaster page I’ve seen. Enough that they could make their living from it alone. Not many podcasters can say that.

Alright, there’s that “Fire Nation” dweeb but that’s not really a podcast. It’s a audio infomercial. It doesn’t count.

So great, The Morning Stream (and Frogpants Network) make the boys enough to live from. Enough to quit a day job. Every podcaster’s dream. This is why I listen to the Stream with bitter ears.

Once in a while they will miss a show. It’s usually due to Scott having another work commitment, unrelated to the podcasts. This leaves me thinking “Dude, you make a shit ton of money from the podcast! How is that not your first priority? How are other non-podcast work opportunities trumping your podcast?!

When listeners are giving you their hard earned cash (even if it’s just a dollar), that now opens you up to dork-ass rants. To bitter listeners. To, “HEY! I’m paying you, asshole. Do better!”

Now I’m thinking, “Is it worth it?” Is it worth making $50.00 a month from a Patreon page (what I imagine a Perfect Pour page would make) losing your street-cred over? Opening you up to critics? Losing your punk rock vibe?

It would be nice to have the podcast’s file hosting and .com url paid for. Plus maybe have a few bucks left over to buy some beer. But is it all worth it?

I still don’t know.

About Mikey

I've been blogging and podcasting about Fresno, craft beer, film, music and the such since 2004. I like talking about the things that make Fresno, beer and podcasting unique. When your ears have time, check out my podcasts: Dorktown, Flowing With Famous, The Perfect Pour and Get Off My Podcast. Cheers!

Posted on November 26, 2014, in Blog, Blogs, Patreon, podcast, Podcasting, podcasts, The Perfect Pour and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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