I hinted at this last week, but here goes nothing.
When I started the podcast, I knew I needed to find a way to monetize it to justify the time and cost invested in it. The obvious solution seemed to be selling advertising, because that’s what you do. I reached out to a few of the known ad vendors to inquire about their interest and was mostly blown off saying to come back when I had actual listener numbers.
OK, fine. I’ll do it on my own.
My goal with sponsors on CocoaRadio was to always make them targeted. It’s a very targeted audience of iOS and OS X developers, so developer tools, startups looking to hire, and web services seemed like a natural fit. Every ad we ran on CocoaRadio was a product I was proud to champion because they were all things I’ve used.
The problem is that selling ads is hard, and finding new sponsors is even harder. In fact, it’s the least fun aspect of doing a podcast. Talking to people is great. Interacting with listeners rocks. Trying to haggle on the price of a 3 week run with a large corporation? That sucks.
So, when I realized that CocoaRadio has over 25,000 listeners now, it became possible to start outsourcing the ads to someone else to deal with. But then I would likely lose control of which sponsors I ran because I’d be part of a package. That goes against my first rule of targeted advertising to the audience.
That’s when I remembered that NPR is wonderful.
The NPR Model
I got my start in doing radio and podcasting at our local NPR station in Evansville, Indiana. For two years I did a show and various segments around there to learn producting, editing, and hosting a show. The station was funded by donations from listeners, grants, and funding from public broadcasting.
I always liked the idea of having my show live or die by the support of the listeners who enjoyed it calling in and contributing to the station. It made everything feel more personal and like the listeners had a stake in the production.
So, that’s what I’m going to try with CocoaRadio. To start, I’m offering two levels of support: $5 and $10 a month respectively. Each one has its own set of benefits depending on the level of support you want to offer.
And just like supporting your local NPR station, I’m lining up some giveaways, discounts, and other benefits for people who financially support the show such as exclusive members only episodes, discounts on products, and a private Glassboard to interact with me and other listeners.
Support What You Love
With Glassboard NeXT, the book, and now CocoaRadio I’m practicing what I preach by trying to charge a fair price for my work. It seems unconvential in the landscape of computing in 2014, but I’m hoping there are enough people out there in the world like me that will make this a successful venture.
If you enjoy CocoaRadio and want to see it continue into the future, please consider becoming a paid supporter. Thanks for your continued support.