Why we do what we do...
by, Jan 30th, 2012 at 04:54 PM (1794 Views)
Someone tweeted to me today:
"myself & 5 friends would have already bought season 3 by now. instead we'll suffer through the season 15min at a time. Question: Do you think we'll buy it at the end of this year?"
My response: "Nope. And that's fine if you don't. You can't buy a TV season before it airs, that's just how it works."
So why is that? Why would we take this route? Simple. Growth.
There are plenty of business models out there that publish works that you have to pay first to listen to or read. Many of those models, especially independent ventures, fail. Doesn't matter if it's good, it fails because no one knows about it. That is, unless you have the financial backing to push mega-advertising for content.
If we created this show as a pay only, it would not have as many fans as it does today. I can state that as a fact. People come here because it's free. Friends, family, whoever you want to tell can listen in and it won't cost them a dime. Could that early revenue been used for advertising? Yes. Enough to outweigh the impact from word of mouth? No, at least I don't think so. In a small business sense: monetize too soon, and growth will suffer.
But, guess what? It's working. We have seen exponential growth since our start. It started out small and has grown steadily since. New advertisers are seeing opportunities for exposure in the 1/2 million a month and growing downloads.
Ok, so that's why it's free, but why is it broken up into pieces like this? Two main reasons. 1: Production.Producing a 15-25 minute episode a week is feasible with a forty hour a week job on top of it. At least it's feasible for me, and I work like a horse (hence the WP logo). It still requires a lot of time and money to finish an episode, but it's much more feasible if it's more spread out.
Chapter 24 was incredibly hard to produce because it was so long, instead of focusing intently on smaller segments. Spreading them out a little also allows me as a writer to continue to write as the seasons progress. And when I say write, I mean the dialogue and the events as they are heard not the overarching outlines of the story. It's much more dynamic that way, and again not overwhelming. I can't imagine having to write all the chapters at once during the off-season. I'd get burnt out FAST and the writing would get rushed. As it is, I wish I had more time to spend on the writing, but the wheels keep on turning.
2nd reason: The interaction and the serial. After this LONG conversation via twitter with this gentleman, he brought up Lost. He thinks that Lost would have had the same number of viewers if they released it all in one chunk. I entirely disagree with that. The space in-between allows you to think about what happened, to talk about it and experience it with other people. That interaction is GOLD for people to get involved with the series. People who have been here week after week in the series get to really think and use their imagination about where the story might go.
That being said, there are some down sides. Mainly, those who listen to everything on demand, catch up, and then whine at us because there's NO MORE even though we stick to a very rigid BUT DOABLE production schedule. We haven't missed a scheduled day yet, and I don't plan to. The only time we were ever off was because of server issues, and that was because of too many listeners downloading at once. We've since upgraded the servers, but you get the point. The other down side is that all the theories and ideas of old fans get lost in the shuffle because they already caught up to a point that the theory was about.
So that's a little of what we do and why. Doing this since 2009 has given me much thicker skin to give the proverbial finger to someone who complains, but at the same time I want to use this blog as a way of letting YOU(the loyal and faithful listener who doesn't give us bad reviews because we're not fulfilling yourfree-content-greedy nature) know exactly how I feel on the topic and my perspective.
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