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Considering Removing Some Archived Podcasts. (And why iAmplify Sucks.)Your Thoughts?
May I consult your excellent brains on something?
I'm still at work re-tooling the podcast, as per our last conversation and all your stellar input. My progress, sadly, has been stalled by issues with iAmplify – turns out, iAmplify sucks. They're either chiseling rats or going out of business, because they've never paid me one dime of the podcast revenues I've earned through their site. They won't respond to my emails, and considerable searching has not turned up any phone numbers that work. (Although interestingly, they've removed my "Why CraftyPod is Leaving iAmplify" podcast from search results on their site. So apparently, someone is still pay some kind of attention over there.)
…This has made my re-tool all the more complex, because now the show also needs a new home.
If you're a current iAmplify subscriber, I'll soon send you instructions on how to shut down your account. If you've purchased any individual shows, now is the time to download them from your iAmplify library page. And I'll notify you as soon as my new podcast site is live. We're in the process of a lot of testing and tweaking.
Obviously, I'm frustrated by this turn of events, but I refuse to give up.
Anyway. Here's what I want to ask you about…
Here's one thing I noticed when I started selling shows: those 126 free shows make the process of selling way harder. I had originally wanted them all to be free forever, but the problem is, if there are 126 freebies for you to listen through first, then you have a good year or more of content to enjoy before jumping into a paid subscription.
That doesn't lead me to a viable business. I have no intention of sequestering all the shows behind a paywall, but I am seriously considering reducing the number of free shows I leave out there.
I've been analyzing the back catalog, and realizing that there's actually a healthy little contingent of shows that feature magazines, websites and projects that no longer exist. I'm seriously considering removing these altogether. There are also a few shows in there that honestly, I've just never loved - they have bad sound issues, or the interview just isn't all that compelling. All in all, I'm thinking about pulling about 20 shows - and all of these are old - from between 2005 and 2007.
I asked my Twitter community how they felt about this idea, and responses ranged from "Go for it!" to "No way, keep them all! to Don't delete the show I'm in!"
They're mine, but they're kind of yours, too.
I know what the sound business decision is here: lose the shows that don't have lasting value and reduce the number of free shows to about 50. I'll move the rest of the free shows to a special archive for subscribers to access. In the show's future, you'll have a mix of free and paid access. So everybody gets something, and I can make this thing sustainable, so I can continue making shows.
…But you guys often see things I can't. So I decided to bring this question to you: how do you feel about losing 20 older shows for good? How do you feel about the free archive being reduced?
I think it's very natural to feel protective of the complete archive. In many ways, so do I. It represents my growth as a podcaster, and it's a little window into the growth of the craft community. And for many who've been guests in the past, it's a time capsule. All of that has value.
But at the end of the day, either this show becomes sustainable, or it has to go away altogether. So I'm hopeful for a compromise position that satisfies everyone. Any thoughts?
UPDATE: Seriously, THANK YOU all for your thoughtful takes on this question. As always, you helped me see a couple things I hadn't seen before.
I realized that I had underestimated the extent to which many of you are attached to the archives, so I've greatly reduced the number of shows I'll remove. (And this handful of shows is all about things that no longer exist.) All the rest will remain available to subscribers, and I'll keep about 30 in the free archive all the time.
...And I promise, I'll have more details on the re(re)-release of the show soon! It's a lot of work, getting it all set up on our own server, but it'll be worth it. Thank you again, you excellent brains, you!