Seattle PodCon is Crowdfunding for Planned December Dates

PodCon logoIt takes a lot of resources to put on a successful podcasting conference. And by “resources,” I mean “money.” That’s why the organizers of Seattle PodCon, planned for December 9th and 10th of this year, are raising money thru crowdfunding to get their conference off the ground.

PodCon is the brainchild of YouTuber and podcaster Hank Green, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor of Welcome to Night Vale, and podcast producer Travis McElroy:

They wanted there to be a place where people got together to really just /get into/ podcasts together for a couple days. That’s going to include discussions of what is oh-so right about podcasts, but also some of the issues we have to face. It’s going to include live performances and mashed-up podcasts. It’s going to feature podcasters from tons of genres including fiction, news, science, comedy, drama, crime, interview and more.

We just love this stuff, and we want to celebrate it.

The producers of PodCon are still working on getting all of the details together for the conference. So far, they’ve confirmed live podcast recordings of the shows Dear Hank and John, My Brother My Brother and Me, and Alice Isn’t Dead (a separate, ticketed production of Welcome to Night Vale will be held adjacent to, but not automatically included with PodCon). The conference will also host panel discussions and workshops that will cover a wide range of podcasting topics.

PodCon has currently raised 16% (just shy of $50,000) of its $300,000 flexible crowdfunding goal. Contributors can gain access to PodCon with a $90 contribution. A remote access pass can be had for a $25 contribution. Remote access attendees will receive a special podcast feed that will contain recordings of many of the events happening at PodCon.

To learn more about PodCon and contribute to the Indiegogo campaign, click the link at the top of this article.

Patreon Adds Charge Up Front Option

Patreon LogoCrowdfunding platform Patreon has become a prominent monetization source for many podcasters. By default, Patreon charges backers once per month, and after it takes fees off the top of those charges, it passes payments on to Patreon creators. In response to Patreon users who’ve asked the service to make payments go thru faster, Patreon has added a new Charge Up Front option.

Charge Up Front will only be available to Patreon creators who use the service to collect monthly contributions from their backers. Creators who operate their accounts on a charge-per-creation basis (example: podcasters who only collect from backers when they release a new episode) are not eligible to use Charge Up Front. Current Patreon users who opt to switch to the Charge Up Front option will not be able to switch back to the standard monthly collection system already in use by most Patreon creators. Also, per-creation creators who switch to a monthly-donation plan in order to take advantage of Charge Up Front will not be able to change back to the per-creation option:

Charge up front is permanent and cannot be changed; once you elect to charge your patrons up front, you cannot undo this. If you switch to charge up front from a per creation account type, you will not be able to switch back to charging your patrons per creation.

Another thing to keep in mind about the new Charge Up Front service:

For security purposes, payouts from your account will be placed on a temporary hold for five days after opting into “charge up front.” This feature is gradually being rolled out and is not available for all creators yet. You’ll receive an email notification once it’s available for your page.

If you’re a Patreon user and you’d like to begin using Charge Up Front, follow the link at the top of this article to learn more about the feature and how you can enable it.

Patreon Lauches Private RSS Feeds

PatreonRSSPatreon has become a popular crowdfunding platform for podcasters. And the people behind the service have taken notice. Patreon launched a new feature this week that could’ve only been inspired by the needs of podcasters; Private RSS feeds.

Offering premium content behind a paywall is a monetization strategy used by many podcasters. But the solutions for doing that can be complex and unreliable. Usually, podcasters just upload a cache of files to a server behind a password-protected paywall. Or they’d try and create their own premium content system using various combinations of WordPress plugins and third-party providers.

Patreon’s new offering should make the process of providing premium podcast content much easier. When Patreon creators upload media files to their account, those files will automatically go into a generator on Patreon’s backend that creates unique, private RSS feed URLs for Patreon backers. Those URLs can then be added to most popular podcast-consumption apps, like iOS Podcasts, Downcast, Overcast, Podcast Addict, and more. When creators add new media file to their Patreon accounts, backers will receive them via their private RSS feeds.

The Patreon website discourages users from sharing their private RSS feed links. But it’s unclear if Patreon will be actively monitoring the usage of these feeds for potential infringement. And while it seems logical that these feeds would stop working for backers who’ve stopped donating, the website doesn’t say anything about this.

PowerPress Update Provides Direct Crowdfunding Support to Skipcast App

Blubrry LogoPowerPress, the popular podcasting WordPress plugin developed by Blubrry, was recently updated to include direct crowdfunding support within the Skipcast app. This means that PowerPress users can add links to PayPal donate buttons, dedicated “support” pages, or services like Patreon to their RSS feeds. Then, Skipcast will use that information to create direct crowdfunding links within the app. This makes it very easy for listeners who are using Skipcast to provide donations or other crowdfunding support to the podcasts they love.

After updating to PowerPress 6.1, users will see a new Donate Link section under the Feeds tab in PowerPress settings:

PowerPress Donate Link

By checking the “Syndicate a donate link…” box, filling out the fields below, and then clicking the Save Changes button, the donate links will be added to the podcast RSS feed. Note: The links are designed for syndication within supported apps, so they won’t appear directly on the pages of a WordPress website.

Learn more about the new PowerPress Donate Link feature at this Blubrry support page.

Disclosure: I work part-time with the Blubrry support team. Podcaster News Executive Editor Todd Cochrane is CEO of Rawvoice, Blubrry’s parent company.

Patreon issues Security Notice

Patreon LogoPatreon, a popular crowdfunding platform used by many podcasters, issued a security notice earlier this week to all users. From a statement posted by Patreon CEO Jack Conte:

Yesterday I learned that there was unauthorized access to a Patreon database containing user information. Our engineering team has since blocked this access and taken immediate measures to prevent future breaches.


There was unauthorized access to registered names, email addresses, posts, and some shipping addresses. Additionally, some billing addresses that were added prior to 2014 were also accessed. We do not store full credit card numbers on our servers and no credit card numbers were compromised. Although accessed, all passwords, social security numbers and tax form information remain safely encrypted with a 2048-bit RSA key.

The statement goes on to say that no action is required in response to this issue. But Patreon is recommending as a precaution that users reset their account passwords. For full details on the nature of the security breach as well as what Patreon did to correct the problem, click the link at the top of this blog post.


Crowdfunding Platform Shootout – PCN Show 011

Dollar signsThere’s been a lot of talk lately about crowdfunding platforms for podcasting. It seems like new platforms are coming online all the time. I decided to compare some of these services, looking at the features they have to offer and what kind of fees they charge.

I ranked my findings in first, second and third place with a runner up. Which service came in first? Listen to the podcast to find out!



Joyride Is An Audio Discovery App With Built-In Crowdfunding Support

CrowdfundingJoyride logo services are making a lot of podcasting news as of late. I learned today that a company called Joyride has been reaching out to podcasters to offer its services. I hadn’t heard of Joyride before, so I decided to look it up.

On its website, Joyride breaks its service down into two sides. One for listeners, the other for creators. The side for listeners is pretty straightforward. It showcases the Joyride Android app (iOS coming soon), stating that listeners can easily find over 100,000 shows. From there, it shows a collage of podcast artwork, featuring many popular shows like Serial, WTF and StarTalk Radio.

For creators, Joyride touts that it can help a podcaster to, “Engage with your audience of passionate listeners
to build a sustainable income and grow your business.” The website explains how Joyride works:

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Castbacker Is A New Crowdfunding Platform For Podcasts

Castbacker logoThere are multiple ways to monetize a podcast and one of those methods growing in popularity is crowdfunding. Earning an income directly from an audience is nothing new to podcasting. Podcasters have been receiving donations thru systems like PayPal since the early days of the medium. Over the years, new concepts and services have emerged to help make crowdfunding a viable way to earn anything from some extra side money to a full-time living by pooling the collective contributions of an audience.

The latest entrant to the crowd funding space is Castbacker. The Castbacker website says the service is, “Like Kickstarter for podcasts,” and it promises that, “In five minutes, you’ll be ready to receive sweet, sweet recurring income from your listeners.” In its overview video, Castbacker demonstrates that creating a podcaster account is easy, and that when listeners decide to become podcast backers, all they need to do is fill out a simple form and provide their credit card information. Even tho Castbacker uses Stripe to handle its payments, and it will be necessary for podcasters to have Stripe accounts in order to get paid, listeners who’d like to support a podcast thru Castbacker will not need Stripe accounts of their own. (Stripe accounts are free to create but the service does have transaction fees.)

Castbacker gives your podcast a unique page on the Castbacker website where backers can sign up. These unique pages can be customized to help match the theme and branding of a podcaster’s main website.

Castbacker comes at a time when the crowdfunding is busy with many competing services. Regardless, Castbacker is the first service of its kind that’s focused specifically on podcasting. If you’ve been considering a crowdfunding option for your podcast, Castbacker could be the way to go.

Patreon Gets $15 Million In Series A Funding

Patreon LogoBuzz had been building over the last week about Patreon, a crowdfunding service that’s growing in popularity among podcasters. The company had stated publicly that it’d be making a big announcement today and indeed, they did. Patreon is receiving $15 million in series A funding from a group of big-name investors including Alexis Ohanian (cofounder of Reddit), Sam Altman (President of Y Combinator), David Marcus (former President of Paypal) and others.

This isn’t the first time Patreon has taken venture capital. In 2013, the company received $2.1 million in funding from some of the same investors. And it looks like that initial investment paid off. Patreon rolled out some impressive facts about what the service has achieved so far:

  • *Revenue grew 10x in a five month period.
  • *Patreon now has over 25,000 creators using the service.
  • *Patreon has sent over $2 million to its creators.

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