We Need Your Help -- Video



  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    As far as Amazon letting us back in.  I made three phone calls, and in two of them I was informed that the decision was made by a team that doesn't take phone calls.  These people were super friendly and helpful but them nor Affiliate support management could get us in touch with the enforcement team.

    Emailing the enforcement team, I explained the situation and that we were more than open to altering our message to be inline with the policy, and I got an email saying, "As we previously stated," and then literally copy and paste of the original email, then with another sentence at the end that said to immediately remove all Amazon images, links, etc off of our site.

    I emailed them again because the language included a statement saying that if we opened a new account that it "may be subject to immediate closure" asking if that "may" meant that if we complied fully with the program on a new affiliate account they'd allow it, and I got another, "As we stated in our previous communication," cut and paste job.  I don't think they're interested in paying us $135k to tell an audience that already knows about Amazon about Amazon.

    And the other thing is, say we do get them to let us back in.  Then what?  We still have a huge chunk of income held by a corporation that we don't control.  Like, if libsyn goes under, we go Blubrry.  If stripe goes bankrupt we have square and paypal.  These single unaccountable points of failure are for the birds.  I'd much rather succeed or die by what we can do ourselves.  Like, if the community decides our podcasts aren't worth $5/month, fine.  We'll scale back our ambitions a bit and keep on keeping on.  Whatever percentage of the community decides they can support us, going forward I don't think 1/3 of them at any one time will ever be like, "fuck 'em," and if they do, then we probably done fucked up and deserve it.

    So that was what last week was about, before we made our case to you.  Trying to see if we could salvage the Amazon situation.  When that wasn't possible we mentally turned the page.  I do feel strongly that we'll come out of this, if not stronger, because I have no idea if we'll be able to cover $135k so that we can do all the things we want to do to get bigger and better, that's a big ask, then at least more stable and secure.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    General update:  We raised about $3500 in the past 24 hours.  That's just off forum and social media traffic, which I think is amazing.  The big podcast push starts next week.  We're working on getting the site ready with landing pages and banners today and over the weekend, and getting the short form of our message honed.  I'm feeling pretty optimistic.  I can't thank everyone enough for the support thus far!
    hisdudeness915KingKobraGredalBeeTravisElisabrewseveltSomeBiscuitFlashGordonmvcpachecophoenyx1023and 13 others.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Melia004 said:

    @A_Ron_Hubbard - For clarification, does money we put towards a commissioned 'cast now help you guys now, regardless of when it's released? I definitely intend to help you guys out, but my membership expires sometime in February, so I wanted to figure out if I should donate a little now and change to the new sub rate then, or change the sub rate now.  

    Yeah, any money given to us in any form will help out immediately.  We get the money for memberships, commissions, merch, whatever as soon as you click "checkout". 
  • General update:  We raised about $3500 in the past 24 hours.  That's just off forum and social media traffic, which I think is amazing.  The big podcast push starts next week.  We're working on getting the site ready with landing pages and banners today and over the weekend, and getting the short form of our message honed.  I'm feeling pretty optimistic.  I can't thank everyone enough for the support thus far!

    Good to hear, I'm glad there are a lot of other folks who value what you guys do. I've always paid $5/mo since I signed up almost 2 years ago - figured if I spend two hours listening to you fools yammering on about a one hour show, it's well worth 1/2 of a Netflix subscription.

    I will reiterate - next week when you start a big push step up the social media game too, especially Twitter. I noticed you don't use hashtags when you post your podcast links to Twitter - just that small step I'm guessing of simple #GameofThrones etc. tag on all relevant tweets will get at least a lot more eyeballs on the post, and some of those will click through and listen.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Mihai said:

    Michelle said:

    Loving the idea of the app - but don't make it free.  It should be minimum $1.99 in the Apple App Store and in the Google Play Store.  I can't wait to download it no matter how much it is.  :)

    I agree, I would pay a small amount for an app. OR- A Kickstarter type campaign for the app where the reward is you get the app whereas others have to pay for it.

    Sorry to spam the thread, but I think this would be a pretty bad idea. Realistically, the BaldMove app would not be an app which has 100.000 installs (not till GoT probably rolls, if even!) to actually make a good gain off it. So if there are about 5.000 Club Members - not all of them would buy the app but other people might. You'd still be with a few thousand subscribers at first - at most. Not all people on the Internet are like us - who listen to BM, who talk about BM, etc.

    Secondly, the IDEA that you have to pay for an app is a pretty big deterrent for too many people. As A.Ron previously stated, actually. Heck, if I didn't know you guys I wouldn't buy the app even if it was $0.99. Even if I didn't know that the important content (show reviews) is available for free for the podcast app I already paid for. "There's an app by some podcasters I don't know? They charge for it? Nope."  The intention would be to get the app to as many people as possible! Of them, a fraction (realistically, probably under 10%) would actually keep it, a fraction of those that do buy into the club etc. Put any price for the app and the quantity of people who install it in the first place decreases significantly.

    The best thing BM could do now if they have access to a genie would be to ask it so that "10 million more people would listen to 5 different episodes of our podcast!". Of those 10 million maybe 1 million would stick around. Of those maybe 10 or 100.000 would actually give a damn about the club. That's the direction the guys probably want to go. Exposure. Popularity snowballs - as seen in the GoT numbers or in the total download numbers (time to 1 mil vs time to get to 5 mil - 10 mil - 20 mil; the time decreased even if the numbers double). So I'd suggest everyone divert energy from thinking about how we as Members might give an extra buck to how to get unknown people to listen to the cast and give the first buck.

    We'd be better off probably sharing things on FC, Twitter, sharing funny bits of episodes we like, maybe sharing how interesting the Lunches are (btw Jim and A.Ron - the idea of having best conversation snippets from some of the shows on youtube, short 1-2 min movies, is brilliant. Those bring shares and people who haven't heard of you would see you for the first time and they might actually try to hear one of your pods. Then it's up to your winning personalities to kmake them stick around).

    Sorry for the long rant. I know the length of this deters half of the people from even reading what I said, but I'm in a hurry and I don't function in snippet of ideas.
    Off-off topic, yesterday I met the first real person who had heard about BM! I didn't even bring it into discussion by name; it was epic. 
    This is so right on.  I think if I try to express anything, it's that growth is so important to our success.  Growing GoT from 80k to 280k in one year is phenomenal.  If we made everyone pay us, say, a dollar to listen to our season six coverage of Game of Thrones, our audience would have been probably 5k, and would continue to shrink each year after that.  Monetization limits growth.  

    If we spend 25k to make an app, we want hundreds of thousands of people to install it.  We want people who don't understand podcasts but have heard of their friends and family talk about Bald Move to install the app.  Charging for the app will limit it's appeal to just existing die hard Bald Move fans.  Growth is about finding those potential die hard Bald Move fans and converting them.  Most of the hard part of the business side is trying to figure out ways to a) cast a wide net for new listeners and b) make sure the existing fans feel valued, and do both at the same time.  Big, popular shows and free podcast and free apps do job A, and Lunches, QYPs, and adding and sticking with smaller, more niche shows do job B.  

    It's all about barriers to engagement.  10,000 people hear a podcast, 1,000 people will email in about it, and 100 people will throw us some cash.  It's so funny hearing all the conventional wisdom about sales and marketing all my life turn out to be true with empirical evidence. You start charging at the door, and those numbers plummet, and that's a death spiral. 
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH

    Just noodling ideas, but some of us who run other casts and have no ambition to monetize would be happy to offer additional content or premiums.

    Like, we host a challenge to contribute to Bald Move against doing commissioned casts.

    Our (much smaller and more humble) community owes much of its existence to Bald Move. The Bald Movement produces premium listenership and we're always happy to have you contribute to our shows.  And I know for a fact that I speak for more than just Natter Cast on that.

    So...just spitballin'...but anything we can do to sweeten the pot and encourage you all to boost your contribution to Bald Move, we are happy to oblige.

    Within reason.  No nudity.  That would be for your protection.

    Thanks for the offer!  It's always been a sub-goal to make the Bald Move network more of an, uh, well, Network I guess, and it always comes down to needing to be bigger to manage all of the overhead and communication.  One of the many reasons we want to keep growing!
    TravisNatter Cast
  • Rick Steves (guy with travel show) offered a free app with some pre-recorded self-guided tours.  Like, walking you through the Louvre and stuff.  He offers travel classes for free about an hour from where I live (which are 100-percent packed every time I've gone), and he has downloadable packing lists and travel videos for free on YouTube.

    My mom had a vague awareness of Rick Steves from his show.  I had never heard of him.  Stumbled across him because of his 'packing light' video.  I went to a couple classes.

    I have bought approximately $200 worth of stuff from him at his travel center, where the classes are, as well as an amount of money on kindle book travel guides that I don't want to actually calculate the grand total of.  I wouldn't be surprised if it was in the $75 range.

    I had never heard of him.  If his app was $1.99, I wouldn't have bothered to download it.  Wouldn't have checked out his site, wouldn't have bought anything at all from him.  Not in protest, but in apathy towards his brand.  Everyone else at the class walked out with stuff (some people bought pricey luggage, travel guides, DVD's, etc.).  I didn't see anyone leave empty handed, they at least bought a $10 (approx.) map.

    The free things get people through the door.  I think it was the first chapter of the Walking Dead Telltale game that made me want to sign up for the club to see the rest.  Make your free stuff great, but your paid stuff incredible.  People will buy it.
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    edited November 2016
    @gjulleen If it hadn't have been for the fact that I wanted to support Baldmove to begin with, the Walking Dead Telltale game would have cause me to sign up. In all honesty, I think gaming broadcasts are the future of Baldmove. It's got the most potential for growth, and it's where Jim and A. Ron's personalities and sense of humor shine the brightest (not taking anything away for the other content, but the game casts are the ones I've gone back and listened to multiple times).
  • MichelleMichelle California
    Melia004 said:

    @A_Ron_Hubbard - For clarification, does money we put towards a commissioned 'cast now help you guys now, regardless of when it's released?

    I've been wondering this too, 'cause I've been picking up Casablanca shares here & there (I think 6 of them so far?).
    Hoping the money helps right now.
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  • Okay, their are 4 pages of replies and I don't feel like reading through them all. I pay upwards of $5/month for a couple other podcasts and I listen to Bald Move more than any other on my feed. Just tell me what I need to do. From what I can tell from the first page of this thread you are wanting to increase the club fee to $3/month. Give me instructions of how I do this and I'll increase my input to $5/month to equal what I give TheBallerLifestyle podcast. 
  • Can't donate too much (tuition fees in the UK are high.) But donated $10, the amount of enjoyment you guys have given me is more than worth it. Listened to you guys so much you feel like personal friends! Hopefully I'll be able to contribute a little more soon!
  • fidoz said:

    Okay, their are 4 pages of replies and I don't feel like reading through them all. I pay upwards of $5/month for a couple other podcasts and I listen to Bald Move more than any other on my feed. Just tell me what I need to do. From what I can tell from the first page of this thread you are wanting to increase the club fee to $3/month. Give me instructions of how I do this and I'll increase my input to $5/month to equal what I give TheBallerLifestyle podcast. 

    From the little I've read, you go to your subscription page and select "change subscription"....
  • Some people are volunteering services on this thread but it's getting kind of buried in the money talk. Maybe another (additional, not instead of) thread could be started for people to offer services. Get you guys a little boost in the short term until you have the funds to do the hires you want to do?

    I would encourage people to email us at hosts@baldmove.com (some have already done so).  The forum is really a hard medium to track and follow up on stuff like this, our inbox is much more conducive to this.
    Content-type here (writer, editor, producer) who would be happy to help. Just emailed you!
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  • Natter CastNatter Cast San Francisco, CA

    Thanks for the offer!  It's always been a sub-goal to make the Bald Move network more of an, uh, well, Network I guess, and it always comes down to needing to be bigger to manage all of the overhead and communication.  One of the many reasons we want to keep growing!
    Sent you and Jim a longer email, but for the benefit of public discussion:

    We're a small time cast largely inspired by Bald Move.  Over the years, we've gained some listenership from other promotion sources, but nothing has ever been as effective as getting you guys to mention us on the show.  We rolled mad stacks during Breaking Bad based on your recommendation, yo.  

    We don't have much in the way of an operating budget, as this is not a professional endeavor for us and we enjoy the freedom of keeping it at the hobby level, but we do spend about $(1-2 dinners out) per episode promoting on Facebook and Outbrain.  With mixed results at best.

    Would SO rather give that money to you guys.  And we wouldn't need much in the way of production support, beyond posting our cast (which we host) and maybe some on-air pimpery.

    Now, natch, we're not going to keep your lights on with our hobby-level investment.  But we're not the only ones out here.

    You have the audience to grow a network.  You're at production capacity.  There are several of us out here who have gotten our chops up over the past few years who would be willing to pay for access to high quality listenership.  

    This also adds value to your listeners looking to discover more Bald Move-like content.  It ain't easy.

    We've got a brand new pair of roller skates.  You've got a brand new key.  I'm tired of giving my money to Mark Zuckerberg.  He lives in my neighborhood and his house is obnoxious.  Please help us.  Help us be human.


  • I know you didn't want people sending hate mail to Amazon, but this is feedback I sent through the Prime Membership feedback option.  I hope you don't feel I was out of line:

     I'm aware that Bald Move requested their listeners to *not* send negative mail to Amazon, However I wanted to let you know how disappointed I am that Amazon has decided to end their affiliate relationship with the Bald Move Podcasting Network.

    One of the reasons I upgraded to Prime and have used Amazon to purchase many things I would have typically gone to a brick and motor store to buy was because I got the bonus of supporting Bald Move.  It made me feel good to shop with your company because even though I was using a massive company to buy my day to days, I also felt like I was supporting a small business I wanted to help grow.

    I don't know if this will impact purchases in the future, I know that a few things (like a tent this summer) I bought at Amazon instead of Walmart specifically because it made me happy to throw a little extra at the affiliate I had chosen.

    So, I hope this reaches someone with some authority to re-consider your decision to cancel your contract with Bald Move.  If not, I hope you take this into consideration for future decisions:  Even if a customer does not have loyalty to Amazon, they may have a relationship and loyalty to an affiliate.   

    It is hard for a faceless website to garner customer loyalty.  That same loyalty that keeps us going to a specific grocery store, because the checkers know our names, or the same coffee stand because the barista knows our drinks.  Your affiliates in many cases have a relationship with their listeners, who transfer that loyalty to your company.  Many times I chose Amazon over other online retailers, not for a better deal or brand loyalty to Amazon, but because of brand loyalty to Bald Move and my desire to support their small business.

    Thank you for reading this.

    A customer
  • Natter CastNatter Cast San Francisco, CA
    And one more thought on growing the network: more written content on the website.

    I used to write for IO9.  They only paid $20/article, but the exposure was phenomenal. 

    If you had a corral of writers putting out 2-3 articles/day on the main site, along the lines of AV Club, that would boost the appeal of the main site for ad revenue.

    There are some pretty great writers in our community.  Pat Sponaugle comes to mind.  If Bald Move discovers the next Alan Sepinwall, that's worth something. Especially if that Alan Sepinwall is me :)


    For this, you would need a dedicated online editor.  Someone who would maintain quality control and editorial policy on published content.  A freeform cluster blog wouldn't cut it.  But it's something a part-timer could do on a month-to-month basis, so you wouldn't have to make the same kind of commitment you would to an employee.
  • GeorgeGeorge Astoria, New York
    edited November 2016
    Hats off to you dudes for your transparency. Sucks that things turned out the way that they did with Amazon, but while it'll be tough I think this is the perfect opportunity to plant your feet a bit more and make your income streams a bit more concrete and reliable.

    $12/year was beyond worth the content that you guys offered, and I knew deep down that with the pace Bald Move has been growing it wasn't really a figure you'd be able to maintain while still allowing for real substantial business growth.

    With that said, I'll be upping my membership next Thursday when payday rolls around. Forgive me. I'm a New Yorker, I'm poor.

    Best of luck to you guys and based on the projecting and research you've done, I think you put yourselves in the best possible situation to turn this negative into a positive and create a foundation for Bald Move that could feed you and your families for the rest of your lives (fingers crossed).

    You definitely have the talent to do it, and I'll be rooting you on from Queens. If there's ever anything I could do to help personally, while I know that's a long shot, let me know. I'm sure most of the community here feels the same way.
  • Amelia said:

    I'll throw in my 5 cents from the perspective of a club member who is
    a moderate podcast consumer. Currently, I'm following the Westworld
    podcast; I'll probably also listen to the Better Call Saul, Fargo and Game of Thrones podcasts. I don't listen to any of the premium content. I tried once out of curiosity, but I couldn't access the material, so I gave up. For me, paying $12 a year was a no brainer. When I received notification that my subscription had expired, I renewed without hesitation. I might consider $24 a year, but, to be honest, $48 a year makes me pause...

    For the time being, I contributed $20 to hopefully help you in the short run. I think Natter Cast has a good idea. If you put together a bundle of attractive premium content, maybe with the help of other hosts, and sold that at a reasonable price, you'd probably raise enough to at least solve the short term problem.

    Good Luck!
    1. This is an excellent point. Like Kickstarter and fundraising tools like it, you need to offer different levels/entry points of support. This should be a core part of your plan. Create a simple reward/incentive system for these donations. Make it simple and clear. 
    • Bald Movers: One time donation of $5 - $25 bucks. Get an on-air mention. Or have name listed on web site. 
    • Club Membership: $50 per year. Get the club member benefits. 
    • Gold Member / Executive Club / BM Sponsor: $100 or more per year. 
    2. Like @fidoz - I'm not entirely sure what I can do to support you guys best right now. I wrote you an email, because all of the stuff you say in the video isn't what I see in the cart experience. To be honest, the cart system is confusing as shit. 

    3. You should send out an email to all Bald Move club members with a link to the video, along with clear instructions on the various ways to support you. 

    4. It sounds silly, but Aron's post in this thread about raising $3,500 in the last 24-48 hours is VERY important. You should have a pinned post or a visible widget that shows how much has been raised, and what the goal/objective is. (I know you haven't spelled out an objective, buy you should. Just like folks do on Kickstarter.) People want to know: A) How can I help? B) How has my contribution helped toward a goal. 
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Yeah, good points Shayne.  We know our cart is bullshit, that's why we're in the middle of replacing it.  All I can tell you is how it should work, which is laid out in the call to action.  I know there are things that happen that can get people's account in a situation where it can't be changed and Jim has to manually intervene.  I know it's a hassle, again, which is why we're going to recurly.  I think that integration will be done within the next 30 days.

    Part of the stuff we're going to surface is going to be a fund raising thermometer type deal, similar to what we did several years ago when we were raising money for Child's Play.  It's all coming.  Question, what should the goal be?  The $15k we need to make it past the winter, the $38k we need to make sure we're solvent in 2017?  I want to make the goal reasonable, I'm not sure if getting the latter in the next two months would qualify as reasonable, I mean, we have all of 2017 and our biggest shows to recruit from there. Nothing is as demoralizing as a goal that is not achievable, or moving goal posts.  Like, if we hit $15k in the first week, I don't want to be like, okay, now for the $38k!!  
  • @A_Ron_Hubbard What about a sort of "tiered thermometer"? 36k at the top, 15k as the first point, and maybe a goal spot or two in the middle representing other benchmarks that have some logic behind them? Just a thought.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Would $25k seem doable?  That gets us past the winter with a bit of a cushion to keep some other unforeseen disaster at bay?
  • edited November 2016
    club member so don't know if you advertise with them but audible seems to have affiliate programs with a lot of podcast, could be an extra revenue stream.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Ooh, that's a good idea, too @Travis!
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    edited November 2016
    "And my axe!"

    So my wife (xulsolar22 on the boards) texted me the vid, which finally moved the needle for me to become a member.  I did a year.  

    I enjoy listening to you guys talk about giant dicks, and dragon dicks, and Jeff Goldblum's fly antennae dick.  I love all the dicks. I'm indiscriminate on the dicks.  But seriously, I've been enjoying listening for free for a while now, and I felt it was time to support something I consume weekly.  I don't nearly read as much as I should anymore, something I'm kind of ashamed of, especially as an English major, so I've always enjoyed hearing two pals who I've sort of considered somewhat like-minded to myself articulate their points so well on the shows I watch (TWD, GoT, Penny Dreadful, Westworld...etc etc)  I've felt like it has kept me sharper, kept smart words here and there on the tip of my brain, rather than always just droning out to sports talk radio while in the car.  But yeah from talking about burn-down, binge antics in Seattle, to safewords like rutabaga, to Shadows of Colossus, getting down video game rabbit holes that my wife can't follow but I certainly can, I get that feeling like 'aw these guys are a lot like me and my guys, my foxhole type of buds.'  (Like we even have an Aaron that for decades we've called A Ron Hubbard.)

    So...big fan. Thanks for all you do.  I hope you guys find a solution past the Amazon shit.  I hope more people like me get off their dead ass and sign up.  Now I have to figure out from wife how to unlock the premium shit on my podcast app. She texted me some long ass how-to.  I'll figure it out.  Cheers, guys.  Thanks again.  c:\  

  • also, kidnap spencer and/or jeff b. davis from harmon and force them to be on your podcast.
  • I was thinking about a one time product that you could put up for sale
    to solve the short time problem. Like maybe bundle together 5 highly attractive podcasts, some maybe contributed by volunteer hosts, and price it at $10 or $20. I know there are many fans of the Wire among your listeners, so maybe a coverage of the Wire pilot could be one of the podcasts. Just an idea.
  • Maybe putting spoiler section past a pay wall could help drive up membership. I know I will extend my membership at the 48 dollar point. I have been dying for a wire podcast so maybe putting a membership level needed and if achieved doing a wire rematch could drive up membership as well to expand on Amelia's idea. Big fan keep up the good work.
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