Income Report: March 2019

Introduction

Welcome to my March 2019 income report. My income reports are designed to provide transparency for the work I am doing and also help others who are looking to set up a business or side gig, further, they are used to prevent conflict of interests in an industry flooded with scams. There are two podcasts I have used for guidance on how to create a sustainable income: Fire Nation and Smart Passive Income, both provide income reports.

Summary

March was an unusual month for the podcast. While downloads and revenue grew, the direction of the podcast, choice of guests and content of the podcast came under intense scrutiny. I can’t understate the pressure I felt at times, with people directly challenging my sponsors and some Twitter behaviour verging on harassment.

As the podcast grows, I am becoming increasingly aware that my content comes with responsibility. Am I a journalist? A question I am wrestling with, as a one-person team there is a limit to what I can do, but I am in a period of adjustment. In response to the challenges this month I have added a guest policy to the website, which includes my crypto disclosures, sponsor and guest policies, I welcome feedback on this.

I am enjoying the work I do, but I want to expand beyond just Bitcoin and cryptocurrency interviews. There are many topics which align nicely with the work, and I have enjoyed covering subjects such as censorship, sex workers and the political climate in Venezuela. I am considering building a media company which will enable me to launch additional properties to cover this, as well as expand my Bitcoin work into distinct episodes and documentaries. There is a limit to how much I can do on my own, so I am considering raising funds to expand and, therefore, I am working on a pitch deck.

After the new records set in February, I expected March to see a dip as the growth last month was driven significantly by the Mt. Gox specials and additional out of schedule shows. Despite my expectations of a drop, March was another significant growth month with 227,228 downloads, an increase of 53%, though much of this was driven by my interview with Andreas M. Antonopoulos, which was downloaded 68,382 times, insane right?

Revenue was up significantly to $37,583.27, supplemented by $8,724.57 in tips, including 2* 1 whole Bitcoin tips from OGs, while this is amazing it is not something that the podcast can rely on. Expenses were also up with the $13,276.60 spent on the US and Hong Kong trip, and therefore profits were flat at just over $15,266.92.

The +3 weeks travelling was a significant investment, but I maintain that in-person interviews are always of a higher quality, and stronger relationships are built on the road. It is sometimes exhausting work, living out of hotels, away from my children and moving from timezone to timezone, but it is a tradeoff as when I am home, I have a flexible job, which is essential as a full-time single parent.

The increase in revenue and profits have been something which has come under scrutiny. The accusation is that I compromise my integrity by expanding out of Bitcoin in the hunt for clicks because clicks mean revenue. The reality is that my non-Bitcoin shows are always the lowest performing, these shows are either for my curiosity, or there is a story I want to cover, this might mean interviewing people that certain people dislike or consider as scammers.

The increase revenue has enabled me to pay for people to support the show:

  • Transcriptions and timestamps are now outsourced

  • I have started using an engineer to save time and improve quality

  • I am looking to employ someone to manage show publishing

By employing support, I can focus more on the shows and research.

I am grateful for all the support I receive, and I will continue to pay back to the community, $2,986.90 this month in patronage, 2 * nodes and $850 in donations. While the growth in downloads may lead to more revenue, I focus on the show first and the numbers second. That said, I do market the show looking to increase reach but at no point will I cover a topic I am not interested in for drama, controversy and/or downloads.

I am sure by making my stats available there will be some who think this is all I care about, I can’t do much about this, WBD is a business, not a hobby, and despite me being a dick on Twitter sometimes, I run it professionally in the background. Of course I want to grow the show and revenue but this does not equate to a reduction in integrity.

  • Show downloads: 227,228

  • Income: $37,583.27

  • Network fees: -$3,849.47

  • Expenses: $18,466.88

  • Profit: $15,266.92


March 2019 Stats

The March stats report is available for download here, it includes:

  • Downloads by per month total & by platform

  • Downloads by show total & by platform

  • Channel growth

What Bitcoin Did.png

March Downloads:

  • Libsyn: 138,949

  • YouTube: 77,900

  • SoundCloud: 3,437

  • Spotify: 6,942

  • Total: 227,228 (+52% from Feb - previous record month)

Note: Libsyn is my podcast hosting provider which is the stats for downloads on iTunes and the majority of other podcast applications.

Other Stats:

  • All-time downloads: 1,067,062 (crossed the 1m mark - whoop whoop!)

  • Most downloaded shows:

  • 60 day average: 11,615 (+1.4% on Feb ‘19 report)
    Note: this is calculated across the previous two months December and January, ignoring the current month as the most recent shows stats are too new. I am expecting next month to see a significant increase in average downloads as the recent shows have performed really well.

Notes:

Screenshot 2019-04-01 at 11.01.28.png
  • Total growth was driven primarily by the Andreas show and an increase in awareness of the show.
    Note: I am interested to see how April performs, I don’t expect a show to perform as well as the Andreas show but my focus on Lightning might bring in greater awareness.

  • YouTube continues to grow (+249% on Feb ‘19, with 1.5m minutes of listening), the Andreas show alone had +50k downloads. This also led to a 65% increase in subscribers and the chart above highlights the impact. You can see after the Andreas spike the daily traffic increased significantly. YouTube is a massive search engine built on Google technology and therefore great for awareness, as such meta data is important and I have added this to all shows.

  • Spotify also saw significant growth (+66.5% on Feb ‘19). While the total numbers are small, Spotify is becoming an increasingly important player in the market, seen with their recent investments in Anchor and Gimlet Media..

  • 60 day average is pretty steady but as noted, I expect this to jump significantly next month as a number of the shows not included in this report are already above the current average..

  • Specials such as Mt. Gox are great for the profile of the podcast and I continue to work on these. This month is Lightning Month and I have specials planned for Bitcoin ATMs, Mining, Silk Road and S2X.

Spotify Growth

Spotify Growth


Platform Stats:

  • Website page views: 51,034 (+31.5% from Feb ‘19)
    Note: I have contracted and SEO specialist to optimise the website and search traffic continues to grow.

  • Email subscribers: 2,842 (+3%)

  • YouTube followers: 4,816 (+65%)

  • Twitter followers: 51,700 (+7.5%)

  • Twitter followers (WBD Account): 3,886 (+16.4%)

  • Facebook page: 139 (+11.2%)

  • Medium: 2,500 (+4.2%)

Note: The Facebook page has had very little attention due to work load.

Notes:

  • Twitter follower numbers continue to grow, though Hive.one highlighted a loss of some high profile followers, this happened during the arguments over my content. Lesson, don’t be so defensive and perpetuate arguments, you can’t please everyone.

  • YouTube nice +65% growth month on month:

    • Video almost entirely driven by the Andreas interview and most new interviews are seeing +1k downloads

  • Website +31.5%, the first big jump in a while

  • All other channels need some work (same notes as last month):

    • Facebook I see little benefit to expending significant time yet (requires a strategy)

    • Medium I need more time to write but I don’t have that at the moment

    • Email subscribers would likely grow with unique content but there are already lots of good newsletters out there


Income Report

Summary:

  • Income: $37,583.27

  • Network fees: -$3,849.47

  • Expenses: $18,466.88

  • Profit: $18,219.38

Gross income - $37,583.27

  • Sponsorship: $24,822.34

  • Professional services: $3,000.00

  • Patrons: $916.36

  • Podcast subscription (BTC): $120.00

  • Tipjar: $8,724.57

    • Bitcoin: $179.79
      0.043598 BTC

    • Bitcoin SegWit: $8,453.66
      2.05 BTC

    • Lightning: $32.88
      798035 Sats

    • Litecoin: $15.18
      0.25 LTC

    • BAT Donations: $43.06
      214.0918 BAT

    • ZCash: $0

    • Monero: $0

    • Ethereum: $0.00

    • Ripplecoin: hahaha piss off

  • BAT payments: $0.00

Network fees: -$3,849.47

Expenses - $18,466.88

  • Travel (US & Hong Kong): $13,276.60

  • Computer and software: $895.65

  • Banking fees: $1.83

  • Podcast costs: $1,305.90

  • Community support: $2,986.90

    • Casa Node giveaway *2: $612.90

    • Donations * 3: $850.00

    • Popular Front film donation: $1,310.00

    • Patreon - Noded: $12.00

    • Patreon - Popular Front: $36.00

    • Patreon - Saifedean: $60.00

    • Patreon - Luke Dash Jr: $24.00

    • Patreon - Stephan Livera: $12.00

    • Patreon - Rekt Podcast: $30.00

    • Patreon - Euclid & Oaks: $20.00

    • Patreon - Amy Castor: $20.00

Note:

  • While income was up by +$8,298.62 (+28.3%), expenses were also up due to the cost of the three weeks away in the US and Hong Kong, therefore profit was almost exactly the same as February.

  • The US and Hong Kong trip incurred costs of $13,276.60, for flights *11, hotels and expenses. This is a significant expense but an investment in building relationships and awareness of the podcast. The cost was supplemented by a $3,000 fee to emcee the Token2049 event, where my hotel was also free. I could probably be more frugal on these trips but when I am travelling it is quite gruelling.

  • Income from sponsorship was pretty steady but was supplemented by significant tips. I received 2 * 1 Bitcoin tips from Bitcoin OGs who wanted to thank me for my work. I won’t name them but I do want to say a big thanks as this really helps. Total tips for the month were $8,724.57, insane really. I will use part of this to continue giving back to the community and the rest to take the kids on holiday.

  • Patreon contribution also dropped as I now only have subscriptions and no sponsors from this right now.


Income Breakdown

Sponsors:

  • Clients: 5

  • Show sponsored by: 1 booking (lead sponsor - Kraken)

  • Preroll + midroll combo: 1 booking

  • Preroll only: 0 bookings

  • Midroll only: 1 booking

  • Preroll / midroll mix: 2 bookings

Inventory:

  • Available shows: 10 (No ads were made available for the Bitwise, Matthew Hougan show)

  • Available video shows: 0

  • Available slots per show: 6

  • Available slots per video show: 2

  • Total available slots: 60

  • Slots sold: 50

  • Inventory sold: 83.3%

  • Show CPM value: $140.23

    • Average ad CPM rate: $28.05

Note: while the average ad CPM rate appears to have dropped significantly, this is really down to the huge increase in downloads, yet I have not raised my rates.


Key lessons

To take forward:

  • In person interviews leads to a better product and stronger relationships

  • Tips + patrons are contributing significantly towards income (can’t rely on tips like this)

  • Managing to close out most ad slots now, which means revenue for the schedule will peak (the only way to grow is to raise the rate and create additional separate products)

  • The Crypto podcast space is very competitive (ensure the best show possible with best guests and consistency)

  • Stop trolling people on Twitter - it is unprofessional

  • Keep trolling people on Twitter - it is really funny


March Objectives Audit

Reduce costs:

  • Costs under control - not too worried here

Efficient operations:

  • (IN PROGRESS) Engineering: outsource engineering of podcast (added benefit of higher sound quality)

  • (COMPLETE) Transcriptions: outsource to freelance, take away from Rev.com (added benefit of working directly with transcriber)

  • (IN PROGRESS) Assistant: consider an assistant to support website management, show bookings and email enquiries

Revenue growth:

  • (COMPLETE) Inventory: continue building relationships to sell higher % of inventory (target +75%)

  • (NOT COMPLETE) Video: find a sponsor to support a monthly video interview

  • (IN PROGRESS) Lightning Special: prepare for April Lightning month

  • (IN PROGRESS) Other specials: consider other special shows / weeks

  • (NOT COMPLETE) Patrons: continue to push benefits of patron support (review engagement)

  • (IN PROGRESS) Subs: push subs by crypto and Lightning option for ad free show (*2 for this month)

New revenue opportunities:

  • On hold for now, busy enough with everything else

Marketing:

  • (IN PROGRESS) Continue to optimise website for search - employed SEO specialist

  • (NOT COMPLETE) Complete the rewrite of the online course to support search

  • (NOT COMPLETE) Finish review of content on site and ensure it reflects personal opinion

  • (IN PROGRESS) Continue to target high quality guests/unique subjects

April Objectives

Reduce costs:

  • Review network fees, significant outgoing

  • No travelling this month to keep costs down

Efficient operations:

  • Assistant: consider an assistant to support website management, show bookings and email enquiries

Revenue growth:

  • Inventory: sell remaining April slot

  • Video: find a sponsor to support a monthly video interview

  • Other specials: continue working on specials for mining and ATMs

  • Patrons: continue to push benefits of patron support (review engagement)

  • Subs: push subs by crypto and Lightning option for ad free show

New revenue opportunities:

  • Consider investment to build a media business with additional audio and video products

Marketing:

  • Continue to optimise website for search

  • Complete the rewrite of the online course to support search

  • Finish review of content on site and ensure it reflects personal opinion

  • Continue to target high quality guests/unique subjects


Goals

Short-term:

  • Achieve +$10,000 profit per month (achieved for Feb & Mar, keep focus)

  • Consistent revenues to recruit assistant (on target)

Long-term:

  1. Achieve £1m of cleared profit

  2. Buy Lambo

  3. Buy Bedford Town and get them in the football league

  4. Be crowned King of Bedford

If you read this income report and you have any questions then please feel free to reach out to me.