Pete's Solo Shows and the $10 tier

WebmasterPete

Grand Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Jun 1, 1997
First, I want to thank everyone for the candid opinions, and I've read through them all.

Someone asked about our 'motivations', so let me be very clear. This is a business. The servers that are serving up the post you're reading right now cost $13k a month and while I wish that was my biggest expense, it's far from it. But, Patreon is not about supporting the boards, or the DIS. To produce the content we produce on YouTube/iTunes, I pay three full-time salaries with full benefits. That includes the vast majority of health insurance costs (employees contribute less than $100 a month towards a health insurance plan that we pay more than $1000 a month for per employee), not to mention all the other associated expenses that come with having employees. People seem to love our reviews, and they seem to love our willingness to be honest. I've stated frequently that we will not review anything that we're not paying a publicly available rate for. Every dining review has to be paid for. Every hotel review has to be paid for. Then there is the equipment - they need computers, cameras and other equipment to do the job. I do my best to put a premium on quality to the best capacity that I can and that costs money. In short, the podcast/video production is a cost center and its a cost center that has grown exponentially over the last 6 years - and well beyond what I projected when we moved into that realm.

I won't even go into the salaries and expenses that are part of running the rest of the site/Dreams Unlimited. Your heads would explode. I'm just talking about the shows and the video content here.

I hear comparisons being made to other podcasts and what they do on Patreon. I don't know what their business reality is, I don't know what their costs are, but I do know what mine are. For years, I turned away advertising in all forms (save for Dreams) on any of the shows. In looking at the costs to produce the shows last year, a decision was made that we needed to be more aggressive in generating revenue. Even in doing so, I try to curate the sponsors to make sure they offer something I think will be of real value to the audience. I can tell you honestly, I routinely turn away lucrative offers either because I don't feel passionate about the product, or I feel it's not a good fit for my audience.

Patreon was set up as a way to help offset the increasing costs of running the show. Last year, the show and video content we created cost more than $150k to produce. Patreon doesn't cover that, and while I don't need the entire amount covered, I do have to offset those costs because this is a business. In all sincerity, I don't begrudge anyone at all who feels that $10 a month is too much, and I'm as grateful for those people (who watch the show, enjoy our content) as I am to those who are willing to pay for Patreon. I will continue to do my best to produce informative, honest, entertaining content that has always been, and will always be - free to watch for anyone willing to give us their time.

Pete
 

Princess Jes

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 15, 2013
Thanks for popping in Pete.
While I'm positive you read the boards quite a bit (hence how i got a call out on the show all that time ago) I'm not sure i've seen you comment here (at least, not for a long time) so thanks for swinging past!!
It's made me smile while I'm clocking the 12th hour of the day, at my desk at home because i've spent my day doing someone else's job :(
 
  • TheMaxRebo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    That's been my plan all along. I guess you could call it the REAL "endgame", Steve.
    making you the true America's ***"
    (sorry to ruin the line.. Mary Jo)
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    TheMaxRebo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    First, I want to thank everyone for the candid opinions, and I've read through them all.

    Someone asked about our 'motivations', so let me be very clear. This is a business. The servers that are serving up the post you're reading right now cost $13k a month and while I wish that was my biggest expense, it's far from it. But, Patreon is not about supporting the boards, or the DIS. To produce the content we produce on YouTube/iTunes, I pay three full-time salaries with full benefits. That includes the vast majority of health insurance costs (employees contribute less than $100 a month towards a health insurance plan that we pay more than $1000 a month for per employee), not to mention all the other associated expenses that come with having employees. People seem to love our reviews, and they seem to love our willingness to be honest. I've stated frequently that we will not review anything that we're not paying a publicly available rate for. Every dining review has to be paid for. Every hotel review has to be paid for. Then there is the equipment - they need computers, cameras and other equipment to do the job. I do my best to put a premium on quality to the best capacity that I can and that costs money. In short, the podcast/video production is a cost center and its a cost center that has grown exponentially over the last 6 years - and well beyond what I projected when we moved into that realm.

    I won't even go into the salaries and expenses that are part of running the rest of the site/Dreams Unlimited. Your heads would explode. I'm just talking about the shows and the video content here.

    I hear comparisons being made to other podcasts and what they do on Patreon. I don't know what their business reality is, I don't know what their costs are, but I do know what mine are. For years, I turned away advertising in all forms (save for Dreams) on any of the shows. In looking at the costs to produce the shows last year, a decision was made that we needed to be more aggressive in generating revenue. Even in doing so, I try to curate the sponsors to make sure they offer something I think will be of real value to the audience. I can tell you honestly, I routinely turn away lucrative offers either because I don't feel passionate about the product, or I feel it's not a good fit for my audience.

    Patreon was set up as a way to help offset the increasing costs of running the show. Last year, the show and video content we created cost more than $150k to produce. Patreon doesn't cover that, and while I don't need the entire amount covered, I do have to offset those costs because this is a business. In all sincerity, I don't begrudge anyone at all who feels that $10 a month is too much, and I'm as grateful for those people (who watch the show, enjoy our content) as I am to those who are willing to pay for Patreon. I will continue to do my best to produce informative, honest, entertaining content that has always been, and will always be - free to watch for anyone willing to give us their time.

    Pete
    Thanks for posting and sharing your thoughts Pete.

    I'd like to think everyone knows that this is a business for you - and as you said you need to (at least) cover the costs associated with this unit.

    I do think that your solo shows (along with increased activity from Ryno, Fiasco, etc.) have sparked a renewed interest in Patreon so might be a good time to examine if revenues could be maximized with a lower priced tier (obviously 100 people paying $5 is more total revenue than 20 people paying $10). But just like Disney has way more data that we do when they make decisions, I would also assume you have done some analysis around this and know what is best for your business ... but never hurts to re-examine things
     

    WebmasterPete

    Grand Administrator
    Staff member
    Administrator
    Joined
    Jun 1, 1997
    Thanks for posting and sharing your thoughts Pete.

    I'd like to think everyone knows that this is a business for you - and as you said you need to (at least) cover the costs associated with this unit.

    I do think that your solo shows (along with increased activity from Ryno, Fiasco, etc.) have sparked a renewed interest in Patreon so might be a good time to examine if revenues could be maximized with a lower priced tier (obviously 100 people paying $5 is more total revenue than 20 people paying $10). But just like Disney has way more data that we do when they make decisions, I would also assume you have done some analysis around this and know what is best for your business ... but never hurts to re-examine things
    Thanks for the suggestion. We have talked about many options with Patreon, and may make some changes in time. Right now, I'm very happy with where things are.
     

    Ron from Michigan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 23, 1999
    First, I want to thank everyone for the candid opinions, and I've read through them all.

    Someone asked about our 'motivations', so let me be very clear. This is a business. The servers that are serving up the post you're reading right now cost $13k a month and while I wish that was my biggest expense, it's far from it. But, Patreon is not about supporting the boards, or the DIS. To produce the content we produce on YouTube/iTunes, I pay three full-time salaries with full benefits. That includes the vast majority of health insurance costs (employees contribute less than $100 a month towards a health insurance plan that we pay more than $1000 a month for per employee), not to mention all the other associated expenses that come with having employees. People seem to love our reviews, and they seem to love our willingness to be honest. I've stated frequently that we will not review anything that we're not paying a publicly available rate for. Every dining review has to be paid for. Every hotel review has to be paid for. Then there is the equipment - they need computers, cameras and other equipment to do the job. I do my best to put a premium on quality to the best capacity that I can and that costs money. In short, the podcast/video production is a cost center and its a cost center that has grown exponentially over the last 6 years - and well beyond what I projected when we moved into that realm.

    I won't even go into the salaries and expenses that are part of running the rest of the site/Dreams Unlimited. Your heads would explode. I'm just talking about the shows and the video content here.

    I hear comparisons being made to other podcasts and what they do on Patreon. I don't know what their business reality is, I don't know what their costs are, but I do know what mine are. For years, I turned away advertising in all forms (save for Dreams) on any of the shows. In looking at the costs to produce the shows last year, a decision was made that we needed to be more aggressive in generating revenue. Even in doing so, I try to curate the sponsors to make sure they offer something I think will be of real value to the audience. I can tell you honestly, I routinely turn away lucrative offers either because I don't feel passionate about the product, or I feel it's not a good fit for my audience.

    Patreon was set up as a way to help offset the increasing costs of running the show. Last year, the show and video content we created cost more than $150k to produce. Patreon doesn't cover that, and while I don't need the entire amount covered, I do have to offset those costs because this is a business. In all sincerity, I don't begrudge anyone at all who feels that $10 a month is too much, and I'm as grateful for those people (who watch the show, enjoy our content) as I am to those who are willing to pay for Patreon. I will continue to do my best to produce informative, honest, entertaining content that has always been, and will always be - free to watch for anyone willing to give us their time.

    Pete
    Thanks for the post Pete. I agree with TheMaxRebo, I would hope that everyone knows this is a business. My wife and I love all the content that you and the team put out. As a Patreon supporter I'm glad to see more content being put out. I loved your solo shows and the recent show where your Mom answered questions.
     
  • disneysteve

    DIS meet junkie
    Joined
    Sep 29, 2002
    Pete, just a huge thank you for all you do and for taking the time to post here. Your honesty and integrity shines through all that you do.

    I think it’s easy for listeners/viewers to forget or just not realize the business side of things. So many people produce podcasts and YouTube videos today with little more than their iPhone that it’s easy to underestimate the costs involved with a larger professional production like the DIS.
     

    KingLlama

    I'm trying to delete my account.
    Joined
    Dec 29, 2009
    First, I want to thank everyone for the candid opinions, and I've read through them all.

    Pete
    (I look back through the thread, and see that I commented on baseball, asked mods to ban a poster, and made a lame Avengers reference, all the while never adding anything substantive to the Patreon discussion)

    I am so sorry, Pete.
     

    TomorrowlandKD

    Paging Mr. Morrow
    Joined
    Aug 28, 2017
    Thanks for posting.

    Now that being said; when are we going to get another solo show??? The wait in between feels longer this time! haha

    Love all you do, Pete!

    -Kyle
     

    SorcererHeidi

    Sorcerer please cast forever love spell for me
    Joined
    Jul 16, 2007
    Everyone here has already so eloquently said most of how grateful I feel for all you (and everyone) does, Pete. Hugs to all!! You all are - truly - a part of each and every day for me, and are friends I just haven't had the good fortune to meet (and hug!) yet!!
     
  • Horizons-1

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 25, 2018
    Well said Pete. The fact that all of us can enjoy the amazing content on YouTube/Itunes, etc. for free is a huge benefit, and I think the work & energy that goes into the whole production can be at times overlooked.

    I can't wait to see what y'all have in the wings for this year and years to come.
     

    NC Belle

    <font color=indigo>I <font color=red>♥ <font color
    Joined
    Jan 7, 2004
    I am not on Patreon yet due to being conservative in the budget.
    I am enjoying tonight the free content with the highlight is Pete's Mom during the Grand Floridian Cafe review. She reminds me so much of my late Great-aunt that my parents used to treat out to various dining as a thank you.
     

    YesterDark

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2017
    First, I want to thank everyone for the candid opinions, and I've read through them all.

    Someone asked about our 'motivations', so let me be very clear. This is a business. The servers that are serving up the post you're reading right now cost $13k a month and while I wish that was my biggest expense, it's far from it. But, Patreon is not about supporting the boards, or the DIS. To produce the content we produce on YouTube/iTunes, I pay three full-time salaries with full benefits. That includes the vast majority of health insurance costs (employees contribute less than $100 a month towards a health insurance plan that we pay more than $1000 a month for per employee), not to mention all the other associated expenses that come with having employees. People seem to love our reviews, and they seem to love our willingness to be honest. I've stated frequently that we will not review anything that we're not paying a publicly available rate for. Every dining review has to be paid for. Every hotel review has to be paid for. Then there is the equipment - they need computers, cameras and other equipment to do the job. I do my best to put a premium on quality to the best capacity that I can and that costs money. In short, the podcast/video production is a cost center and its a cost center that has grown exponentially over the last 6 years - and well beyond what I projected when we moved into that realm.

    I won't even go into the salaries and expenses that are part of running the rest of the site/Dreams Unlimited. Your heads would explode. I'm just talking about the shows and the video content here.

    I hear comparisons being made to other podcasts and what they do on Patreon. I don't know what their business reality is, I don't know what their costs are, but I do know what mine are. For years, I turned away advertising in all forms (save for Dreams) on any of the shows. In looking at the costs to produce the shows last year, a decision was made that we needed to be more aggressive in generating revenue. Even in doing so, I try to curate the sponsors to make sure they offer something I think will be of real value to the audience. I can tell you honestly, I routinely turn away lucrative offers either because I don't feel passionate about the product, or I feel it's not a good fit for my audience.

    Patreon was set up as a way to help offset the increasing costs of running the show. Last year, the show and video content we created cost more than $150k to produce. Patreon doesn't cover that, and while I don't need the entire amount covered, I do have to offset those costs because this is a business. In all sincerity, I don't begrudge anyone at all who feels that $10 a month is too much, and I'm as grateful for those people (who watch the show, enjoy our content) as I am to those who are willing to pay for Patreon. I will continue to do my best to produce informative, honest, entertaining content that has always been, and will always be - free to watch for anyone willing to give us their time.

    Pete
    You should not be paying that much money per month for a forum (of any size). I'd look in to that if I were you. I ran a similarly trafficked website (according to Alexa rankings) 10 years ago which had video and graphical content and it was not even 10% of that number.
     

    CampbellzSoup

    Son. Husband. Father.
    Joined
    Oct 4, 2014
    You should not be paying that much money per month for a forum (of any size). I'd look in to that if I were you. I ran a similarly trafficked website (according to Alexa rankings) 10 years ago which had video and graphical content and it was not even 10% of that number.
    Does that include the DIS and the thousands of archived post? Would that cost that much money?

    I mean I like how everyone is saying well if they lowered the price they’d have more subscribers. Tell that to Disney who keeps raising the tickets as well.
     

    YesterDark

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2017
    Does that include the DIS and the thousands of archived post? Would that cost that much money?

    I mean I like how everyone is saying well if they lowered the price they’d have more subscribers. Tell that to Disney who keeps raising the tickets as well.
    Forum technology is decades old, the required bandwith/space to run a text/image based platform is minimal. You're talking $100's a month not thousands. I ran a forum with image hosting that had thousands of concurrent users that was below $1000 a month easily.

    Also to your point about "if they lowered prices they'd have more subs", it's a business questions. Have they peaked their sub numbers? Disney raises prices and they keep getting busier so obviously they have no met their cost vs. demand threshold yet. I don't know anything about their Patreon, but it's a basic business discussion. Have they peaked at the number of people who want to join and have they peaked with profit?

    Since we're talking about the Solo show, if you offered it at the $5 mark instead of the $10 mark, then how many people would quit $10 and go to $5? How many would stay at that level because they are comfortable supporting the show with that price point? I can't answer that, but I'd be willing to bet you'd get more people to sign up if you A) promote it more across all shows/content B) make the $5 or $3 pricepoint more attractive. If you make it the cost of a cup of coffee instead of the cost of Netflix then you may get more people to join.

    Maybe offer Pete's Solo Show a week later for the lower tier. :shrug:

    It's all about maximizing profit (which is clearly what they want to do). But they appear to be content which is awesome so no one can complain.
     

    MaryKatesMom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2003
    I've been listening to the solo shows so and have been enjoying them. Thank you Pete. I've fallen behind as I was trying to listen to "A Song of Ice and Fire" on Audible.

    I just wanted to add that I miss having the other shows mentioned on the Discussion show. I don't follow all of the content like "The Disneyland Show" but I might tune in when you discuss SWGE opening or something similar. Same with "The Universal Show" . So I liked knowing what was on the other shows and when they would be uploaded. If Craig could read a quick list that would be awesome since I believe he would be the one uploading everything.
     

    gypsy_at_heart

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2016
    I can’t say I’ve read through this whole thread, mostly because it’s a fair amount of pages and I’m at work. And lazy. :laughing:

    But I just wanted to share why I donate $10 a month for a Patreon account.

    The Dis has helped me a lot when planning for my Disney vacations. Through this forum, through YouTube videos and through podcasts. Normally I would repay that favour by making sure to book with Dreams.... but alas, I have a different TA that I really don’t want to give up. So, instead I subscribe to The Dis’ Patreon. I feel like it’s my way of repaying them for all the help while also getting some fun little extras. :)
     

    Princess Jes

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 15, 2013
    I've been listening to the solo shows so and have been enjoying them. Thank you Pete. I've fallen behind as I was trying to listen to "A Song of Ice and Fire" on Audible.

    I just wanted to add that I miss having the other shows mentioned on the Discussion show. I don't follow all of the content like "The Disneyland Show" but I might tune in when you discuss SWGE opening or something similar. Same with "The Universal Show" . So I liked knowing what was on the other shows and when they would be uploaded. If Craig could read a quick list that would be awesome since I believe he would be the one uploading everything.
    You can just go to each show on iTunes/YT and read the title/description. it usually gives you what you need to know.
     

    MaryKatesMom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2003
    You can just go to each show on iTunes/YT and read the title/description. it usually gives you what you need to know.
    Yea. That's not happening. I just found the "Playlist" feature on the youtube app after years of scrolling through all the videos by date and getting confused on which shows I've watched and not watched. :rolleyes2 If I wasn't subscribed to Dis Unplugged on youtube I would probably forget to watch those.

    I am enjoying the Dis Update email that goes to my box daily. I would not mind an email of the weekly shows. We did listen to the Daily Fix. We got into the habit of yelling "Yes! It is 72 and sunny in Anaheim!" because it is always 72 and sunny in Anaheim and always cold and wet here.
     
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