Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Where Was Kermit the Frog?

Tom Leykis spent the first two hours of his three hour show yesterday telling listeners they need to financially support his show. I pictured one of those PBS pledge drives of my childhood, with Kermit the Frog telling us why we should send in money. Of course there's a huge difference.

PBS was partially funded by tax dollars, and subscriptions to Leykis' show provide services in exchange for payment that aren't given away free to anyone in the audience. But the image of a PBS pledge drive came to my mind because of the tone it had most of the time. The tone of hours like that can otherwise border at times on lecturing by someone who has been personally insulted or is frustrated, or as though a boyfriend is trying to get his girlfriend to see that she needs him a lot more than he needs her.

And most of that's understandable. He's clearly put a lot of himself into this pioneering venture, and many listeners take advantage of the fact that the show runs live and then repeats continuously on a free stream (with ads). Leykis has every right to shut down his show or his whole company, take the ball, and go home. If he's being honest, and I have no reason to believe he isn't, he doesn't need to work anymore, thanks to earnings, investments, and not blowing his wealth on wives and children. He says he will not keep this thing going of it isn't going to make a net profit, and that's a healthy attitude. It's not a hobby or charity; it's a business.

The easiest way for people to financially support his show is to use his Amazon link so that their purchases through Amazon will give his business a small referral cut. This is something a lot of people have with their online content. It doesn't cost the person using the link any more than going to Amazon directly. The most substantial support, other than with ad buys, though, is subscriptions. Leykis lets people purchase access to podcasted versions of his show, without ads if someone wants to buy that subscription level.

What sparked this entry to this blog was thinking that it might benefit him to spend 1-2 minutes every hour promoting his subscriptions, during the actual show. He runs ads for the subscriptions during his ads breaks, but a lot of listeners don't respond to those, especially if they've heard them so many times before. A brief live reminder might do the trick that his ads aren't fully accomplishing.

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