This article will be addressing the last in a series of 3 questions that we’ve asked about Podtrash. The 3 questions are as follows;
- Does Podtrash Have an Alcohol/Drug Problem?
- Is Podtrash Racists and/or Homophobic?
- Will Podtrash survive in 2017?
So, will Podtrash survive in 2017? Unlike the first 2 questions, this one is more straight forward. We do have to make a distinction though, there is “survive” as in keep the lights on, and there is “survive” as in actually merging into the podcast market to become revenue positive.
Surviving to keep the lights on. As far as surviving in this context, yes, I think without a doubt Podtrash will be around to bring in 2018, so long as no tragic accident befalls Wush, Podtrash’s owner. Just to be clear, a ‘tragic accident’ could include everything from a complete emotional breakdown, to an actual physical coma induced by Robyn’s incessant attempts to violate him anally. But let’s consider the light bill for Podtrash. It is in the hundreds of dollars annually, and if you add the time investment spent on doing shows and other PT related stuff, the price to keep PT running is significant. However, I don’t think that will be the proverbial ‘bump in the road’ that would cause PT to be no more.
Survival in the context of ROI. Return of Investment (ROI) is going to be the key determining factor as to whether PT is going to be around another year (or more). As PT's founder and beloved owner stated recently on-air, “If PT was a company it would be in bankruptcy”. That conversation was not just about the cash for the bills, although that was part of it, it was more about people in general receiving a return for their investments of time and effort as well as keeping the ‘fun’ factor alive. In other words, if there is no light at the end of the rainbow, then PT could die a slow painful death. Consider this well-known entrepreneurial quote;
“Any business that after three years isn’t profitable isn’t a business, it’s a hobby.”
Framing the question. So if we frame this question of PT’s survival, as if relates to a hobby and not a business, the answer becomes somewhat obscure. No one can determine the future decisions of another, but you can classify certain elements of the question for the sake of clarity and to help understand the increase or decrease in the probabilities of a certain conclusion. For example, if PT can be classified as a business, then the probabilities are more likely that it will survive because there are potential monetary benefits, and those are lost by shutting it down. On the other hand, if PT can be classified as a hobby, then the probability is less likely that it will survive because there are no monetary benefits in keeping it running, and there would actually be financial savings in shutting it down.
A point that should be addressed before we go any further, the big fucking pink elephant in THIS room, which is the call for network changes that come from both podcasters and sometimes members of the community. Wush recently stated on-air, a scenario that often plays out as far as recommendations and the network goes, and its relevant to this discussion of 'change' because we have touched on this subject for all 3 of our questions. Anyway, this scenario involves the voices that consistently call for changes on the PT network. We hear a lot of, “things need to change”, or voices that suggest there is a “better way” of doing things, and it’s easy to throw ones 2 cents into the ring, but as far as this article is concerned, that goes beyond our original question. Maybe we’ll revisit that as a separate subject in a different article, or maybe not. You know the whole opinions and assholes cliché, but I would like to touch on PT as it relates to its advertising market potential.
First let’s consider where the real money in advertising is, which can help put things into perspective better. We use advertising as an example because that’s the most obvious and common form of revenue in podcasting. And no, I don’t mean just audio ads or those cheesy flashy ads you might see on a porn site banner that wants to increase your dick size. I mean real ad deals with established brands where a significant amount of money is in play. Those types of sponsor deals are concerned with audience reach, and could cover any type of ad space to include website ads, social media plugs, audio plugs or a sponsored You Tube video. The chosen platform is less important than audience reach and engagement. But either way there is no doubt about where the big bucks come from, it’s in the brand deals. Just ask any successful You Tube creator, and they will also tell you that the You Tube networks are a big part of that, as their network helps with getting those deals by acting as liaison and negotiator. Let’s not forget, the whole point of a network from a creator’s standpoint is support, and in return the network gets their piece of the pie, but ultimately audience reach is the creators burden.
How big is Podtrash? The easiest way to determine this of course is to look directly at a breakdown of a given month’s traffic numbers using a variety of measurements, but that information is not generally available to the public. However, during a SEO (Search Engine Optimization) type of conversation between Podgas and Wush, which occurred on-air in either November or early December, during a late night ‘after show’, Wush stated that PT receives approximately 20k or more in unique page views a month. It’s also worthy to note that, that number doesn’t take into consideration PT’s ITunes audience, which could be added to PT’s estimated audience reach. So what’s the 20k number mean? It means that the ground work has already been done, and I know, it’s been two years so it’s a no brainer that it “should” have happened, but it doesn’t always work out that way. The internet is littered with thousands of podcasters or networks that tried and failed, or those who are still trying but have little chance of it becoming anything other than a fun hobby. Not that there is anything wrong with some fun, but as we pointed out earlier, the fun does have a price. Regardless though, the potential for PT to move forward by creating a successful advertising platform is right there looking it in the face. Yes, some of the hurdles to overcome in accomplishing that might seem big, but when you consider the present advantages that PT maintains over a shit ton of its podcasting peers, that should serve as as huge motivational factor for those involved to conquer any personal demons that might be at issue, so they can stick around for any rewards that result from PT's succses. Maybe that means a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and maybe not, but for sure it could mean the difference between keeping PT around or it falling into the endless pit of internet irrelevance.
Will Podtrash survive 2017 as a business or brand? like with the other questions we addressed we have to look at PT with our business hat on to consider whether or not it can become a viable revenue stream in 2017, which is its 3rd year in operation. The simple answer is, hell yes it will. Maybe. PT has the potential to become a legitimately perceived business or brand in the year to come, but it’s obvious that some new strategies may be needed, because the status quo hasn’t lined any pockets to date. What those strategies are or when they are enacted are the burdens of PT’s owner, but there’s nothing stopping people from expressing their ideas. Just don’t start off by saying “things need to change”, or I know a “better way”, instead maybe just express what your idea is. So in closing, I think we can definitively conclude beyond a shadow of doubt, at this point in time in 2017, PT has all the puzzle pieces in place that success in business requires. For the sake of everyone involved I hope PT can make that jump, It’s just a matter of whether or not the founder of PT, Mr. Wushdishmeen, can find his inner entrepreneur or not.