Sunday, March 21, 2010

How I Pay for My Free Media

As I've mentioned in previous articles, I've pretty much opted out of traditional Broadcast and Cable TV.
Unfortunately, most of the programs I watch do a very bad job of generating revenue from me.

The major studios still put out a few shows I like, but here's a typical day:

    When Ads Payment
Get Up:
Minnesota Public Radio (FM and streamed) Sponsorship messages hear sponsors, contribute
Morning Joe (MSNBC Podcast) none FAIL
Morning Drive Time:
Usually a TWiT Audio Podcast (This Week in Tech, This Week in Google, etc.) "live read" style ads listen to ads
Lunch Break:
Loaded (cnet) none (sometimes promotes another cnet property) FAIL
Usually followed by a game-industry related podcast or video (, Blizzard, G4TV, or cnet) some ads. some sponsorships. mostly fail
Rush Hour:
Buzz Out Loud (cnet) Often without an ad. Even when there is an ad, it usually misses the demo. mostly fail
Evening Work: Music time!
MP3s or Radio Paradise stream. occasional membership request buy CDs and tracks. Buy CDs using RP's Amazon link.
TV Time:
Episodic TV (Hulu, Web, recorded over-the-air, ripped DVDs) Only when watching Hulu (my last resort) Buy the DVDs. Watch the Hulu ads.
Podcasts (Dozens of HD video podcasts) TWiT and Revision3 shows have excellent ads. Most others do not. Shows like Mr. Deity solicit contributions. watch the ads, contribute
Movie/Late Night:
ripped DVD movies No adds Buy the DVDs. 
Rachel Maddow (MSNBC podcast) Cisco mention. Sometimes an ad for another network show. mostly fail

As you can see, most of the online methods don't really have a direct revenue model.
When I turned off my Cable, I set up a budget to support the programs I want.
For things I watch/listen to daily, I contribute $60/year.
For weekly/occasional shows, I contribute $25/year.
I actively promote my favorite shows and bands. I attend concerts and drag friends along.

I purchase about one traditional TV series season on DVD every month. At 12-24 hours per season, that's still more than I really have time to watch.

All total, I've traded in $100/month cable subscription for about $45 in sponsorships and purchases.
If the advertising industry ever understands how to sell ads on IPT, then I can hopefully cut that in half.