Patrons Vs. Advertisers
If you're a regular podcast listener, you will no doubt notice the different ways the various 'casts cover their costs and expenses. Some advertise products and services. Others exist thanks to donations and patrons. And many do a combination of both.

Right now, based on where were at, it's likely going to be a combination of patrons (here on Patreon, and possibly other crowdfunding efforts) and advertising for a while. I don't mind telling you that I'd prefer to avoid taking on ads altogether, but that's may not be realistic to start with. It may not be very lucrative, either.

The image above shows the projected earnings from four ads placed in EXOPLANETARY. This calculator comes from the best service for matching a podcast to potential advertisers; I've blocked out their name here, but they represent some of the biggest and most notable podcasts around.

Now, you might say that 100 listeners is far too modest (or too optimistic) a number, but I think it adequately demonstrates the early audience for a podcast like EXOPLANETARY; a few dozen to start, while the momentum starts to build and the word gets around. If that word does move, we may have as many as 1,000 regular listeners before long. That would put us in a better position, but not a sustainable one at only one episode per month; advertising, on its own, won't allow the podcast to truly grow.

The best model for sustainability and growth is one where regular listeners donate what they can to the podcast and we're no longer in a position to need advertising. I'm convinced that will (slowly) start to happen once we start dropping episodes onto iTunes and other platforms, but there are a number of costs ahead of us before even that can happen.

To that end, I am introducing a new premium open to every one of EXOPLANETARY's Patreon donors! For as long as we take on outside advertising of any kind, we will present  our donors with MP3 copies of EXOPLANETARY without commercial interruption. Your versions of the episodes will have only a brief reminder to donate via Patreon (in case you are listening with friends) and that's it!

More information on this special premium to come once we begin publishing episodes. We're hoping to start recording late summer, 2016, so please begin your pledge soon, as every dollar will count.