Income Report: April 2019
Welcome to my April 2019 income report. My income reports are designed to provide full transparency of the business; further, they are used to prevent conflict of interests in an industry flooded with scams and accusations. There are two podcasts I have used for guidance on how to create a sustainable income: Fire Nation and Smart Passive Income, both provide income reports.
April was an interesting month on many levels: from gaining a new sponsor to being served court papers by Craig Wright to incurring the wrath of the maximalists. Here, I will attempt to digest everything and explain my thoughts and the impact on my work.
I gained two new sponsors this month:
DropBit: became the official wallet sponsor of What Bitcoin Did signing up to a long-term agreement. A few different wallets have previously approached me, but DropBit was my personal favourite due to their excellent in-app experience and their focus on Bitcoin.
Coindesk: took out a short-term sponsorship to help promote Consensus 2019. As I am attending the event and will be interviewing/moderating panels, I was happy with the fit.
These two sponsors contributed to a total of $24,692.34 in sponsorship for the month, -12.7% on March ($27,822.34). Overall revenue for the month was $32,146.00, -14.5% on March ($37,583.27).
The positive news is that without travel, expenses were $5,332.92, -71.1% on March ($18,466.88), as such April saw a profit of $22,989.61, 50.6% higher than March ($15,266.92).
The growth in revenue means I have two people working with me:
Someone to produce transcriptions
Someone to engineer every show
And I am about to brief someone to manage show scheduling and publishing.
Craig Wright Lawsuit
I was served papers by the lawyers of Craig Wright, seeking £100,000 in compensation for libel as I accused him of being a fraud and not Satoshi Nakamoto. Despite the accusations of attention seeking and doing this to promote the podcast (I’ll come to this shortly), there was no thought out plan.
Following Hodlonaut being served papers I wanted to draw attention away from him and be served my own papers so that these could be made public and all be aware of the ridiculous nature of what he is doing. The strategy is high-risk and potentially stupid. Still, I think it is the right thing to do to shut his nonsense down once and for all.
I’ve no idea how this will play out and if I lose the case then so be it if they bankrupt me then so be it, I still believe it is the right thing to do, and I’ll rebuild again.
For those accusations that this is a marketing ploy by me, well if it is, it isn’t a smart one. The podcast is growing; revenue is growing and so is profit. To risk this all for the sake of a boost in listeners would be a dumb move. I mean it probably is a dumb move, but I feel it is right and with the mostly broad support I have received from the community and lawyers offering to work pro bono, I feel confident in crushing this case. Oh, that and the fact that Craig Wright is a complete muppet and is leaving a trail of evidence of forgeries and fraudulent behaviour.
Now with all this said, I can’t ignore and won’t pretend there isn’t an impact on my profile. My Twitter following has jumped 14%, but while average show downloads have grown, I can’t attribute that directly. Anyway, people will have their assumptions as to this case, and not everyone agrees with it. Still, it is a too late to back out now.
The Wrath of the Maximalists
Since launching the podcast I have regularly been challenged as to my choice of guests, especially when from the Bitcoin Cash community. Early on when I interviewed Craig Wright and Roger Ver, I took a lot of flack. More recently, when working on my Lightning Month and making the decision to interview Peter Rizun, this has raised its ugly head again.
The regular accusation is that I am giving a platform to frauds and scammers. I have always disputed “giving a platform” as a narrative, I offer people interviews, that is all. While I support Bitcoin and hold Bitcoin, I have an intellectual curiosity to explore other topics. The podcast is not a promotional tool for Bitcoin and I will always pursue issues and interview guests where I feel there is value, whether or not this upsets people. I have also used the podcast to research and attempt to document specific topics in Bitcoin, for example, Mount Gox.
While I support smaller blocks and off-chain scaling, I do not feel that current off-chain solutions are proven (or even necessary - Bitcoin does what I need it to do right now), and I reserve the right to look at all opinions, even those less favourable with the Bitcoin community. I’m planning on documenting the history of the scaling debate and SegWit2x, but I must do this as objectively as possible. I’m sorry Bitcoiners, but I do not see the history of the scaling debate in the same binary way that some do. I do not believe that EVERYONE is a scammer or an idiot and I want to understand why there are people who believe in on-chain scaling, despite the volume of technical and economic evidence that it is doomed to failure.
It appears that the majority of the people who take issue with me looking into this and trying to understand alternative arguments have been in Bitcoin a long time. They have the battle scars, they have debated the same points endlessly, but I think many people will come into Bitcoin who don’t understand the arguments, who may discover Bitcoin via Bitcoin.com and may be confused. I don’t feel it is healthy to explain the benefits of Bitcoin over Bitcoin Cash by shouting at people and calling them idiots. Further, despite the negative response to my suggestion, I do think a certain quelling of the fighting would be net positive for Bitcoin.
Even holding these opinions risks the further wrath and accusations, which themselves have come thick and fast this month:
I am a loudmouth (probably right)
I am a paid Bitcoin Cash shill (I turned down a Bitcoin Cash sponsorship enquiry this month)
I’ll be very clear; I am not a paid shill. The podcast is on track to gross $400k - $500k in revenue in the next year, for what possible reason would I want to risk that and my reputation for a paid shill? It is non-sensical. Still, I am willing for any oracle to go through my laptop, emails, wallets etc.. to do everything I can to prove this is nonsense.
In response to those who have called me irresponsible and that I am not technical enough for the podcast, I see a benefit to this. I get to see Bitcoin differently and ask questions others may not, and I know from the DMs and emails I receive this benefits the listeners.
I am always happy to discuss the questions that people have, but the level of criticism and abuse has got out of hand (and yes I can be a hypocrite). Still, the constant defending of my position on Twitter, including correcting lies and misrepresentations is a never-ending cycle. As such I am not just blocking people who are abusive, rude or who make false accusations against me. Dealing with it all is a time Dyson. If someone wants to discuss this then we can do it with a microphone in a fair and balanced way.
I’ve also sold everything I own outside of Bitcoin and will maintain a 100% Bitcoin portfolio as long as it is the only cryptocurrency I use and have the belief that it is a worthy investment.
I am still adjusting to the responsibility I have with the content I produce, but my show is not for the hardcore Bitcoiners as I am likely to continue to produce shows or hold opinions which contradicts theirs.
April was another great month for tips, receiving $7,453.66 from Bitcoin tips and Patron. I was, therefore, able to buy more Casa nodes and send out tips myself, totalling $2,219.94.
As I have mentioned previously, by presenting all my stats transparently, it is easy to see how people accuse me of making decisions to gain downloads and sell sponsorship. I can’t do much about this, WBD is a business, not a hobby, and despite me being a dick on Twitter sometimes, I run it professionally in the background. Of course, I want to grow the show and revenue, but this does not equate to a reduction in integrity.
Show downloads: 185,249
Network fees: -$3,823.47
April 2019 Stats
The April stats report is available for download here, it includes:
Downloads by per month total & by platform
Downloads by show total & by platform
Total: 185,249 (-18.5% from Mar - previous record month)
Note: Libsyn is my podcast hosting provider which is the stats for downloads on iTunes and the majority of other podcast applications.
All-time downloads: 1,253,811
Most downloaded shows:
WBD082 - Andreas Antonopoulos - 82,298
WBD044 - Steve Kean - 28,798
WBD006 - Charlie Lee - 17,123
WBD068 - Peter Todd - 16,597
Note: my non-Bitcoin shows are the worst performing shows, hopefully this will put to bed the theory that I click chase by covering non-Bitcoin topics.
60 day average: 15,575 (+34.1% on Mar ‘19 report)
Note: this is calculated across the previous two months February and March, ignoring the current month as the most recent shows stats are too new.
Growth was negative this month, with a -18.5% drop from March, but March was an anomaly with the Andreas show achieving +68k downloads. If the Andreas show is amended to be an average number of show downloads then downloads would have been flat compared to March.
Note: something of note is that the downloads for Lightning month were generally down on March, I suspect this comes down to having lower profile guests. Still, I accept this as I feel that Lightning was worth covering.
YouTube: dropped this month too, more significantly (-53.7% on Mar ‘19. Again this is primarily driven by the huge number of downloads for the Andreas show on YouTube).
Others: SoundCloud and Spotify both saw a marginal drop in numbers.
60 day average this jumped to 15,575 which was a significant increase on March, against driven by the Andreas show. I will not be using these numbers in my ratecard and am still selling ads on a frozen average download rate of 10k per show.
Specials I’ll be measuring the average number of downloads for the Lightning shows next month but I expect them to be lower than standard shows due to the guests having lower profiles. This won’t stop me working on developing specials in the future.
Website page views: 49,935 (-2.2% from Mar ‘19)
Email subscribers: 2,849 (+0.3%)
YouTube followers: 5,388 (+11.9%)
Twitter followers: 59,100 (+14.3%)
Twitter followers (WBD Account): 4,236 (+9%)
Facebook page: 142 (+2.2%)
Medium: 2,500 (no change)
Note: The Facebook page has had very little attention due to work load.
Twitter follower numbers grew significantly this month, the biggest jump since the bull market and drive in large by my Twitter spat with Craig Wright. While there is a business benefit to growth, this is not a planned strategy.
YouTube continues to grow at a nice rate, +9%.
Website pretty flat for the month but I am starting to see the benefits from my investment in SEO (see later)
All other channels need some work (same notes as last month):
Facebook I see little benefit to expending significant time yet (requires a strategy)
Medium I need more time to write but I don’t have that at the moment
Email subscribers would likely grow with unique content but there are already lots of good newsletters out there
Network fees: -$3,823.47
Gross income - $32,146.00
Professional services: $0.00
Podcast subscription (BTC): $0.00
Bitcoin via Lightning: $177.94
Ripplecoin: hahaha piss off
BAT payments: $36.63
Network fees: -$3,823.47
Expenses - $5,332.92
Computer and software: $529.49
Banking fees: $2.10
Podcast costs: $1,577.28
Community support: $2,219.94
Casa Node giveaway *2: $667.47
Donations * 15: $1,338.47
Patreon - Noded: $12.00
Patreon - Popular Front: $36.00
Patreon - Saifedean: $60.00
Patreon - Luke Dash Jr: $24.00
Patreon - Stephan Livera: $12.00
Patreon - Rekt Podcast: $30.00
Patreon - Euclid & Oaks: $20.00
Patreon - Amy Castor: $20.00
While income was down by -$5,437.27 (-14.5%), expenses were also down by -$13,133.96 (-70.1%), and therefore profits were up by + $7,722.69 (+50.6%).
Income from sponsorship was pretty steady but I gained a new long-term sponsor with DropBit which will ensure that sponsorship income is now pretty steady through to the end of the year.
Patreon contribution was up, primarily driven by Rise Wallet becoming a Patreon top tier sponsor.
Show sponsored by: 1 booking (lead sponsor - Kraken)
Preroll + midroll combo: 1 booking
Preroll only: 0 bookings
Midroll only: 1 booking
Preroll / midroll mix: 3 bookings
Available shows: 9 (No ads were made available for my bonus show with Andy Pag)
Available video shows: 0
Available slots per show: 6
Available slots per video show: 2
Total available slots: 54
Slots sold: 43
Inventory sold: 79.6%
Revenue per show: $2,743.59
Show CPM value: $228.63 (based on a conservative, projected average of 12k downloads per show)
Average ad CPM rate: $38.11.
To take forward:
Reducing travel expenditure leads to significantly higher profits (I still maintain a preference for in person interviews). With Consensus, Norway and Berlin next month, May figures will be impacted.
Tips + patrons continue to contribute significantly towards income (can’t rely on tips like this).
Long-term sponsorships allow me to focus on the show and spend more on a support team.
April Objectives Audit
(IN PROGRESS) Review network fees, significant outgoing - solution found to reduce
(COMPLETE) No travelling this month to keep costs down - reflected in profits
(IN PROGRESS) Assistant: found, need to train them
(PARTIALLY COMPLETE) Inventory: slight drop on March
(INCOMPLETE) Video: find a sponsor to support a monthly video interview - proposals sent
(IN PROGRESS) Other specials: continue working on specials for mining and ATMs
(PARTIALLY COMPLETE) Patrons: continue to push benefits of patron support (review engagement)
(INCOMPLETE) Subs: push subs by crypto and Lightning option for ad free show
New revenue opportunities:
(INCOMPLETE) Consider investment to build a media business with additional audio and video products
(IN PROGRESS) Continue to optimise website for search: positive results
(INCOMPLETE) Complete the rewrite of the online course to support search
(PARTIALLY COMPLETE) Finish review of content on site and ensure it reflects personal opinion
(ONGOING) Continue to target high quality guests/unique subjects
Review network fees, significant outgoing
Keep travel costs down
Assistant: train assistant
Inventory: sell remaining May slots (NOT REQUIRED - MAY FULLY SOLD)
Video: find a sponsor to support a monthly video interview
Other specials: prepare ATM special
Subs: push subs by crypto and Lightning option for ad free show
New revenue opportunities:
(ON HOLD) Consider investment to build a media business with additional audio and video products
Continue to optimise website for search
(ON HOLD) Complete the rewrite of the online course to support search
Finish review of content on site and ensure it reflects personal opinion
Continue to target high quality guests/unique subjects
DONE Achieve +$10,000 profit per month (now consistently achieved)
DONE Consistent revenues to recruit assistant (on target)
Achieve £1m of cleared profit
Buy Bedford Town and get them in the football league
Be crowned King of Bedford
If you read this income report and you have any questions then please feel free to reach out to me.