Entertainment is changing. It’s becoming independent in a way that is vastly different from what 20 years ago was indie film. It’s small, it fits on whatever device you want it to, and it streams to you, sometimes staged, sometimes live, always creative and more often than not, fiercely independent.
I am one of those people… I host a podcast, and co-host a few more for good measure. But you don’t have to be a listener of The Palmer Files, Our Liner Notes, or The Podcast Digest. You could be a listener of WTF with Marc Maron, or Joe Rogan, or any podcast because there are many more of them that classify as independent than otherwise. And yes I include those two big names, because they may run ads, but they aren’t “brought to you by ACME” or anything.
But that’s just podcasting, and there’s more out there. There are streamers on Twitch that you can watch live, and there are YouTubers putting out content for your entertainment. But for the most part, it’s all independent. It’s all ad-supported or, in many cases, audience supported.
And that’s only part of the draw. These podcasts, streamers, and YouTubers aren’t just creating content, they also cultivate communities. And many of them could use your help. Ok, sure Joe Rogan is just fine, but go through the content of any kind you’ve viewed over the last week, how much was free? How much was just on YouTube or on Twitch? How many indie podcasts did you listen to?
The point is, many of you support my blog on a weekly basis by reading it and sharing it. You also take the time to listen to my podcast every two weeks and you share that as well. The consumption of media and your willingness to share it shows your support as much as any dollar amount does.
And it goes well beyond just me. I don’t always have the money to support a Patreon for my favorite content creators, or to subscribe to every streamer who I find enjoyable on Twitch, so beyond what is financially possible, I find ways to share and consume their content.
I also provide feedback where I can, and for those of you who have listened to podcasts that I also listen to, you know I’ve provided plenty of feedback over the years. Well, it all counts.
If you have the money to give, content creators are thrilled with the idea that you want to financially help support the content that makes you happy, but money alone isn’t the only way to support the content creators that you love.
Get the word out. Share share share. Most websites have an advertising component based upon traffic, so you helping to get the word out can also be financially rewarding to your favorite creators. It’s even more obvious on platforms like Twitch, Mixer, and Youtube where the ads that play pre-roll or maybe mid-roll have an impact on the bottom line of the creators of those videos and streams.
Even when it comes to podcasts, despite being so obvious, more listens can eventually equal money… And all you have to do is consume the content and share it with your friends, and if you’re consuming it on a regular basis, odds are you have told a friend or two or three…
One of the other things that you can do is to provide feedback. For years content creators have been told by marketers to end blog posts, podcast episodes, and even tweets and Facebook posts with questions to get the conversation going. Well, even if that isn’t the way you see your favorite creators’ content come across, reply to that tweet, send them an email, message them on Facebook, if you consume their content you know how to get a hold of them, whatever the way to converse with them is, do it, and let them know what you think of their content.
I’m not saying keep your money in your pocket. If you can give financially, it’s the most straightforward way to help, but if not, you can continue to help by just consuming their content, sharing that content, and giving feedback to that content. It is that simple.
Whether you have a child of your own or you remember being a child, we all did those projects where we hounded the adults around to look at what we had just done. “Look at this.” And then we’d wait for a reply, any reply, or at least some acknowledgment.
Well, not every content creator is trying to show you their thing, but some of them are, and that acknowledgment goes a long way. Having been a creator and a fan, I’ve been on both sides of this from all aspects whether it’s financial, consuming, sharing, or feedback.
And let me tell you from the creator’s perspective, there is nothing better than feedback. I know it may sound corny, and we all very much appreciate your dollars, but feedback is the most precious of all things that readers, listeners, and viewers can give to content creators. And if you don’t want to take my word for it, reach out to your favorite creators to make their day. And you will make their day, it’s how this works.
So, in the interest of sharing a little more with you, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite creators.The crew from Victoria, British Columbia in Canada of Loading Ready Run is a favorite of mine on youtube but you can see their empire of content on LoadingReadyRun.com. I would especially recommend Road Quest and The Panalysts.
There’s Day aka Sean Plott himself at Day9.tv, not only for his streams on Twitch, but because as a host he’s made some of the larger Magic The Gathering events fun, and his hosting of a Geek and Sundry show is directly more related to my partner playing Magic than anything I could have ever done.
And thirdly, all of the podcasts you see me tweet about on a weekly basis. There’s too many to name and I’d feel bad if I forgot one, but if you’re listening to my show, you know who and what they are.
So, who are your favorite creators and what are you doing to support them? Additionally, if you aren’t doing anything at all, may I ask, why not? All it takes is just one like one share, one comment, or if you have the means, just one dollar.