Headline Patreon News

Patreon: Time For A Big Shake Up!

That’s right, my Patreon page is undergoing a major remodelling. Tiers are ending, tiers are starting, content is being moved about and new content is on the way! 

Good gracious, it’s all rather exciting. I hardly know where to start and that’s no mistake.

Before I get to the changes, I know that some of you are not aware of Patreon (you’ve told me) and others are not aware why Patreon matters (again, I’ve read comments on that). So let me address that, quickly.

What we’re talking about here is Patreon and my page on that platform (which you can find here: www.patreon.com/audiophileman). If you’re new to the concept of Patreon and you currently are a host to a furrowed brow, may I direct you to this quick overview, which will hopefully help on that score

Patreon is critical to me because it gives me freedom to do what I want, when I want. Creating the sort of editorial you hopefully want to see. 

Rather than give you marketing speak, let me give you one specific example of what I’m on about and why Patreon is critical.

Some of you will have seen my Guide to cleaning vinyl, which sits HERE on this site. It’s Part 1 and focuses on manual cleaning. Currently, in the works is Part 2 that looks at cleaning your vinyl using a Record Cleaning Machine. Part 3 will look at the same but using an ultrasonic cleaning machine. 

Patreon: Time For A Big Shake Up!

These Guides take a up a lot of time. More than you might imagine. It’s not just the writing, the photography and all of that jazz, it’s the hours of testing that generates the words and images in the first place. I’m not talking hours or days here but weeks of background work before you see the final product. 

YOUR SUPPORT

That freedom and time is restricted because, and this might be a surprise to some of you, I still need to work for other people to make a living and top up my income. Which cuts into the time I should be using to create vinyl record cleaning guides, for example. 

Patreon: Time For A Big Shake Up!

So Patreon support provides funds and time to do that. In fact, let me take this opportunity to sincerely thank the current Patreon community that supports my work. I appreciate all of you. Your support matters.

The current Patreon page has been running for a while now. I’ve learned from that experience too. So now’s the time to take things up a notch.

That’s why we’re here. 

TRACKS OF MY TIERS

Until this news item, my Patreon page was split into six tiers. Tiers, you ask? Well, if you sign up for any one of those ‘tiers’, I gratefully take your cash which you can donate as a one off or monthly basis (you are able to stop that shenanigans at any time too – you’re not locked in) and then I offer you a ‘perk’ in return.  A little reward, you might say. The more you pay, the bigger or more numerous the perks.

Previously that ranged over several reward types. You may have seen them.

No longer, though. So what do we have now?

The £1 Tier and £4 tier remain ‘as is’. Nothing changes there. So if you’re already a Patreon member kindly donating to those tiers, they both stay the same and you don’t have to do a thing.

The £1 Tier is a sort of Tip Jar and is pretty self-explanatory (see below).

Patreon: Time For A Big Shake Up!If we step up a rung on the ladder, we get the Hi-Fi Buyer’s Guides Tier, or the £4 Tier for short. This includes a range of text-based Buyer’s Guides that you won’t see on this site or anywhere else, including Guides on Turntables, CD Players, Headphones and more. The only change to the £4 Tier is a rather nice addition. A freebie. A bonus. Something I call Sudden Drops. Before this Patreon shake up, I used to have pretty pricey give-away tiers which would giveaway review items that have been sent to me. Things like vinyl, CDs, hi-fi accessories, books…things like that. I’d bundle qualifying Patreon members into a Group and choose a lucky winner to receive each item. Those pricey tiers have now gone so now £4 Tier members qualify for these occasional giveaways.

Patreon: Time For A Big Shake Up!

The new top tier in this new Patreon page shake up is the £8 Tier, which is now called Exclusive Videos, Collectables & More! 

This Tier includes five, pretty incredible (even though I say so myself) perks.

1: Exclusive Videos: this is a brand new perk and, as you can see by the image below, it features exclusive, Patreon-only videos covering reviews of Vinyl and CDs, news of upcoming CDs and Vinyl, Book reviews, Hi-Fi chats, hints, tips and quick reviews, room tours, vinyl and CD collection tours, a Q&A with my cat and lots of other goodies which you will only be able to find on my Patreon page. Plus…

2: Memorabilia features: include short, snappy entries looking at all kinds of music collectables from top music stars ranging from now to decade’s past including vinyl, CDs, guitars, clothes, posters, cars – you name it! There’s a free column on my Patreon page so you can check it out for yourself. Plus…

3: Archives: Older reviews, features and reviews from my own archives which have either never seen the light of day or haven’t been seen for a while but will hopefully be of interest as light reading over a coffee and a sticky bun. Again, Patreon only. There’s a freebie or two on my Patreon page now for you to check out. Plus…

4 & 5: You also gain access to the HiFi Buyer’s Guides and Sudden Drops mentioned above.

So, that’s quite a lot for your eight pounds of the realm ($10 if you’re in the USA or €9 in Europe).

The first video in this series is up on my Patreon page right now. So please check it out! More will follow and regularly too.

The £8 Tier is a bit special because I see it as a way to get to know my supporters. I see it like this, if you like my work enough to want to support me financially, then I feel happy to share more of my work and thoughts with you.

HELP!

Finally, as I’ve spent time developing and growing The Audiophile Man in all its forms, many other areas have grown alongside it. One of the most active and definitely the most time consuming, are the calls for help from readers on this website, viewers on the YouTube channel, Facebook Group, other social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Messenger, email, Pinterest and who knows where else.

I love to help when and where I can. Some queries can be answered immediately and briefly. Others require research and the contact of third parties to answer. Answering calls for help is one of the most time consuming things I do. Sometimes it will take hours in a day to complete.

Many journalists, social media figures, YouTubers and the like sometimes ignore their supporters when it comes to one-on-one support. They might engage generally in broad terms but they often don’t engage on a personal basis. I do. Of course, the more followers you have and/or the more work you do, the harder it is to maintain that engagement. There’s only one of me, after all. So it is a balance.

Hence, if you ask me a question and you’re a supporter of mine on Patreon, you will be given preferential treatment. And why not? Patreon supporters are showing the faith in what I’m trying to do here and putting their money in harm’s way too. I have to respect that sort of action.

So it comes to this, I will address Patreon queries first. After that, I will look at queries on this site and social media and answer as many queries as I possibly can in the time remaining. This will mean that some might miss out but I’ll do my very best. I always have. That never changes.

What I’m most proud about this website, The Audiophile Man Facebook Group, YouTube channel and elsewhere is the growing sense of community. That’s another reason for developing the Patreon side of things. I want to take that community spirit to a new level. I hope you can join me and hey, who knows, it might fun.

Any queries on the above, give me a shout.

You can join my Patreon page, choose your selected tier and find out more at www.patreon.com/audiophileman

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    James Patric
    24th April 2021 at 6:27 pm

    Hello Paul. I love your reviews and your learned articulate take on audio.
    One thing noticed is that you have not that many viewer compared to say, Steve Guttenberg with nearly 200,000 subscribers or the other people I mentioned herein. I think it would be more productive to take some actions to broaden your viewer base. What you have done is gone vertical with your existing base to gain more revenue when I think expanding the bass would be more productive. For example, more companies might considering giving you equipment to review upon a greater expectation of exposure.
    I think that if you reviewed a broader variety of equipment instead of just those that mede in England, you could expand viewer interest and attract more viewers world wide. Look to distributors of foreign equipment, loans from retailers and even patron loans for broader appeal. I can understand supporting local manufacturers in particular considering the invasiveness of Chinese gear but you expand, you also support jobs for distributors and retailers of that foreign equipment.
    I’d reach out to other reviewers in mutual support and promotion. It’s not a zero sum game. Audiophiles look at lots of reviewers and mutual promotion would benefit all. I know American reviewers all talk to and support each other. New Record Day, Thomas and Stereo (Canada), Next Best Thing (Canada). Cheap Audio Man, Zero Fidelity. Josh Valour, DSM. Ron, Thomas, Jay, Randy, Shawn, Josh all support and mention each other. Send each other equipment occasionally. All benefit. Why not reach out to Terry and David at Small Room Audio, etc. and explore that.
    Now some of them are guests on each others shows and some like Shawn at Zero Fidelity and Randy at Cheap audio man set up these hour long sessions with supporters posing question etc.
    Consider interviewing audio designers and manufacturers for their philosophy of design.
    Lastly, The affordability of this stuff is like a pyramid. Only so many people are going to afford the equipment at the top third of the pyramid. Lots more people live at the budget end. For someone in your position reviewing inexpensive equipment can be boring, but that’s where the preponderance of the audience lives. Playboy made an empire about showcasing women that most guys would never have a chance with, but I don’t know if that model applies to audio. How many reviews are people going to listen to when all the review does is remind them of their limited means.
    Check out Cheap Audio man. Randy has built his brand in a very short time by reviewing only equipment under $600. While a former naval officer and a bright guy, he assumes a bit of a folksy buffoon attitude with bad jokes etc. People love him. I like your style and wouldn’t suggest you change it, just reach out to the affordable crowd, and it is a crowd.
    Cheers. I’m just an old guy with opinions and no-one likes my opinions like I do.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      25th April 2021 at 11:06 am

      James, I want to thank you for putting finger to key and being so generous with your time and advice. More than that, I want to thank you for, well, caring. It’s a rarity on the Internet 🙂
      As you’ve been kind enough to put thought and effort into your post, you deserve the same from my answer so that’s what I’ll do here.
      Your counsel makes perfect sense. There’s just one problem in all of your sage advice. Me.
      I’ve been a journalist for well over 35 years now (37? 38? I forget) and my career has been anything but conventional. I’ve written for hundreds of magazines in the UK and across the world and edited, what, six nationals? More than that, I’ve hopped across many industries. I began as an aviation journalist writing for civil and military national mags in the UK (I was in the RAF’s volunteer reserve in University, flying Bulldog, basic trainer, single props so the interest was always there). Then I became bored of that and moved to aircraft modelling kits (those Airfix things et al), then got bored of that and wrote for more computer games magazines in the world than any other living human being (I kid you not), then I became bored with that and moved to serious computers, then ladies lifestyle, home automation, antiques, mobile phones and more…all national and international magazines and national newspapers. I’ve also written manuals for games and even co-written a book. Eventually becoming a music journalist (I still am), then ending up in HiFi (so far anyway, I haven’t got bored yet but give me time 🙂 ).
      I learned – as you might imagine – an awful lot (I just wish I was able to remember it all). During that time, I talked to many of the world’s experts on everything from the afterburner of an F-16 to the works of Andy Warhol and more.
      I love that bit of my job because I love to learn. I have a terribly inquisitive mind that jumps about far too much and constantly asks questions of myself and others about much too many things, far too many times (which can be highly irritating to my companions if all they want to do is stick to one subject, like last night’s TV soap opera, over pint and I want to discuss who really started the fire in the Reichstag in 1933).
      I give you my potted career story because I decided, when I was 16, that I would only work at things I enjoy. I was determined to get up in the morning with a smile on my face. Not some mornings. Every morning. I would only work at those things that truly interested me. Not those things that were only of use because they offered commercial reward. Otherwise I would drop it like a stone and move on. I was determined not to be a wage slave. A drone. A desk prisoner.
      Making money for the sake of making money is wholly tedious to me (and that includes making money on YouTube).
      Doing so, I also quickly realised this, I would never ever be rich. I’d make a living but that’s it. And that’s fine. Because I would guarantee happiness. In work, at the very least. I also have it in love too, incidentally, as I have a wonderful wife.
      And that’s what I’ve done and I’ve never been happier doing it. I only tackle projects I truly like or am interested in. Me. No-one else. And if you want to tag along for the ride, then you’re very welcome. But I don’t chase followers or subscribers, I don’t see what everyone else is doing, I don’t compete (unless it’s with myself) and – this is the critical bit – I don’t work to accumulate money. Money is important (witness this Patreon relaunch). I know it’s important to keep things actually running. But its accumulation is not a priority for me. Never has been.
      Finally, a few extra notes: I’m not a full-time YouTuber (I still write for print mags, I write 6 pages a month for HiFi World in the UK, for example) unlike many others so there’s never enough time for me to do the YouTube projects I’d love to initiate, and I have many on the back burner. Next, I have a review queue here that’s so large, I’ve had to close down incoming hardware for now. So products are not an issue. I spent last week kindly explaining to three disparate companies why I can’t accept their products for review and can they possibly call me in two month’s time. So filling my channel with content is and has never been, a problem for me. Time is always the issue. So much to do, so little time.
      I hope that explains a bit. Thank you again for your kind thoughts.

  • Reply
    James Patric
    28th April 2021 at 5:14 pm

    Thanks Paul. I appreciate you taking time to respond. I wish you the greatest success in your audio endeavors. You have quite a resume and an amazing breath of interests and experience.
    I’ll be tuning in as we used to say. j

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