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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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