Note: wrote this before the TMC/Fountain War kickstarter was launched. Personal opinions are complicated, but I have no connection to that project. Still interested in feedback from fans about Prosper vs Monetization
Monetization is always a touchy subject, but I try to make efforts open and transparent. Up to now, EVE Prosper has had all ads turned off wherever possible (blog, YouTube, Twitch), and hosting a Patreon for those who wish to contribute directly. There is no pay-wall and no subscriber-only content. The goal is to provide the content as freely as possible, and give those who want to contribute more an avenue to do so.
But the truth is: producing the show is not free. To get the show to YouTube quickly I use Premiere, and there are costs for hosting and hardware. In addition to that, I try to compensate direct contributors for contributing to the backbone that makes the show possible: code and hosting.
I am not writing this to shake the tip jar or start an NPR-style guilt drive. Quality content takes time and energy and some IRL cash, and Prosper is by no means taking food off the table. I only mean to echo that compensation is a motivator and the more the show supports itself, the more time and energy I can commit to it.
What I do want to talk about is YouTube Red.
I am tempted to enable ads on the YouTube videos because of this service. On the one hand it feels like leaving free money on the table from Red users. And on the other it seems like a negligible impact on non-Red viewers because of ad blockers or "regular YouTube experience". I honestly expect the revenue to be paltry with the current consumption rates on YouTube... but I would like to actually get some hard numbers.
But before I go down that path, I'd like to hear from the community about it. Do you appreciate/notice the lack of ads? Do you expect some amount of ads in modern web browsing? Do you think that this should be a fully altruistic labor of love and it's tasteless to ask for IRL monies?
Also, feel free to put opinions in the comments below. It will probably be a couple of weeks before any decision one way or the other will be made.