C.R.E.A.M. (Listen To Wu-Tang For Your Health)
Hey, everybody. I hope y'all are doing well and enjoying your Hanukkah (or preparing for Christmas). This week I am mainly focusing on planning for that great big New Year, as I talked about last time. Right now, it’s really all about the budget.
As someone with a background in the theater it’s almost astounding how relatively inexpensive everything is. When one looks at how much it costs to rent a theater, pay all of the actors, pay all the crew, buy rights to the show, rent the lighting equipment, buy or rent costume supplies, pay for the set, execute a marketing plan, and all of the other things I’ve failed to mention, a well-done theatrical production can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Podcasting costs much less (though I would love to make a $100,000 podcast someday), but it still costs money.
The first season of On Their Way cost, literally, $132 dollars. This isn’t normal. I received a discount on the On Their Way Logo due to various factors, I actively chose not to pay myself for any of my work, I factor the cost of distribution into the overall operating costs, and I worked with a skeleton crew marketing budget. I don’t ever want to make another $132 dollar show because it so blatantly speaks to underinvestment.
Next year, I am planning to expand WGC into the realm of audio drama (one scripted special and one improvised series) and those are some expensive shows let me tell you. They should be, of course, I am paying for labor and if there is one thing I really want to do, it's pay people a good rate. Honestly, that's how I'll know when WGC has made it; when a single payment from WGC can pay someone's rent and then some.
Anyhow, the Summer Special, which is comprised of two scripted 45 minute episodes, is going to be a crisp $2,325 with 58.27% of it reserved for labor costs. The unnamed improvised show, which is slated for a Winter 2021 release, is going to cost a cool $1,560 when factoring all of the various requirements (i.e. transcription, composition, marketing, marketing consulting, logo, etc.). 56% of the improvised shows budget is going to labor costs.
The other two productions I am doing this year are non-fiction podcasts created, hosted, and edited by me, which is almost a promise that a show that will, more than likely, have some form of return. Much like this year, On Their Way will be the least expensive show to make; it is even more cost-effective this year due to the fact that the logo and theme do not need to be paid for again. OTW is budgeted for $450 this year; the majority of the budget is aimed towards marketing.
The second project, which will debut in February 2021 is The Loving Podcast (a community podcast interviewing people on the ways they perform love in their daily lives), is budgeted for $839.45. The majority of these costs are start-up focused (i.e. logo, composer, etc.). Next year, The Loving Podcast will cost around $600.
The non-fiction shows are particularly useful to the financial structure of WGC as they lend themselves to advertising sales. Call me old-fashioned, but some part of me is quite hesitant to have ad reads in audio dramas. If there is an ad in an audio drama I like it integrated, like in an old school way where they name drop the products in the course of the show. I have absolutely no qualms with ad reads in non-fiction shows. That’s why I spent a decent amount of time last week figuring out what price will the ads have to be and how frequent must they happen for the show to pay for itself.
To be completely honest, this year I was a little intimidated by the budget. I’ve saved up a certain amount of funding for WGC over the course of my college career and I really really don’t want to run out of money. That’s what I was afraid of this year, that I would spend my money unwisely, I'd have no money at all, and WGC would go the way of the Dodo. I don’t know when I quite had the realization that I was being absolutely ridiculous, but it happened, and let me tell you it has been freeing!
I have a good business structure. I believe in the projects that WGC produces. I believe that the projects will connect with you guys. Why be afraid? Why be intimidated by something I control? These are rhetorical, because there is no good reason. Frankly, it's so comforting knowing how much the operating budget is off the top of my head. It's comforting to know exactly where the money's going and when it’s going there and who it’s going to. Numbers are fun! I don’t want to harp on it, but it really is astounding to me (Me! A child who occasionally cried when she did math homework!) that I’m sitting at my desk for hours at a time typing away on my little calculator having a grand old time. And the best thing about knowing the budget back and forth is that I no know exactly how much WGC needs to earn in order to be self-sustaining.
Also, on a strongly related note, if WGC was to have a Patreon next year, what sort of things would you want to have access to, and what tier prices would work for you? Email me at connect@withgoodco to share your thoughts. You can also DM me on Instagram and Twitter (@withgoodco) to share what you’d like to see on Patreon. I really appreciate it, and I hope that wherever you are, you’re enjoying and embracing the day.
P.S. Our On Their Way guest this week is Drew Emerson who is on his way to being an entertainment lawyer, so if that is what you are into, then this is really going to be your cup of tea. It comes out on 12.A.M. December 18th on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Podchaser. And tell me if you liked last week’s episode with Christian. Inquiring minds would like to know! Alright, the article is ending for real this time. Bye!
Jade Madison Scott (she/her) is the Founder of WGC Productions.