We blew past our initial goal in less than a week. Thank you all for that! You are the best, both individually and as a unit. As promised, any money raised above our initial goal will go toward funding our upcoming tour which, at present, we're hoping will hit at least 20 cities in the United States (and maybe some overseas, but we'll get to that). We don't have sponsors because yuck, so touring is expensive for us. That's why we don't do it much. The money we raise here will go a long way toward alleviating that, so we'll see you on the road later this year! Here's how the stretch goals for this project will work going forward:
$7,500 - $12,500: We'll do a Fall/Winter tour of at least 20 cities in the United States.
$12,501 - $15,000: We'll bring along a camera and film a tour documentary which will be available as a free download to anyone who contributed to the Kickstarter.
$15,000 or more: Everyone who contributed to the Kickstarter gets two free tickets to a show of their choosing on the upcoming tour.
If we somehow manage to get beyond that, we'll explore adding some overseas dates. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.
END UPDATE, COMMENCE ORIGINAL KICKSTARTER SPIEL...
No one knew what to expect when the Unpopular Opinion podcast first launched back in 2013. Podcasts were already a crowded market. Could an upstart comedy show with nothing going for it besides a jarringly charismatic host and the immense audience building powers of one of the biggest comedy sites on the Internet still find success in such a competitive field?
Yeah! Hell yeah! It totally succeeded! Almost 150 episodes later, Unpopular Opinion continues to live up to its well-deserved title of "World's Most Trusted Podcast." How, exactly, did they earn that title? Well certainly not by fielding questions like that from mistrust-niks like you, that's for sure. Just know that the label fits, because week after week, Unpopular Opinion delivers some of the best voices-talking-into-a-microphone-style entertainment in all the land.
This runaway success brings up an obvious question: Where does the show go from here? The answer should be just as obvious. Having dominated the weekly podcast format like Cobra Kai breezing through the early rounds of the Under-18 All-Valley Karate Tournament, it's now time to get into the daily racket. Well, not daily. Just Monday through Friday. Still, that's way more pod than you're used to getting each week!
"How's it going to work?" you may or may not have just asked. Great question!
The first thing to know is that nothing about the weekly episode you know and love now is changing in the slightest. You'll still find it in all the places you currently find it, and it still won't cost you even a single damn dime.
Now, let's talk about those other four weekly episodes. They'll be available for a small (very small) monthly subscription fee. Like $5 or something. You spend more on cigarettes each day, assuming everyone reading this still smokes.
At a total of 20 podcasts per months, you're basically paying 25 cents per episode. You could panhandle that in under an hour, guaranteed.
Right, paying for things sucks. That's understood. But here's the thing, coming up with five podcasts each week will be a massive undertaking from a time and labor standpoint. While it surely sometimes seems like it, episodes of Unpopular Opinion don't just happen by magic. The time spent bringing each one to life is time the sundry personalities and helper robots that make Unpops go 'round could be spending on things that help them earn a living (driving Uber mostly). It would make a lot more sense, at least from a logistical standpoint, if the podcasts could also be the thing that makes money.
Historically, the only way to monetize a podcast has been through ads. That's why your favorite podcasts sometimes take a break to tell you about the great deals available at that Adam and Eve site. No one likes sex toys enough to do that for free. Fine, that last point is debatable at best, but you get the gist. Going with a subscription model allows the show to bypass sponsors altogether. That's a good thing. For one, it makes for a more pleasant listening experience. Also, have you heard the show? It would be a year at most before every single one of those sponsors fled for the hills.
So, does that mean there are going to be five episodes of Unpopular Opinion every week? Not quite! As stated earlier, the Unpopular Opinion show itself isn't changing in any way at all. However, instead of repeating that same format five times a week, the existing show will act as the creamy center around which a bunch of new shows will be wrapped, because this terrible goddamn sentence was actually supposed to be a Twinkie metaphor of some sort. What kind of new shows are we talking about? Glad you asked!
The Least Anticipated Podcast of the Week - If you've listened to the show as religiously as you should be over the years, you've heard this one before! The lovely and talented Tom Reimann joins Adam as co-host to make fun of the shittiest entertainment options of the week. Movies, TV shows, music ... they cover it all! But mostly just those things!
Your State Is Insane! - Adam Tod Brown and Alex Schmidt talk about the wacky history of each of the 50 states ... in alphabetical order! Each show will feature a comic (or various other forms of entertainment personalities) who hails from that state.
Hear Me Out! - Two shows with exclamation points in the title? You bet! On this one, Vanessa Gritton joins Adam as co-host to interview people who have the guts to go public with their support of some of the world's most hated things. Finally, a place where Nickelback fans can have their voices heard online!
The Best Podcast - What's the best action movie ever? How about the best guitar solo? The best crime spree? Best natural disaster ever? You get it. Each week, your favorite Unpops personalities join a panel of "experts" to answer questions like these and more. And the audience gets to help!
Holy buckets! That's a lot of podcast for your money! So what's the holdup? Why isn't this a thing you can enjoy already?
Because we need a new studio, that's why! We currently record in a walk-in closet sized space that we share with the various other departments at Cracked as well as a few other companies.
Even if we wanted to hole up in there five times a week there's no way it would work from a scheduling standpoint.
Hence the need for this Kickstarter. Your donations, be they large or small (preferably large), will go toward building a state-of-the-art recording studio (with a couch and everything) in a place that's guaranteed to be open and available at any hour ... the spare bedroom in Adam's apartment.
Naturally, we'll be offering up lots of fun stuff in return for your help, because that's how Kickstarter works. What kind of stuff? This kind!
- Adam Tod Brown and Jeff May's joint comedy album, Gift of the Magi 2, on digital download and cassette. Both of their sets were secretly recorded by a fan in the audience at our most recent Chicago show. When he fessed up to what he'd done, we had our team of copyright lawyers break his kneecaps and secure the tapes. Now we're passing them on to you. Hey! Totally joking! We just asked if we could release them and he said yes. His name is Cole Mason, and he's fine! Thanks, Cole!
- T-shirts! Three of them, to be exact. All designed by Cracked art legend Randall Maynard. We'll have designs for all three in the next few weeks, but for now, gaze upon the first, lovingly nicknamed "The Devil Shirt," and tremble.
- Art! Our artist friend Alex Wood drew up adorable cartoon versions of the show's various staff members, and we liked them so much we decided to turn them into a thing you can hang on your wall. Adam, Jeff and Brett will even sign it! Here's what it will look like, you lucky birds!
- Personalized podcasts! Do your dreams sometimes involve an entire episode of Unpopular Opinion that's just about you? Make those dreams come true by giving us a hefty sum of money!
And so much more! You can find more details over in the sidebar where these things are usually listed. Also, every donation of $10 or more includes a handwritten thank you note, because manners still matter.
Speaking of manners, we'd be remiss if we didn't take a moment to thank Danger Van Gorder (of Countless Thousands fame) for all the work he did shooting and editing the video for this campaign. He's a doll. Also thanks to Jeff May, Vanessa Gritton and Raquelle Jason for appearing in that video.
Risks and challenges
Well, for starters, those thank you notes are gonna be a bitch to write. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome seems like a very real risk in that regard.
Beyond that, once the Kickstarter concludes and we've successfully separated you from your spare dollars, we're hoping things move quickly enough that we'll be able to launch the subscription service by mid-September. There's definitely a chance we'll have to push that back to October, but we'll try our best to be up and running before then.
Natural disasters and acts of war/God are always a concern with any venture. That doesn't change here. If the apocalypse happens between now and October, we all lose. Sorry.
We're hoping to have all of the rewards prepared and shipped by October, but there are a lot of moving parts involved in that process, so delays are possible. If any arise we'll definitely keep you updated and you will definitely get your stuff as soon as possible, even if some of it has to be sent separately.
Finally, there's the very real risk that your unbridled enthusiasm will leave us with way more donation money than we were originally seeking. If that comes to pass, we will use it to finance our upcoming fall tour, which is being planned as we speak. If we get way way way more money than we asked for, we'll bring a person with a camera along and make a snazzy documentary film out of that tour and make it available as a free download to anyone who donated to the Kickstarter.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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