BREAKING THE RULES & IT FEELS GOOD
We're doing what's never been done before by an Indigenous Media Company.
No CRTC. No funder pulling projects from us. No bullshit. Just us. You. The internet.
The time we're in is exciting. The company we've formed here - some say groundbreaking. The possibility that lies ahead - well, right now, our heads are down & we're too focused on the work ahead of us to worry too much about what lies ahead - BUT - we know this is a marathon, not a sprint.
WHAT WE'VE DONE
We've built the network of shows and created the platform and have tried to do so in a forward looking, critical and entertaining way. Each show Indian & Cowboy offers is an "amplifier" of a very unique voice. Each show has a hook. Each show has a purpose. Each show is important.
The podcasting medium is one that works best when strong voices bring compelling stories to the masses. We have very strong voices. Compelling stories. What grounds us is a powerful vision, spirit & intent behind each show we're producing.
We're doing these shows for ourselves, our families, our communities, our Nations. We're doing this so as not to be misunderstood by the mainstream anymore. We're doing this to push back against a couple of hundred years of silence. We're doing this to make space for ourselves where there hasn't been space before - media.
A HUGE SPLASH IN JUST ONE WEEK
We. Did. Not. See. That. Coming.
In just a week every single show on the Indian & Cowboy Media Network ended up on the front page of iTunes.
To say what we've done in just a week is unprecedented might be a little too large a statement, but to say it's an incredible achievement and one that should be celebrated is an understatement.
Métis In Space ended up on the FRONT of the entire iTunes Store listed as a "NEW & NOTEWORTHY" Podcast. Nick Sherman's 'Knives & Wildrice' was listed as the #2 "NEW & NOTEWORTHY" Music Podcast on iTunes - ya - ALL of iTunes. The Stories From The Land Podcast was ranked in the Top 200 podcasts on iTunes last week. Red Man Laughing remained on top of the "SOCIETY & CULTURE" listings. Ryan McMahon Gets Angry was listed in the "TOP 100 COMEDY PODCASTS" on iTunes - again - on all of iTunes.
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Now that we've launched and we know people are listening (and we hope they keep listening) - our focus is to build each shows audience. This will take time. Patience. Kick ass content. We're working on the content part and we appreciate the audiences that have found us so far.
We'll continue to get better at telling our stories and as time goes on and as we learn about our tools more, we'll trim some of our storytelling fat and we get into the groove with the network with the guidance of veteran broadcasters, producers & writer/storyteller teams.
We're content creators. We're building content with the idea in mind that we'll be using stories, inspiration & themes that come from these works and bridge them with other media.
We will be making Film. Video. Photography. Music. Our podcast network is being built first. We believe in building a strong foundation. We believe in building this thing properly - it's going to be around for a very long time - we need a "finished basement" if you will.
Each show comes with a monthly cost. We're currently paying for the cost of running 6 shows and right now each show costs us $60 month (website, webspace & podcast hosting costs). The cost to run the shows is $360/month.
To run the network we pay for premium subscriptions to web services with Auphonic, Picmonkey, Hootsuite & Mailchimp and a few other web based services that help keep the lights on. These hard costs run $110 monthly.
We have a monthly operating cost of $470. Luckily, our listener supported monthly contributions are sitting at $470.
We're breaking even.
INDIAN & COWBOY IS LISTENER SUPPORTED
To our monthly supporters - you are our heroes. Thank you.
Our monthly supporters are our back bone. In supporting Indian & Cowboy on a monthly basis, you're giving us the opportunity to create some of the worlds best Indigenous content. You see the vision in the company and you're willing to skip fast food, Starbucks or a 12 pack of Molson Canadian once a month to donate to this company. WE CAN'T THANK YOU ENOUGH.
We need more heroes. We need more monthly sponsors.
We know it's brash to frame our monthly fundraising efforts the way that we do. Saying to "skip Tim Horton's and support us" is kind of a shitty thing to say to potential supporters. BUT. How else do we put it to the people we need the most? How else can we say it? With pop culture & mainstream offerings so deeply embedded into our daily lives people forget (or have never imagined) that we have an opportunity to create a different reality. A reality that is made by us and for us.
Usually when we put it like that people understand what we're doing and jump onboard instantly. When we tell people that we're doing something that's never been done before they get excited.
WHAT MORE MONTHLY LISTENER SUPPORT MEANS
We're raising our monthly budget via our listenership to help us grow the network. Maybe it's easiest if we break it down in point form:
- We want to hire a couple of very part time staff to help us build our network and connect us to freelancers, producers & story contributors. We need to build capacity and we need help with that.
- We need a Technical Producer & Creative Producer that can help ensure quality control & creative excellence.
- We would be able to pay freelancers to help us with stories & production.
- We'd be able to cover our hosts costs & provide modest honourariums to everyone that contributes to the network.
If you're interested in sponsoring the network monthly:
We've received one email to the effect of, "how can you be fundraising when you're only a week old?" A fair question, we suppose. We're currently fundraising through Teespring in an effort to raise money for some gear replacements, upgrades & to tighten up our website artwork, sound imaging, etc.
All the money we raise from our Teespring fundraising efforts go back to the foundation of the company. We have a men's t-shirt, women's t-shirt, a longsleeve t-shirt & a hoodie to offer up this round.
If you'd like to support our teespring fundraiser and get your hands on some kickass merch head over to the INDIAN AND COWBOY TEESPRING PAGE.
Thanks for coming on this ride with us. We're trying to build a world class media company. We're trying to tell our stories in a powerful way. We're trying to push boundaries. We're trying to make our Nations proud. We're trying to give our young people their stories back.
The journey continues.