What? Your Retronauts Podcast is Evolving!

Good news! We're adjusting our priorities to be a more podcast-focused entity in the next decade.

[Note: What follows is a cross-post from the Retronauts Patreon page. Head over there for more information on our crowdfunding efforts!]

Five years ago, we made our very first post on Patreon. A lot has happened since then—mostly, hundreds of episodes and plenty of live appearances—and we're very happy to still be going strong in our seventh year as an independent podcast. That said, the Retronauts Patreon has remained mostly unchanged over the past half-decade, so Jeremy and I decided this milestone would be the perfect time to take a look at our goals and tiers, and realign them according to what we're capable of—and most importantly, what you want out of us.

On January 1, 2020, we'll be rolling out these changes, so we thought it was only fair to give everyone out there a month's notice. Not everything has been decided yet, but we have decided on what we feel are the most important elements of this Patreon revamp. And, of course, your comments and feedback on this post will definitely help us shape 2020's relaunch. So without further ado, here are the changes we'll be making:

The Friday podcasts will now be Patreon-exclusive.

As of this writing, we're currently above $6000, meaning we create two bonus podcasts per month alongside the regular Monday podcast. And over time, these extra podcasts evolved from Retronauts Micro to Retronauts Pocket to plain old regular-length Retronauts. So, the biggest change for Retronauts? All Friday episodes released after January 1, 2020 will now only be available to those who sign up for our upcoming $5 tier. (Note that this tier will also include early access for the Monday episodes, and the the $3 early access tier for Monday episodes will still exist.)

Why this change? When we signed up for Patreon back in 2014, patron-exclusive episodes were not the standard for crowdfunded podcasts. Over the years, they've become an extremely popular incentive, and to be honest, it just makes sense that patrons get something for their money that non-patrons can't access. This means some of our content will exist behind a paywall in the future, but all of our podcasts made before January 1, 2020 will always be available for free outside of Patreon—that's hundreds of episodes over the last seven years! We hope you'll understand if we want a few extra bucks a month for the best incentive for a Patreon-supported podcast: even more episodes!

We'll be eliminating most non-podcast rewards, and delivering any outstanding ones throughout 2020.

To simplify things—and focus more on podcasting—we'll be eliminating all of the physical/digital reward tiers outside of the Shirt circuit and Closer to the Art tiers (which will instead offer a print of a digital piece instead of an original hand-drawn cover). So, as of January 1, 2020, the following tiers will be gone: Digital reader, Print reader, Digital home companion, and Tangible companionship. There is the chance we'll offer a tier below the t-shirt one for merch that's less expensive to produce and ship, but that's still to be decided. (And if you have any suggestions, please let us know!)

We realize there are still some outstanding rewards (including T-shirts and printed books), and Jeremy is committed to taking care of these items within the first quarter of 2020. We'll be sure to keep everyone updated, and we apologize for the delay. Obviously it took us a while to realize that producing six podcasts a week on top of our other engagements didn't leave a lot of time left to fulfill these obligations, so we appreciate your patience.

We'll have a new goal for a third bonus podcast per month.

Clearly, you support (or plan to support) a podcast Patreon for even more podcasts, so we plan to give you exactly that. With our refurbished and streamlined Patreon, we'll have more time free to work on podcasting, which means a third Patreon-exclusive podcast every month—if we meet that goal. And we hope we do!

Those are basically the broad strokes of this revamp. We plan on making a lot of tiny modifications, like adjusting some of our earlier and already-met goals—mostly because we underestimated certain costs, but also because things somehow cost a lot more than they did five years ago. We still have a few things to iron out, and over a month to do it, but the three points above represent the biggest changes that will hit the Patreon next year, and changes that we think are for the best.

As of next year, we'll have been an independent podcast for longer than we were a podcast supported by a major website, and we couldn't have done that without support from folks like you. We want to carry this podcast about the past even further into the future, and we hope that you stay with us for this sensible ride (we're hardly wild). Thanks for reading this update, and please let us know you questions and/or concerns in the comments!