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Hover & Radiotopia’s 20,000 Backer Challenge

Hover on October 21, 2014

It’s no secret that we love podcasts at Hover. In addition to being avid listeners ourselves, we like to do whatever we can to help these great storytellers succeed. Sometimes this means sponsoring an episode (or 10…or 100). Other times, we like to roll up our sleeves and get a little creative.

Radiotopia – a network of exceptional podcasts including 99% Invisible & Theory of Everything  – has just successfully reached their Kickstarter goal of $250,000. That’s an amazing accomplishment and will go a long way to helping to produce more great podcasts, but we think that the campaign is only getting started.

To help make this campaign even more successful, we’re excited to announce our 20,000 Backer Challenge! Here’s how it works: as soon as the project reaches 20,000 backers, we’ll throw in an additional $25,000. Because sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ones.

Why are we trying to get 20,000 backers for Radiotopia? Maybe it’s because we love their podcasts and want to see what they can do with more resources. Maybe it’s because we stand behind those that use the Internet as a means for creative expression. Either way, let’s make this happen – you can make your pledge here!

If the pace of the campaign so far has been any indication, it shouldn’t take too long for this challenge to be a success. That’s because Radiotopia has a very loyal fanbase that is willing to help the network succeed.

“I still broadcast on the radio all the time all over the country,” explains Radiotopia founder, Roman Mars, “but if I were to just put a value proposition in terms of what I get back from a podcast in terms of financial or emotional rewards, I’d rather have 1 podcast listener than 10,000 radio listeners. They mean more. The show means more to them, and they mean more to the show, and it’s that connection makes it all possible. The show wouldn’t be anything if it wasn’t a podcast, that’s just the reality of it.”

This meaningful relationship between listeners and hosts is win-win: hosts can earn a sustainable living doing what they love to do, while the quality of the podcasts will keep getting better and better for their devoted audiences. So far, this model of direct support from listeners has proven itself to be successful.

“A lot of us indie producers have been underpaid and undervalued for quite some time,” Mars explains, “and so it’s nice to have this direct line to people and just say, ‘why don’t you decide what I’m worth instead of this random public radio program director deciding what I’m worth?’ It ends up that the listeners think you’re worth a lot more than the public radio establishment does.”

Though Radiotopia is still seeking more backers, Mars hasn’t forgotten about those that have contributed so far and is extremely grateful. “The amount of my gratitude is so over the top that it sounds phony. If it weren’t for them liking the shows I just wouldn’t exist. I’ve been in public radio for a long time and nobody much cared a lot of the time I did it and so this is a real change for me and I am super grateful. It makes me so happy I’m still shocked by it.”