Monday, November 29, 2010

Hauntcast's Transition

By now, many of you are aware that there are changes going on in the Hauntcast world.

Here's one opinion of the upcoming change. Go ahead and read it, then come on back here and read the rest of this post. It's o.k. I'll wait.


Yes, it's true.

After two years of broadcasting, we're switching over to a pay-per-download format, which will cost you all of-


a whole dollar per two-hour episode!

My God! How can we live with ourselves? The immorality! The chaos! The anarchy!

If we went to two episodes a month, every month, as Mr. Sloat suggested (which likely would be an occasional special episode and not every month, though we haven't discussed it yet), that would be-holy shit! $24.00 a year! We are bastards, aren't we?!

O.k. I'll stop with the sarcasm and elaborate a little on our reasoning.

First, the whole Hauntcast crew hates having to subject you to all the commercials we have to run in order to pay for hosting and all the minutiae running a website costs. While we really do love our sponsors and the products they provide (I mean, Hi-Rez designs? What an amazing product!), the commercials make up approximately twenty to thirty minutes of time per episode. We all felt that was time we could be using to put in other content.

Second, we'd really like to add a segment of real, honest-to-god product reviews for our listeners. You're all aware of the concept of "don't bite the hand that feeds you," and to an extent, that applies to doing product reviews other than the products that are sponsored on the show. (We're very fortunate that the products we do have on the show are good quality and the sponsors have good feedback on their customer service. Not everyone does!) We really want the freedom to review other products and tell you if they work or if they suck before you spend your hard-earned cash on them. No sponsors=honest reviews.

Third, we all spend a lot of time on each show that is released. My segment, including research time, writing time, recording, editing and producing, can take anywhere from ten to twelve hours to create. (Mr. ShellHawk is extremely cool with my doing this, but you know every once in awhile he has to wonder why I'm spending time on something that doesn't pay me after being out of work for two years!) Rev has two segments to produce, Johnny has his, and Chris does the rest, i.e. the lion's share of the work. He takes anywhere from 40-60 hours to put together an episode, and doesn't even make minimum wage for it. (Think about it: 60 hours, and not even making $1 an hour. Would you do it?) Guy, our art director, spends his time and effort designing our site and making us look good-for almost nothing. We all have our real life responsibilities-both Johnny and Chris have kids, fer chrissake!-and the show takes us away from those responsibilities. Add in travel, food, and hotel for conventions-because we all pay for those out of our family budgets so we can cover those events for the show-and anyone with even half a brain can see that this little venture is getting spendy for all of us to continue, particularly in this crappy economy.

I did a little research on the yearly cost of a few things you're probably already spending money on:
  • Starbuck's coffee, small: about $2.35 each. For five days a week, not even seven days a week, that's $11.75. $47 per month, and $564 per year.
  • Haunted Attraction Magazine, 1 year subscription: $35.00. One year does not equal twelve issues.
  • One pack cigarettes: about $5 a pack. One pack a week will cost you $20.00 per month and $240.00 per year.
  • Redbox DVD rental: One movie, one dollar per night. Do the math.
  • Kindle eBook download: $7.99 and up per book. How much do you read per year?
  • I Tunes download for a three minute song: $1.29.
I'm sure there are other small luxuries you (and I!) spend money on every day without even thinking twice. You get the point.

Hey, Mr. Sloat is certainly entitled to his opinion, and is welcome to continue getting all the free stuff he can get. From what I understand, it's something of a lifestyle choice and a mentality. It seems pretty limiting to me, but hey, that's just my opinion.

All of you certainly have the same option. It's a free country, right?

You could go the other direction, like Ghoulish Cop of Devil's Eve has. (Thanks, man!) We of Hauntcast obviously hope you do.

The bottom line is that the Hauntcast crew all want to kick the show's quality and content up another notch and make year three (hell, just have a year three!) better than the last two years.

We really hope that you want to share it with us.

P.S. At this time, Hauntcast will remain a once-per-month show, (at only $12.00 per year) just to clear up any confusion caused by Mr. Sloat's post.


  1. OK ... I'll admit it, I haven't listened to the latest show yet so it was a bit of a surprise. BUT, it's not totally unexpected and for $1.00 (or $2.00) a month ... why not!

    Yes, I have bought a shirt (OK, a few) and with everything in life ... times change. Running a business is hard, running it with very little capital sucks!

    Would I like for Hauntcast to stay free ... sure, would I like to loose the show forever ... HELL NO!

    I'll download this last show now and then gladly pony up the $$$ for the next ones.

    Good luck!

  2. A dollar a show is really reasonable. That guy Deathtouch seems to always be whining about something. He's probably bent out of shape that his butt-in-the-air prop was never featured on the broadcast.

    $24.00 is even fair.

    We all spend WAY more than that on cans of soda at work. Or on movie rentals we wish we never saw.

    Bravo on the post, shelly.

  3. Being a haunter myself, I cannot imagine HauntCast not being available to me, what else am I going to do when I am all alone in my garage with a few Sam Adams....wait, wait let me get back on track here...

    I would be more than happy to pay $24 p/year for what I consider to be the best haunt-related show around. I waste more than that on Duct Tape and Great Stuff in a week during "the season". Maybe Chris shopuld have a "donate" button thru Paypal like Steve-O did at GOE, I believe it helped him out too.

  4. I think a good podcast is worth sending some money to. Yes there are other podcasts about Halloween/horror, but I haven't heard anything as polished or entertaining as Hauntcast. PBS is free to, but I usually send a few bucks their way in support. Since I quit smoking, I have a couple of dollars to spend on the show. It is much healthier even if it will warp my brain with Chris's humor.

  5. I've always loved Hauntcast and have oft wondered how it was produced so professionally for free every month. Bandwidth, talent and time cost money. I have no problems being in the paid subscription camp, it's great stuff and a bargain at a couple of bucks a show!

  6. Zachary and I discussed this in our latest vlog for anyone interested> We hope it helps the cause we Love haunt cast

  7. I have no problem paying for Hauntcast if it means keeping it on the air.

    I would rather pay for Hauntcast and keep it being the kind of format that it is than have it turn into Rotting Flesh Radio.

  8. Thanks, everyone, for your support! Hopefully, most other folks will feel the same!

  9. You now what, SCREW DEATHTOUCH! Hauntcast is worth much more than a measly dollar. The segments (including yours, Shellhawk) are all VERY awesome, and I can't imagine a life without my fave podcast. HAUNTCAST FOREVER!!!!

  10. I'm listening to Hauntcast since its 1st episode. The show is well made and everyone in the Scream Team works hard to make it happen. Honestly, Hauntcast is one of the things that keep me in the Halloween mood all year long and I would hate to loose it. So 1$ for each upcoming episode is more that well worth the money to me and I would have no problem paying more for it.

    Longue vie à Hauntcast!

  11. All I can say is Wow ShellHawk. I didn't know I was on your dart board.


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