Hello folks! This is Nikki here from the Transport Evolved team, and as today’s final post of the day I’d like to talk to you about how our network is funded and run — and how you can help to make it better.
I’m pleased to announce that as of today, we’re now officially accepting donations from listeners and readers in the form of a monthly donation or subscription service using the well-known (and we think apt) PayPal service. We hope that if you like our site, listen to our shows — and of course watch us every week on YouTube, you’ll consider taking out one of three different levels of patronage to help us continue to bring you great content.
So you want our money? Why?
At the end of the day, Transport Evolved isn’t mine — or Mark’s — pastime or hobby. It’s part of a business that has to break even at the end of every month. A business that has to pay for the bandwidth we use on our servers, pay for the software and equipment we need to maintain to bring you weekly shows, and pay for things like travel to big EV and future-transport events we know you want us to cover.
Don’t you have day jobs?
Well, while we’re both pretty versatile people, a large part of our day is taken up working on/for TransportEvolved. And frankly, neither Mark nor I make any money doing so.
While Mark used to be a pen-pushing office type with a regular 9-5 job and a monthly pay-packet, these days he primarily splits his time between his own audiobook and podcast production startup company In Ear Entertainment Limited and Transport Evolved. In case you didn’t know, he’s mainly responsible for editing the large Charged Up reviews we do, as well as co-producing and hosting T.E.N. and the original Transport Evolved show. He also contributes articles daily, and keeps our social networks buzzing.
I’m a classically-trained musician who freelances as an automotive journalist and believe it or not, still teaches a few days a week. I’m also a full-time stay-at-home mum to two adopted kids. While I do bring in other money from time to time for freelance work, the majority of my time (about 95 percent of my work life) is spent on Transport Evolved, setting up interviews, writing articles, planning test-drives, editing, switching, producing and hosting Transport Evolved, as well as co-producing and hosting T.E.N. and our other shows.
We don’t make a profit on the work we do here at Transport Evolved and while we view our site as more than just a business, the we need to make a living too.
Wait, how is Transport Evolved structured then? How did you set it up?
Currently, Transport Evolved is primarily funded by Little Collie Ltd., a company owned jointly by myself and my wife. The other arm of Little Collie Ltd. makes money from my wife’s side of the business, (IT consulting). For the past year or more, Little Collie Ltd has invested substantial time and money to help the show develop, keep the website running, and make sure it looks good, too.
Meanwhile, Mark is subcontracted to Little Collie Ltd through his own company, In Ear Entertainment Limited. That’s why our show credits always mention that the site is owned by Little Collie in collaboration with In Ear Entertainment Limited. At the time of writing, Mark hasn’t invoiced for any work he’s done because we haven’t made a profit on Transport Evolved.
But you have adverts on your site and in your videos?
At the moment, we host google-placed adverts on our site and on YouTube . So far, revenue from these have managed to substantially contribute to the running costs for the Transport Evolved web server.
In an ideal world, I’d prefer it if we didn’t have ads at all. I’d prefer it if we were like the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), surviving on the financial patronage of our listeners, viewers, and readers.
That’s our pipe dream. A nice-to-have. If one in twenty people who visit this site on a daily basis committed to paying just £5 a month, we’d be able to increase our site output, launch more shows on our network, and never worry about server bills again. Oh, and we’d be able to actually fund travel to major automotive shows to bring the latest evolved transport news to you right in your browser.
And pay ourselves a liveable salary.
For now though, we need to keep the ads to help us make ends meet.
Sold! So what now?
To the right of this page, you’ll see a ‘subscribe’ drop down menu, offering a choice of three different levels of monthly subscription: Level 1, Level 2, and Quick Charge. (Yes, we thought you’d find that funny)
Simply decide on which of the amounts you’d prefer to donate a month (£5, £10, £20), and click the subscribe button. You’ll then be redirected to a PayPal page where you can enter your preferred payment information. Then, every month (until you tell PayPal to stop) the nominated amount will leave your account and silently zip its way to us as your donation.
We’ve already had a couple of regulars take out a subscription (thank you, you know who you are!) but we’d love you to consider joining in too.
We want Transport Evolved to be a pragmatic, honest site covering everything from plug-in drivetrains and weirdly-shaped bicycles to self-driving cars and mass-transit systems. But we also want it to be funded by the very people who can help mobilise a shift towards a more equitable, energy-secure, renewable transportation future. You.
What do I get?
You’ll get our eternal gratitude and commitment that we’ll carry on making Transport Evolved the best site we can possibly make it.
Does this mean you’re paywalling us?
Absolutely not. We believe in a free, fair, and open Internet, where information is freely exchanged. We don’t think paywalls for News work — although we may at some point consider adding ‘subscription only’ chat areas and ‘post show’ excessive videos. Our main site — with the daily news and daily shows — will remain free.
What about one-off payments? And what if the subscription rates are too high?
For now, we’re focusing on monthly subscriptions, but if enough people want us to, we’ll add a tip-jar. Let us know in the Comments below if you think that’s the case. Ditto if you think our suggested subscriptions are just too high. Ping us if you’d like us to add a cheaper or more expensive option.
I know that Mark and I don’t like asking for your money. It makes us feel a little… dirty. But we’re hoping you agree with us that a PBS-style voluntary donation model is the best way we have of making sure Transport Evolved grows from strength to strength.
And we thank you for your kindness.
You can also support us directly as a monthly supporting member by visiting Patreon.com.