Are you a podcast creator and have a dead or dying show that you are proud of, but can’t afford to maintain hosting anymore?
Are you wanting to startup a podcast but terrified at the idea of costly hosting?
Have I got a deal for you: Free
I have been podcasting on and off for 5 years now and during that time I realized that one of the biggest hurdles to a good long term show was the hosting costs. Many hosting providers offer services ranging from $5-$75 a month depending on features. This adds up over the lifetime of a show, very much like owning a boat. While a lot of content creators struggle with maintaining a fresh consistent show, in the end typically money is the death nail of all good projects. There is nothing sadder than seeing a show in iTunes where the back end hosting has expired.
After the first few years of podcasting I realized that there are shows worth saving. There were several shows that were so well produced that I ended up saving them and revisiting them more than once. Overtime I had entire hard drives filled with interesting shows that eventually dropped off iTunes. I started self hosting these shows internally in my house in the form of a simple Plex server, but it wasn’t until I made my new show XPQuest that it struck me: why not just host all these old shows for others to enjoy again?
Gen 1: How I got here
It started with a junk CentOS Dual Core Celeron server in my basement with a massive 75Gb drive. I know, big pimpin right? Hey it worked and I had spent a whopping $0. This webserver kept the early days of XPQuest alive, as well as hosting my old TWIM show.
Later I added Braxwolf’s (then defunct) Beyond Bossfights show which added new level of technical challenges: remote access. Braxwolf would end up sending me the files to post on the server, but it wasn’t instantaneous and he had no administrative access to his shared files. This slightly hampered the relaunch of the show.
Gen 2: We are cloudy, with a chance of free
Gen2 of what I laughingly dubbed “Pimp Cloud” now runs on a dedicated ESXi hardware. With virtualization, the disk space has been expanded to “nearly infinite” but is currently set at 3Tbs sata. I have SSD cache available for higher demand loads. I have also added SFTP with TLS access to allow Braxwolf and future occupants secure direct access to your directory, allowing same day instant publishing of you show. Woot.
Why is it free?
I have spent zero dollars in hardware and software so far. The host it sits on also runs a Minecraft server for my kids, so it’s already running all day anyways. Adding more shows to the server costs me so little resources that it isn’t worth charging. My home internet connection is a 50/20 fiber connection so upload speeds are decent. Podcasts are unique in that they are large audio files, but nearly no one publishes more than once a week. Most shows are even less, so the “storms” between downloads are far and few.
My SLA to you
As with any hosting provider I do have a written SLA: I will “attempt” to keep it running 24/7 but I guarantee nothing. You do get what you pay for. I will say that my own show is on this server so it will be up and available. I do not have typical data center infrastructure like UPSs and generators etc. If the power flickers at my house the server will be offline until I get home and turn it back on. I do conduct weekly backups. Also in the case where I am doing a live podcast with Braxwolf I reserve the right to temporarily shut off the server to prevent bandwidth issues while the show is live.
Any fine print? Minimal
This is my home, and my server so I have 1 hard and fast rule: don’t be a dick. If your show explodes in popularity and or you are squashing bandwidth consistently for the other shows we may discuss migrating your show off my server to a proper cloud hosting. ***Also as part of the don’t be a dick rule: nothing that you wouldn’t share with your mother. Nothing illegal, or blatantly offensive, etc. I am totally fine with explicit shows, but shows that are overly vulgar, offensive, harassing, etc will be yanked. I do have to maintain the TOS with my own ISP after all!
How do I start?
Send me an email to djpimpdaddy AT gmail DOT com with the following details:
- Your name (actual)
- Cell phone number (to be used to text you if there are any urgent issues only)
- Show name
- If you show is an old show you are reviving, or if this is a new project
- If an existing show: rough estimate of how much disk space you need
- If a new show: how often you think you are publishing
What if I know of a show that needs saving but it’s not my show?
Typically I would default to “try to ask for permission first”. Having said that, the owner of the show might have given up completely on the project. If you have access to the show files locally and want to host them, by all means go for it. I hate to see podcasts die! You would be responsible for care and feeding of the show, unless the owner comes forward and asks for control back.