I made a little graph, plotting what has been happening with Latinum since I started the podcast in May 2007.
Downloads have steadily been rising, although they leveled off at 100 000 a month for a while, I'll be curious to see if the new level of 140 000 a month is the new plateau, or if it rises once again. I estimate there are around 6 000 individual users at this point, as the introductory "about this podcast" file has been downloaded around this number of times. At present it takes about a week for a newly posted episode to be downloaded 1 000 times.
I made my first new recordings since my surgery this week, so now it is back to the old regime of carefully marking up the texts with vowel quantities before recording, and checking the Adler text against the dictionary where necessary, and steadily getting on with recording.
I'm looking for advertisers for Latinum - the podcast can only survive if it brings in some income for the host provider. Some of that would go my way as well, but my primary concern is to keep the podcast on air. So, instead of spending time working on the recordings, I've been firing off letters to firms that I think may be interested in the target audience. It would be good if Latinum could remain advert free, but someone has to pay for the bandwidth. The host provider has now put up big advertising banners at the top of the Latinum site, to try generate some income, so I don't think things are too healthy in the mypodcast department finance wise. If I get advertising in the podcast proper, they'll remove the large ad banners from the site.
I don't want to charge for the podcast, I want it to be accessible to school students and university students who may be on a tight budget. If at some point in the future mypodcast.com does go belly up, I will have to move the podcast elsewhere, probably to Libsyn. Then I will probably be forced to charge - something nominal, just enough to cover the hosting costs at Libsyn, and my own broadband connection charges. As things stand, the podcast remains free, and will I hope do so for the forseeable future. If I can secure advertising, then the podcast will survive in its present form and at its present home, and remain as is, free to download.