There has been a change in mürmur that I never publicly acknowledged. This change occurred a little over a year ago and until now, everything has been business as usual. But a recent interview with a local reporter has prompted me to talk about this matter - as there will be an article based on a very specific aspect of mürmur.
In April of 2018 I did what 99% of podcasters will never achieve - which is to monetize their show. Instead of following the common approach of attaining sponsors, I took on a different route. I began offering mürmur as a service that people can book through Airbnb Experiences.
To elucidate a few things, I would like to share an excerpt of the letter I sent to the reporter shortly after our first interview. She asked many valid questions - but I needed a minute to reflect before answering. Here we go.
To be clear, I feel 100% justified in charging money for mürmur. Like with most art, things evolve over time. The basis of mürmur did indeed have a more innocent spirit - I wanted to make friends and be an ear to those who were struggling.
These traits still hold true. But the show is after all, a show. It’s entertainment. And entertainers need to be paid in order to sustain their art.
For 4 years I did the show out of pocket - paying for street flyers, website costs, podcast hosting sites, promotional work, and a $2,100/a month studio apartment that I had to sell all of my music equipment for in order to finance. All for the sake of mürmur - a social experiment that held no guarantees. I took a risk - and it paid off.
Where mürmur is now, I don’t see it much different than a fine-dining restaurant experience like that of going to Eleven Madison Park or Nobu - both restaurants that I’ve worked for in the past. From start to finish, I am providing a well curated experience that my guests will remember for the rest of their lives. Mürmur currently holds a 4.98 rating out of 5 with over 100+ reviews. People are happy.
I am totally fine with being the Nobu of podcasts - I think the quality of the show speaks for itself.
But I also have not forgotten about the original roots of the show. For this reason, I offer complimentary coffee reading sessions every week. These readings are more in the original spirit of mürmur than what the podcast is today. Best of all, they’re communal so more people are involved. You saw how it went down today.
Infact, there is a complimentary coffee reading this Sunday at 6BC Garden between 6pm-8pm. Maybe you’ll make it, or tell your friends about it. Again, it’s completely for free.
If one day I gain the interest of a wealthy benefactor who wants to donate to the show - I would go back to the old model in a heart beat. But for now, this works and people are happy. I’m happy, they’re happy. Everyone is happy. Mürmur is a win-win.
Thank you for your insightful questions - you’ve allowed me much reflection today. I really appreciate that.
Some of you might think that I sold-out. But, I have greater things in mind for mürmur. And in order for me to fulfill these dreams - I have to monetize my work. And for those of you who are curious if the quality of the show has suffered due to attaching a price tag to the conversations - I say take a moment to watch the mürmur tv pilot episode on youtube, or any one of the recent mürmur from the last year - and let yourself be the judge.
After all, it’s not so much the conversation that’s being paid for - it’s the post-production work. For anyone who didn’t enjoy their mürmur - I offer a 100% refund - satisfaction guaranteed. In the year and a half since I started doing this - not one person has asked for a refund.
I just wanted to personally clear the air - and make my case. In my opinion, where mürmur is today is the best version it’s ever been. I’ve found myself through this show - and I want to use my talents now to help others in return. I’m happy and proud of what I do. And I wouldn’t do anything any differently.
(Originally Published 6/1/19)