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July 2012 Director's - UPDATE

fliteadmin

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
#1

Chad takes a moment to update us with the details of some new website search features, sponsorship, and the Flite Test mission statement!

We want to hear from you. Share your ideas and thoughts on funding options that will help support the Flite Test series!
 

wingspan100

5k FB Friends Airshowrc
#2
I'm First?
Tour major airshows and sell off the models you have acquired?
Sell T-shirts!
Message me with your advertising rates.
 
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Derrick

Junior Member
#3
I have no objection to your seeking sponsorship to compliment the above suggestion, yes it can lead to bias, but as long as you are up front and tell people who support you, then I can't see any issue. Subscriptions or donations could also work, you are providing a great service so why not ask for help to do that.
 

DJO

Junior Member
#4
Funding options... hmm... I don't know, maybe just use the TruView in-stream YouTube ads, those get about $25 per 1000 views. A few episodes and you'll get a check in the mail before you know it! Can't really think of anything else though, sorry. :(

:)

Dan
 

B_Cain

Junior Member
#5
i think you guys should do more scratch builds im a beginner and i really love building so i think you should design your own plane besides the ft flyer build something more complicated. i think you selling t-shirts is a good idea too also donations are good i think that if you guys use your imagination with rc planes and build something that says we are flite test!
ps you guys really inspire me and i hope you go far
pps i really think that josh scott is important to the show and people who say that he should drop the comedy act are wrong i think that if it was just him and josh bixler saing "this plane can do this this this and this ok lets go fly
ok thanks for watching everybody" that would be only informative and would be much more dull than what it is
 
#6
I was having a nosey at some of the older videos a couple of hours ago and thought, I haven't seen an update for a while. And here it is lol.
I think your shows are great and have got me back into flying. Because of you guys I have just started a tricopter build and I'm currently waiting on parts because from HK.
Its a shame that you dont have any way to fund the show. I do have couple of suggestions though. You already sell FT T-shirts. Why not sell other things like hoodies, stickers, FT Calanders, posters... Oh and those chrome FT logos :D Might not be big fund raisers, but every little helps, right?
Having a donation button on the site would be good as well. I personally wouldnt be able to donate much, but I would try to give something to keep the show going.
Touring air shows would be great too. Its another way of advertising and can also be a good money maker. Especially if you have the whole crew there, teaching people things and also filming a show there and getting the public involved. Just a thought.
As for sponsorship, I think many smaller sponsors would be better than 1 big sponsor. If you loose that 1 big sponsor, then you have nothing. But, if you loose 1 or 2 of your smaller sponsors, then you still have the others to keep you going.
You said in the video that you wanted to give unbiased views on products. Just because a company sponsors you, doesnt mean that you have to say that all their stuff is great... Do you? I just feel that we would then miss the bad stuff that we should avoid... Then the company would think, 'Ok, they dont like that. Lets try this instead.'
 

flyufool

Junior Member
#7
A few ideas... broaden your RC focus... perhaps another segment "DriveTest" for RC buggies or boats... perhaps a wider focus means a bigger viewer base which is more lucrative to sponsors or advertisers... you could just run advertisements rather than sponsorships.

Perhaps a kick-starter campaign for new foamie designs where donations get T-shirts, foamie plans, Josh Scott autographed beanies, pre-cut foam kits, etc.

Also, I notice on a lot of the photography websites, they all have dedicated links to products, so when people buy products from those links the site owner gets a small piece. Perhaps instead of sponsorship you can have these links to hobby sites so you get a piece if people buy the build products you list.

If you can't get compensated for sending people to hobby king or other online hobby shops, maybe you can buy parts in volume and offer to sell kits to viewers. Quad-copter kit, the kit you use on the swappable wing design. Lots of beginners would buy from you at a small premium knowing it ships locally and they're getting all the right stuff.

Oh, and I'd love to see an episode on some of the autopilot drone DIY stuff out there... would be cool. Thanks for a great website.
 
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#9
Depending on the work involved, I would see that you could potentially look at producing some of the foamie builds as 'flat pack' entry level planes. i.e. FT-Delta, FT-Nutball etc. Sell the kits with your really nice Flight Test graphics on them.

I would echo the sentiment about sponsors though. Is it possible to enter into a sponsorship agreement with the understanding that if they send you a crap product, you're going to be honest about it? I would hate to see you guys cutting of your nose to spite your face if you know what I mean? The simple fact that you're spreading the HobbyKing Logo around or Horizon is good stuff for them. The sponsorship gained from them (if allowed for that unbiased middle ground) may mean the difference between being able to follow your passion and keep this thing going.

I think you guys do wonderful work, and I have enjoyed every single episode and they are uplifting, and most definitely inspirational. If I personally had the resources I would seriously consider investing in what you do because I would, on many levels, see it as an investment. I appreciate the passion displayed and the good natured humour that it is delivered in.

Oh and please sell some stickers, and maybe some mugs...
 

cwozny

Junior Member
#11
Chad, what do you think about using a Kickstarter project or some sort of donations to fund the show? It seems like a lot of projects can generate a lot of funds quickly and often exceeds the donation goal. It would require you to come up with a certain amount as the Kickstarter goal and that could be however much money is needed to run the show for X amount of weeks or months or years. Best of luck with this and know that we are all huge supporters of what you're doing for the FliteTest community.
 
#12
I completely understand the sponsorship conflict. And while the majority of opinion here says basically don't worry about it - I think they are wrong and you were right Chad. There's a perception by some that can't be shaken - I'm guilty of that on occasion too. I've seen a generally positive review from you on something compared to someone else (who had no HK sponsorship) who gave it a negative review... and while I'm sure you were honest there's a confirmation bias in place where you naturally couldn't help give a break where someone else didn't.

And while I will on occasion order something from HK because I have too; they do have their own problems - significant shipping issues that lend to the biased perception when those obvious issues are never addressed by your on-air talent.

Enough said - I think you're 100% right - unfortunately funding becomes an issue.

Here's some suggestions :
1)
Design a hobby oriented iPhone/iPad app. Find a iPhone dev company that gets you (aviation related a bonus) and see about having them do some work for you - perhaps gratis or a barter agreement. Either a company or an individual. Sell the app - make some $.
Hint - google "PunkStar Studios". ;-)

2)
Sell monthly raffle tickets for a monthly give-a-way. To ensure consistant subscriptions - make them mystery prizes (otherwise people only buy tickets for something they need instead of a monthly subscription type of thing).
Winners can be invited to collect prize on camera? hmmm... perhaps too scary.

3)
Create scratch built kits from episodes and sell them as complete kits for the episode they appeared in.

4)
Seek sponsorship from RC clubs. Yeah - it's a sponsorship but not as controversial as a retailer.

5)
Find a product (a head of time) that you love - a single product (not a retailer or a manufacturer). Say a specific plane like the EFlight Beaver, or UMX Mig, or FMS/Airfield B-25, or whatever. Or even a non-model like the GoPro camera itself. Perhaps review it ahead of time and then approach the company afterwards and give them the opportunity to sponsor x episodes where you make a note of referring people back to that original review video.
 
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tignmeg

Junior Member
#13
I'm First?
Tour major airshows and sell off the models you have acquired?
Sell T-shirts!
Message me with your advertising rates.
+1 for the T-Shirts idea.
I think with some creative thought (sorry I don't have a creative bone in my body) a lot more merchandising ideas could be found.

Flite Test already has a well though out "Brand name" and a pretty nifty logo that a lot of people like. Why not take advantage of that and market stuff to your viewers/subscribers. It will not only raise funds but will also spread the word about Flite Test and increase the subscriber base.

PS If you do start selling T-Shirts put me on the list for the first batch. I'm an XL and prefer dark colours (Black?)
 

bmsweb

Site Moderator
#14
I actually thought sponsorship is also a good option. It shouldn't have to mean you need to be doing reviews on the sponsors products. Even with Hobby King, you were promoting their brand with each and every episode. For me it was simple, Hobby King Sponsor Flite Test, I spend my money at Hobby King.

If you're going to go down the path of T-Shirts etc, then you want something that will run itself. If you're going to do scratch builds, why not sell an electronic PDF etc

I'm better at spending money than raising it :( I think I'm of no help :(
 
#15
What I personally want to see in videos: MORE SCRATCHBUILDS!!! :D I really like the single fuselage with the changeable wings!

On the funding note. Put a donation tab on the website and let the people go at it. I think you would be surprised.
 

tignmeg

Junior Member
#17
Hey....I just flicked through the Flite Test Facebook pics and noticed that you have already produced a heap of merchandising items.
Why don't you create a merchandising tab on your website and start marketing them?
 
#18
First of all.. I would say that Donations should be a given. If someone wants to support the work that you guys are doing, it would be silly not to accept or NOT provide an option for them to do so.

Secondly, I would say maybe consider doing product reviews for companies, although I would maybe consider doing it in a way isn't a "sponsored by" format. I would try to advertise that "review space" as a We'll give an honest review of your product with a honest pro and cons list. Pretty much already what you do minus the "sponsored by" and more focused on pro/cons?

Thirdly I would say to have those nik naks like stickers, shirts etc which is also a no brainer. Possibly add a "RC Course" or something as a product as others have done... but to be honest. I wait until I see once put out there for free,

As for sustainable future funding... that's hard without thinking of official sponsorship although it's not impossible. It's going to be tough unless you come up with something fairly innovative. I'll have to think more on that one... LOL
 

bmsweb

Site Moderator
#19
Because then we'll become like some other guy online that nobody likes anymore.
Sorry that's wrong totally wrong. Dave's channel was doing great while he was selling PDF (which he was doing from day 1). . not after. The problem with his channel is there is no Dave and there is no fun at all now . . Thomas actually asked the question "Do you know if Dave Powers still flies". All he is doing know is running a sales channel which is a shame.
 

musty

Junior Member
#20
Chad and crew,

I came across flitetest about a year ago and started watching your videos one after the other. I think it took me a whole day to get thru the backlog. WOW! I am hooked so bad it'll take a detox clinic to get me off flitetest. I'm not sure I'd make it if I had to go cold turkey.

I could go on all day about how you get the mix right. How Josh and Josh are the kind of guys I'd like to hang out with at the airfield etc. etc... I like it all.

So. You're conflicted over sponsorship. Regardless of whether or not you say something is good, I'm still responsible for making up my own mind. I weigh the pros and cons. The shipping time, the lack of manual, the fact it might arrive DOA and it'll cost more to send it back than fix it, that HobbyKing might not be the only place I can get some part. If I want to hear about poor chinese quality control, I can always get my fill of that from another channel :)

My own personal point of view is, unless the sponsorship terms have changed, just take their money and keep doing what your doing. They're certainly getting enough of mine (thanks to you).

But lets say you don't...Here's my two cents worth of suggestions:

1.) Flitetest The Movie. I'm thinking 'roadtrip'. The Flitetest crew hit the road to go visit airshows, other youtube stars like MikeysRC (he's doing something with the Patriots - Flitetest meets Topgun?) and Bruce in NZ if you can get that far. A visit to the factories to see 'how it's made'. Maybe we could all petition Travolta to fly you where you need to go. Put up one of those 'thermometer' type widgets they use on telethons. When we've donated enough. Movie gets made. I'm in for the price of one foamie at least.

2.) I pay for cable tv here. I figured out that what I pay compared to the amount I watch comes to about 2cents per minute. I'd be happy to pay that to watch Flitetest.

3.) Maybe you could make 3 episodes a week and one of them is Pay-for-View or just riddled with advertising?

4.) I'm not much into t-shirts, but I'd have a hoodie for sure and a half dozen mugs for everyone in the office. Christmas is coming guys!

5.) Get the crew to sign some of those old models you've got and auction them off. Or raffle them. Half of us probably think nothing of throwing a few bucks every week into the lottery for a one in bazillion chance of winning something.

That's all the ideas I can up with on short notice, but I'll keep thinking. I REALLY need my twice weekly Flitetest fix.


Now...Ideas for the show.

1.) Autopilot Drone...mentioned in other posts..Excellent idea!

2.) Jets. Not EDF, the real deal. Is Mr. Bixler up for that?

3.) A show (particularly on the tricopter please) where you show how to fix all those 'things' that go wrong. eg. mine always seems to tilt to one side. What's that about? And I don't know how many rudder servos I've been thru. A somewhat hard landing and my metal gear servos just get stripped or die.

4.) What's good to fly in high winds. I've been waiting weeks now for the wind here to die down so I can go flying.

5.) Josh Scott doing touch and go's. Not for its comedic value. I really want to learn something.

6.) Somewhere back, I believe I heard Josh Bixler was building a full size plane? Can we get a look at that?

7.) A Flying Flea scratchbuild. I'd love to see your take on the 'Pou du Ciel'

8.) Finally one for myself in particular. I'm a quadraplegic. Sounds worse than it is. Basically nothing moves from the waist down and more annoyingly, no movement in my fingers either. Any chance you can put both the Josh's (Joshii?) in a wheelchair, bandage their hands up and have them fly something? I'd like to see how I compare :) . Oh..And if you could have Josh Bixler get the aircraft to go behind his head, I'd like to see how an experienced pilot handles that. I didn't handle it well at all :) You're probably thinking I should video it myself and put it on the site? No chance. I'm strictly a behind the scenes person!

That's it from me.
One last thing to say...

Flitetest The Movie !

Musty