April 15, 2015 8:00 pm

StarTalk Updates: Patreon, StarTalk TV on Digital, T-Shirt Contest, StarTalk Live!

Collage from StarTalk Radio's Patreon fan support page.

It’s been busy here at StarTalk.

From the impending launch of StarTalk TV (and pre-launch renewal announced earlier today!), to our upcoming StarTalk Live! performances, to SiriusXM Insight, to our fan support page on Patreon, to our fan-designed T-shirt Contest, we’ve been busy – and that’s not even counting our efforts on new podcasts.

Oh, and we’re also getting ready to bring you videos of some of our full episode videos on our YouTube channel. (More on that when they’re ready!)

So I thought now would be a great time to update you all on some of the details of some of these initiatives.


Support StarTalk on Patreon

Let’s start with our new fan support page on Patreon. Patreon makes supporting creators and their ongoing projects easy. It’s perfect for podcasts like ours. But a few of you have asked why we need a Patreon page.

I think Neil answered it best in the intro to our Patreon page. Here it is:

Message from Neil deGrasse Tyson

StarTalk began in the minds of its three creators as a dream. An idea that we could blend Science, Comedy, and Pop Culture and deliver it to the public in a commercially viable way. We did not want to be bound to the Public Radio model, in which funds must be raised seasonally to operate. But we learned quickly that our show concept was so different from anything else in the marketplace that no sponsors were interested.

Proceeding with the courage of our vision, we applied for a grant from the National Science Foundation to test the concept. They approved a multi-year grant that fades to zero as our commercial support rose. After some follow-up “bridge” support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, we finally broke even in 2014. Today, StarTalk supports a free-lance staff of a dozen people, and we routinely break the top 20 of all podcasts downloaded from iTunes. In fact the first week of March 2015, we were Number 1. (Yes, that was a “Holy Shit!” moment for us all.)

What we learned along the way is that the marketplace of sponsors is risk-averse. No surprise, in retrospect. But we still have creative ideas on how to grow our reach further — on different platforms, with different demographics, in different media, using variations of our show model, and so forth. In nearly all those untested pathways, no sponsor awaits us.

So we create this page, humbly asking your support of our ongoing experiments in bringing the Universe down to Earth.

Respectfully Submitted
Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist
& co-creator of StarTalk Radio


In case you’re not familiar with Patreon, it allows fans to support their favorite creators with a monthly pledge of support. In return, Patrons get access to exclusive content and opportunities, like coming back stage after StarTalk Live! performances to meet Neil and our guests, or attending an exclusive StarTalk holiday party in NYC.

You can find out more here on the StarTalk Radio Patreon page.


StarTalk TV on Digital

Many of you have asked if #StarTalkTV will be available digitally. Here’s what we just found out from our partners over at the National Geographic Channel.

  • StarTalk will be available with a cable subscription the day after air on TV-VOD and TV Everywhere platforms, including NateoTV.com, Xbox1, Xbox 360, Samsung Connected TVs and Roku (Apple TV launching sometime in May).
  • It is available for purchase the day after air on channels including Apple, Xbox, Vudu, Amazon, Google, Sony and on DVD at the end of season.
  • Finally, each episode will be available on Hulu plus with subscription and classic for free, 30 days after air.

StarTalk TV begins on April 20th at 11:00 PM in local markets (10:00 Central) with Neil’s interview with George Takei. FInd out who our other guests will be on our StarTalk TV schedule.

And be sure to visit StarTalk TV on the National Geographic Channel for extras, articles and more!


Upcoming StarTalk Live! Shows

Tickets are still available for three StarTalk Live! events… and there will be even more announced very soon!


StarTalk Live! Boston

4/19/15, 7:00 PM at the Shubert Theatre. Doors open at 6 PM.

Hosted by Bill Nye the Science Guy with co-host Eugene Mirman and special guests including comedian Rachel Dratch and George Church, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of PersonalGenomes.org.



StarTalk Live! at the Apollo!

5/28/15, 8 PM at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, NYC. Doors open at 7 PM.

Hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson with co-host Eugene Mirman and special guests.



StarTalk Live! Westhampton Beach

6/12/15, 8:00 PM at The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center

Show starts at 8 pm, audience doors open at 7:30, bar opens at 7.

Hosted by Bill Nye the Science Guy with co-host Eugene Mirman and special guests.



T-Shirt Design Contest Tweet

Can you design an awesome StarTalk Radio t-shirt? Post your best work to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and tag it #startalktee to enter!

Starting on 4/22, we’ll repost the photos and you’ll get to vote for your favorite design. Winning designer(s) will see their graphic printed on an Official StarTalk Radio shirt, along with design credit in our shirt store, and a shirt of their very own!

Submissions open until next Sunday night, 4/19 at 11:59 PM EDT. (All submissions become the property of StarTalk. StarTalk reserves the right to modify final design(s) selected.)




Twitter: No details. Just post using #startalktee.


I think I’ve thrown enough at you for this post. Stay tuned for more StarTalk Live! announcements, new updates to our TuneIn players, and full episode videos on YouTube.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Jeffrey Simons

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