The Strictly Spoiler Patreon Benefits And FAQs

So a few weeks ago I announced some benefits for those who support me through the patreon page. I just wanted to take a few minutes on here to further explain those benefits, answer some questions that regularly came up and just explain more about the patreon page, what it’s for etc etc

For those of you who don’t know Patreon is a platform that allows people to support content creators such as myself with regular monthly cash pledges. Generally there is an expectation that the creator would provide some kind of benefit for these pledges to their supporters however while the page launched in 2020 due to the pandemic I wasn’t able to provide much in the way of incentive to sign up beyond the warm fuzzy feeling of helping me out. That is something I resolved to change in 2021 and I’ve been talking to the handful of supporters who joined up in 2020 to discuss ideas of incentives with them.

The patreon page will offer the following incentives in 2021

Exit Poll Results

During 2020 the results of my polls were used to generate an indication as to how things have gone to provide a spoiler on Saturday Night before I got the confirmed spoiler. This shouldn’t be necessary in 2021 as moles will be back. As such I intend to provide the results of this poll to patreon subscribers a few minutes after The BBC vote has closed each week to provide them with the earliest indication as to how things have gone hours before the spoiler or any other spoiler source!

Those around last year will know this poll was not always brilliant at predicting a precise bottom two or elimination but was very good at predicting those in danger.

Ad Free Spoiler

It cannot escape your attention that this website is monetised. Through adverts, referral links and donation links. Sadly this is a necessary evil as this site is expensive to operate and operating it is my job and I do have to make a living, as do we all.

However I will be providing the spoiler to patreon subscribers in an ad free format as the amount they contribute through the patreon platforms massively eclipses the amount I’d make from them coming to the website and viewing the ads

Since announcing these perks I’ve had a few questions on social media which I’d like to take a minute to answer and will also update this post if I get any other questions coming in

Is this a paywall?

Absolutely not!!!!!!

I’m not a believer in paywalls and were I to paywall this site all that would happen would be that people would go elsewhere to source their spoiler. This is about providing added value to those people who regularly provide donations. These people have been invaluable during the last year in helping to cover my costs which I incur all year round and I won’t lie I’m currently living off fumes whilst I wait for Strictly season to start again and its been a struggle the last couple of months.

The majority of visitors to this website will not notice any difference. The spoiler will still be here. The polls will still run with results available once the spoiler comes in just like it was last year. Nothing is changing for any regular visitors or those who choose not to support me, are unable to support me or those who support me in other ways.

Can only patreon subscribers vote in the polls?

All website visitors will be able to vote in the polls as normal and see the results. The results will only be available when the spoiler comes in though.

All patreon subscribers will get is a snapshot of the poll results taken when The BBC vote closes with those results plugged into the Strictly scoring system to combine them with the judges scores and generate a result. This result may or may not be accurate and is only intended to provide an early indication as to how things have gone for the truly impatient people among us.

If I make a one off donation through PayPal can I access the Patreon content?

Unfortunately as Patreon is its own platform there is no way for me to easily implement this. PayPal donations are an important revenue stream to me and remain open for those who wish to and can afford to use them. They also massively help me out with my cash flow early on the series especially last year when things were delayed by a month as I don’t tend to start receiving an income from the adverts until late November as they are always paid a month in arrears for the previous month.

If I switch energy to Octopus Energy can I access the Patreon content?

The answer to this is pretty much the same at the PayPal. I am hugely grateful to those who have switched energy through my referral link. You guys paid my energy bills this year which is one less expense to worry about which helps no end when I make all of my annual salary in the space of 3 months and then have to budget for the remaining 9 months. However as all I get from Octopus Energy is the name of those who have switched there is no way for me to implement this not least for similar reasons to the PayPal answer above.

Does it matter which level I sign up to on Patreon

The Patreon page has a number of tiers set up ranging from £3 per month up to £50 per month. All benefits are currently the same though and the purpose of the different tiers is to allow people who choose to sign up to sign up at a level they are comfortable with. And as I’ve said before I’d rather have more people on the £3 or £5 levels than a few people on the higher levels.

It is possible this may change in the future were I to add more benefits however this is something I would always discuss with my supporters over on Patreon

You’re running a competition, couldn’t you just not run that rather than having monetisation?

Firstly the competition prizes are paid for out of the advertising revenue I receive from this site so monetisation is needed either way. This site also costs me hundreds of pounds per month when strictly is on to operate even without the competitions so again monetisation is necessary even if this weren’t my job.

Secondly they are set up in a way that my presence on Facebook/Twitter is increased due to an increased level of comments on my social pages. Were I not to run these I would likely have to pay the social networks for advertising which would be less effective and likely cost me more.

The entirety of my marketing budget is spent on providing the prizes for the competitions and they are run as an alternative to commercial advertising as I feel it better that the money is given back to my fans rather than in the pockets of people like Mark Zuckerberg who is rich enough as it is!

Speaking of the competition full details of how it will work this year are coming in the next day or so

How do I sign up to the Patreon page?

You can find the patreon page here

How can I make a one off donation towards your operating costs?

This can be done through PayPal either by using this link or by clicking the button below

How can I check my energy prices and switch?

Energy prices are at the highest level they have been for years and are continuing to rise with the price cap increasing next month. This is really the best time to check prices and lock in a deal. You can check your prices with Octopus Energy using my magic link and if you complete a switch through that link you get £50, I get £50 and you also get 100% renewable electric. Win for your pocket and for the planet!

How else can I support you?

Just by visiting this site, getting involved with the content on it or the polls or by sharing links on your social networking pages. All increases my visibility to other users which increases the number of people visiting the site.

Strictly Spoiler 2020 Thanks

Well it’s that time again. This series has flown by, partly due to it being 4 weeks shorter, and its time that I do my annual post talking about the year for The Strictly Spoiler and thanking those who have contributed to another successful year for this site.

Like most of this year it’s been an odd one due to the ongoing pandemic. I’ll be brutally honest, going into this series I was panicking somewhat. The loss of 4 weeks of the series meant I’d potentially lost 1/3 of my annual income before the series even began. There was uncertainty around whether a spoiler would be possible in the event of no audiences and I was bricking it. This is my job, it’s a commercially run business that generates the majority of my annual income over the space of 3 months normally and like so many others I was worried about my livelihood.

The series began and it was looking like things would be as normal. There was an audience and a mole approached me for the first elimination. Then Boris dropped a bombshell with lockdown 2.0 (and later lockdown 2.1). Audience moles were gone for at least 4 weeks (actually 5).

I’d been preparing for this however. I had a plan! Which brings in the exit poll. I’ll be talking more about that in a bit. But during the first week of lockdown 2.0 something wondrous, magical and amazing happened. Two people approached me with access to a reliable, confirmed source of the spoiler. I can’t talk too much about where these sources are obtaining the spoiler from other to say it is cast iron, guaranteed and impossible to be incorrect. Frankly these two people have been absolute godsends and mean it is now possible to get a confirmed spoiler even with no audience, no moles and no other form of leaks. Which helped out no end.

Without these two people we wouldn’t have had confirmed results for most of this series and to show my and the community’s appreciation I’ll be sending one of them a little Christmas gift and the other one declined a gift but accepted an offer to make a donation to a charity of their choice for which they selected Cancer Research UK which I am obviously happy to support especially with the difficulty some people are having accessing cancer treatment at the moment due to the NHS’ priorities being elsewhere.

Moving on I want to talk about the exit poll. I freely admit it’s been hit and miss. This was to be expected and most of you who actually read my content rather than skipping to the good bits will have seen countless warnings all over it. That didn’t stop some people on my social channels, and even some groups I’ve worked with previously, just looking at the bottom two and taking it as read that those were the results that I was putting forward without taking the context into consideration. Most of you got it though and understood that it was a prediction, a guide and something to keep the really impatient people content until Sunday lunchtime when the confirmed results tended to appear. Those of you who looked at the bigger picture would have gotten more out of the exit poll and seen that even when it was wrong, the other participant in the dance off was usually hovering just above the drop zone.

So thank you to those of you who took the exit poll as it was intended. It was an experiment that worked some weeks and didn’t work others (which was expected) and in the end it became redundant because I was obtaining confirmed results elsewhere anyway.

I also want to take a few moments to talk about the various monetisation methods available on this site starting with the adverts. No one likes adverts but they are a necessary evil especially on high traffic sites like this one as the servers required to keep it operating most of the time don’t run cheap. In addition as I’ve mentioned before this is my job, I receive the bulk of my annual income during the three months, well two months this year, that Strictly is on for and nearly all of that comes from the adverts. I don’t talk too much about how much I make from this site for obvious commercially sensitive reasons however it’s taken a long time to get to the point where I can take a full time wage, albeit at more or less minimum wage, from this with 2019 being the first year that happened.

So when the pandemic hit and Strictly was announced to be shorter if it ran at all I was panicking! So many people have had their livelihoods ruined in 2020 and I was worried that I would become another statistic. And whist I have earned less this year than 2019 that loss isn’t the 30-40% I was projecting at the start of the series but is now projected to be more like 10-15% depending on how the final spoiler weekend goes.

In addition this year saw me strike my first advertising deal directly rather than just having the usual google ads. You will have no doubt seen adverts for my friend Ewan’s Eurovision Podcast all over posts this series and hopefully a few of you have gone to sign up to listen to his insights on Eurovision. I know a lot of you on Twitter have enjoyed my commentary over the years and I’m sure you’ll enjoy Ewan’s too especially since he actually gets to go to the song contest! So please check it out and thanks Ewan for your support this series! You can also follow him on twitter if you’d like to check out his Eurovision and other ramblings.

Moving onto donations and this is another revenue stream I thought would dry up this year with the way things are and with many people out of work or furloughed. As always I stress that donations should only be done if you can afford it and there is zero obligation on anyone to make a direct financial donation and in 2020 that’s more important than ever! This site remains, and will always remain, free to access.

The donations help me out with my ever spiralling hosting costs which this year have been crazier than ever with me needing to run my servers at high power levels on a Sunday now as many of you realised that it was only on Sunday mornings that confirmed results were coming through. This year they’ve also helped with my cash flow a bit as normally I’d receive a decent payment from my google ads in November but this year the first decent payment will be around Christmas due to the late start. In addition my hosting bill for November was an eye watering £550 this year when in previous years they have been more like £330 so thank you to everyone who has supported me this series.

If you want to get a last minute donation in, want to buy me a pint (when I can actually go to the pub – damn you tier 3) or a Christmas Present, or just want to thank me for continuing to produce a spoiler for you in what has been a difficult series you can do so using THIS LINK or using the button below:

Next there’s the patreon page that I launched in 2020. There’s currently 10 of you on there which is 10 more than I was expecting with nothing more than a warm fuzzy feeling on offer. For obvious reasons I haven’t had the time to put as much into that page as I should have as my focus has been on continuing to operate in lockdown, however it is near the top of my list of priorities of things to work on and I’ll be looking into what I can offer through that besides the warm fuzzy feelings during 2021. If warm fuzzy feelings are your bag you can still sign up to the page here!

Finally there’s energy switches. These are something I started doing last year as my energy supplier at the time did referrals and my current one does them too so I’ve been pushing them. And you guys have responded this year. Enough of you have switched earning both of us £50 in the process that my energy bills are now fully paid up for the next year which when I receive the bulk of my earnings while Strictly is on is a big deal as its allowed me to set my direct debit at £1 and have one less bill to worry about going in to 2021. So a huge thanks for those of you who have switched. If you still want to get involved there, potentially save yourself a fortune, earn us both £50 and join a Which Recommended supplier you can do so using my magic link! Please ensure you complete the switch through the link and don’t just get an email quote which you return to later as neither of us will get our £50 if you do that. Also don’t forget to enter their competition to win an electric car if you have switched. You should find it on your account dashboard and may have got an email about it this week too.

So that concludes another year for the Strictly Spoiler barring the final elimination this weekend and of course the final next weekend. All that remains is for me to wish you all as merry a Christmas as you can have in the current climate and hopefully 2021 is a vast improvement on 2020.

How The Spoiler Will Look With No Audience

Ok I wanted to do a quick post to show you guys what to expect in future weeks since it is looking inevitable that due to the stay at home message from lockdown 2.0 there may not be an audience in Strictly for the next 4 weeks (at least).

As I’ve been telling you guys I do have a backup plan for if there are no moles. Firstly let me say that if it remains at all possible to deliver a spoiler in the normal way I will. There will be noticeable differences in the format of the spoiler post too if I have to go to the backup plan so you will know each week if it is a normal spoiler or not.

The backup plan involves making use of my polling data to predict the outcome of the public vote and plugging that into the scoring system to generate a result. This WILL NOT BE ACCURATE ALL THE TIME as no polling possibly can be however it’s all I have and as you’ll see shortly it can work and generate correct results. I did this with the data from this weekend prior to the spoiler coming in and here are the results…….

HRVY and Janette121123
Maisie and Gorka121022
Bill and Oti91221
Caroline and Johannes10919
Nicola and Katya11718
Max and Dianne8816
Ranvir and Giovanni10616
JJ and Amy7512
Clara and Aljaz6410
Jason and Luba538
Jamie and Karen426
Jacqui and Anton314

Based on the above the most likely dance off is Jacqui vs Jamie. In that situation the judges would probably save Jamie meaning Jacqui will be eliminated. Also potentially in danger are Jason, Clara and JJ

This spoiler has been generated using polling data to try and predict the public vote and MAY NOT BE ACCURATE!

Except it was accurate this week!!!!! And hopefully it’s going to continue to be accurate for the weeks when we have no moles due to no audience although as I said no polling system can be 100% accurate and I will hold my hand up now and say we will see incorrect results at some point while I use this system. But with no moles it’s all we have and the only way I can deliver you any kind of a spoiler going forward.

I’ve covered this in the FAQ post but best to mention it here too. I am perfectly happy for any spoiler source I work with (and they know who they are) to use the spoiler I provide from the polling data on the proviso that it is mentioned that it has been generated using my polling data and may not be accurate. As for any sources who just leech off the rest of us without ever giving anything back (and I’m mainly looking at the user on Twitter who operates under a similar name to me and posts the spoiler publicly for all to see whether they want to or not), sorry but my polling data and anything based off it is owned by me and subject to copyright so you’re going to be out of luck for the next few weeks.

One last thing to mention and it’s something that cropped up in my comments last night. Whilst we live in Covid times and there is a possibility that my poll data will be used to generate the spoiler the poll results are being hidden from view after you have voted until the spoiler comes in. The reasons for this are twofold:

  1. It helps generate a sense of anticipation over the spoiler but more importantly
  2. It stops anyone trying to preempt me and use my data to generate a spoiler before I do it (though as covered above this would be a breach of copyright so don’t do that unless you like receiving invoices)

So yeah that’s how things are going to look round here for probably the next 4 weeks at least. I know a few of you won’t like it as it isn’t going to be as reliable as normal but it’s really all I can do in the current situation and like many other businesses I have to adapt to the current health crisis if I am going to keep operating.

Speaking of operating providing this site is still going to cost me close to £1000 this series. I always stress this on the donation links but it is more important than ever in 2020 that you only consider helping me out with these costs if you can afford to do so. I would not want to cause anyone else hardship because they chose to help me out. However all donations are as ever gratefully received. You can make a one time donation by clicking on THIS LINK or using the button below:

Also new for 2020 you can make a regular donation by becoming a patreon. Donations on patreon start at just the price of a coffee a month and if the patreon page takes off I can start looking at patreon exclusive content/rewards.

There’s also ways you can help me out for free and even make some money yourself by doing so. One way I’ve been plugging on social media a lot these last few weeks is by checking your energy prices and earning yourselves £50 in the bargain by switching using my magic link (you must complete the switch using the link and not just get a quote which you come back to later). Octopus energy have 100% green electricity, are a Which recommended supplier and were one of the few suppliers to maintain a full telephone service during the pandemic. They’re a different supplier to the one I was recommending last series and are definitely worth a look as we head into the colder months.

Switching energy suppliers is quick (it takes about 2 minutes to sign up from my link and usually about 3 weeks for the process to complete), there is no interruption to your energy supply, no engineers have to visit and you don’t need to change you meters (unless you sign up to a smart tariff and don’t have a compatible meter). I get £50 from every switch so this does help me out quite a bit.

Alternatively you can help me out by doing things as simple as liking all my content, sharing it and getting involved in the discussions on the social networks. This all helps to increase my visibility and get me noticed on those networks and is also appreciated!