beck t.v.

A whipping boy for sure, but Glenn Beck is onto something here, and it’s much more profound than the political divide. Its about viewer engagement and a new type of business model we are likely to see more of as individuals splinter off from mass market offerings…

from Michael Ferguson, Polymathica:

Glenn Beck tested the waters with It worked. The significance is not that it worked for his audience, but rather that it worked for a small but enthusiastic audience. While his ≈ 250,000 viewers wouldn’t even begin to support a cable television show, it creates a quite sufficient $20 million per year. The rules have changed. Rather than your viewing options being determined by what advertisers are willing to pay for, it will be determined by what YOU are willing to pay for. …( Ferguson)

---I was skeptical about Glenn Beck’s GBTV at first. Leaving the #1 cable news network on TV and a million dollar contract to launch, not only a new network, but a new concept on how TV is viewed – strictly online, seemed a bit… crazy. Glenn Beck started GBTV with his own money. His goal was to launch a network that was controlled by, and literally funded by its viewers. Viewers can sign up for two different plans. One is $4.99/month and the other is $9.99/month. I think there is still a free trial going on right now. My skepticism about the success of GBTV has quickly died after seeing the outstanding production quality, not only of the radio and TV show, but of the specials and documentaries as well.--- Read More: image:

We are clearly down this road. The business model of mainstream television is still a cash cow; viewer growth is stagnant, but hours viewed is becoming upwardly adjusted. But, like the music business, the future may be a  fragmentation as we have seen with companies like Bandcamp etc. The “new” infrastructure of our society will not be wider highways and bigger parking lots, but broadband capacity and speed. Even the moralism of an Emmanuel Levinas with his “face to face” theory of necessity and humanistic imperative has been effectively torched by of all people, Slavoj Zizek. Michael Ferguson’s thesis is solid, with the caveat of facilitating the engagement of investors and producers. We are clearly into venture capitalism here, a market well served by specialty houses, but a leap beyond this into direct citizen financial participation is not well documented to this point.

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Michael Ferguson: …We have not yet got to “Made for Internet” TV which, over time, will come to dominate the market. We will, however, be there soon.

Based upon the research of Leta Hollingsworth and D. K. Simonton, approximately 4% of the population have a degree of sophistication in their News consumption preferences that cannot be satisfied, even with the smaller audiences enabled by cable television.’ This unfulfilled demand will likely facilitate an Internet delivered News, commentary and analysis industry that will eventually grow to over 30 million viewers and produce revenues in excess of 10 billion 2012USD. The market will be segmented by Cultures of Affluence. Essentially, one’s cultural values informs one as to what constitutes a relevant news story and what is likely to be considered objective coverage of the story…

Made for Internet television programming produced for the intellectually and/or culturally sophisticated market has an initial advantage in that its members tend to be early adopters, Internet capable and English speakers. The total market, although highly fragmented, may be as much as 30 million viewers. While this market traditionally has not consumed much television, the reason is likely that the programming has not been well matched to their tastes. We might assume that a better selection will increase consumption to 10 hours per week….Read More:


A show with 500K viewers and a Season Subscription rate of $44.95 would have gro

evenue of $22,475,000. The marketing and delivery aggregators will take 15%, leaving $19,103,750 for the producers. Talent, writers, director and actors, at current cost per viewer, would cost no more than $5 million leaving $14 million for production costs and profits. However, market forces will probably drive up talent costs and lower the profits somewhat.

30 million viewers watching 520 hours per year with 500,000 viewers per show would support about 1,700 shows. At $44.95 per season, total industry revenue would be about 39 billion 2012USD. Industry profits would like be about 4.0 billion 2012USD. Average income for the 12,000 or so creatives enabled would be over 1.5 million 2012USD. Nearly 2,000 passive investors could be supported at annual returns of 400 thousand 2012USD each.Read More:
Want to put that in context?

230,000 subscribers means that Beck is set to pull in $20 million in revenue in its first year (significantly more than the reporter $3million/year he made at Fox News).

It also means he has more subscribers than Oprah’s OWN network has viewers. According to the WSJ OWN averaged 156,000 people for the month of June.

And while 230,000 is significantly less that the 2.2 million viewers Beck averaged at Fox, it’s to what Keith Olbermann is averaging over at Current TV and Beck’s show hasn’t even started yet.

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