Rocketboom may charge for shows?

Posted on March 26, 2007. Filed under: Andrew Baron, Austin, blog, consumer marketing, Newark Airport, Rocketboom, SXSW, texas, vlog |

I heard Andrew Baron of Rocketboom speak at SXSW a few weeks back. He was discussing charging subscriptions for Rocketboom viewers. I just saw an article in which he discussed that option more in detail. Although Rocketboom gets 200,000 downloads per day advertisers aren’t prepared to put advertising dollars into reaching such a small audience and would rather putting it towards messaging that will reach millions. I certainly understand Andrew’s quandry, after all, he needs to put gas in his car right?

What is becomming obvious is that advertisers don’t get the new model yet. They are still convinced that creating generic messaging that speaks to a wide range of consumers and desemminating that messaging to millions in one hit. That model is losing relevance every day. Consumers want to be targeted n an individual basis, or whatever comes close. What Rocketboom has going for it is that it’s viewers are a fairly tight target audience. The advantage advertisers would have is while they are speaking to a smaller crowd, that crowd is more specific than what they’d get with a tv spot. Visitors to Rocketboom also consider themselves to be members of an elite group that view Rocketboom content. Any advertising aimed at them will surely feel personal. If done right. By really understanding Rocketboom’s crowd, an advertiser has the ability to talk directly to a niche group on their level, in their language.

It makes me think of the sci fi commercials that Gillette put out on Sci Fi Channel years ago. Those commercials spoke to a niche audience in their language (Nanu, Nanu). While it may not have given Gillette the bang for their buck that they expected, the demographic has changed.

Consumers are sick of advertising clogging up their lives. They only want relevant advertising, for products or services that might interest them and they want advertisers to speak to them personally. This puts Rocketboom in the unique position of having a distinct audience that can be targeted with laser sharp messaging.

Andrew sat behind me on the flight back to Newark from SXSW. I wanted to tell him my thoughts on his conundrum… but I figured he’d rather read it in a blog.


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