Rocketboom in the NY Times

Broadcast television is dead? Not bloody likely, but still food for thought from a blog called chartreuse (beta) and written about in today's NY Times: A Blog Writes the Obituary of TV

See also: As Internet TV Aims at Niche Audiences, the Slivercast Is Born

A Blog Writes the Obituary of TV


ONE recent week, the video blog Rocketboom drew an average of 200,000 people a day to watch its short daily news reports on technology, the arts and other topics.

"The Abrams Report" on MSNBC, meanwhile, drew 215,000 viewers to its weekday hourlong show about legal issues.

Does this anecdote — that an unpopular cable news show and a wildly popular Web site draw similarly sized audiences — prove that the Internet is upending the economics of the television business? It does for Prince Campbell, a former media executive who runs the Chartreuse (BETA) blog.

Mr. Campbell wields superlatives in a particularly bloggish manner at chartreuse.wordpress.com. "Broadcast television is dead," he declares. "Just like the Internet killed the music industry, it's about to do the same thing to broadcast TV."

Never mind that "American Idol" draws about 30 million viewers, that MSNBC is a cable, not a broadcast, network, and that, while the music business may be wounded, it is far from dead. Still, despite the bluster, Mr. Campbell's underlying point is true enough.

A staff of two produces Rocketboom.com/vlog. "How many people do you think it takes to produce 'The Abrams Report' on MSNBC?" Mr. Campbell asks.

Good question.

But "what about the length of the show?" counters Heather Green in Blogspotting, a Business Week blog. "Is reaching roughly the same audience that's around for 3 minutes as valuable as reaching an audience that watches" for an hour?

Another good question.

Having declared that TV is dead, Mr. Campbell says broadcast television stays afloat because "the public is valuing new media much more than the old, but the advertisers still value the old."

"But I wouldn't worry too much about that," he adds. "Because their business is next."

When Rocketboom sold a week's worth of ads for $40,000 last month, it proved that while there are some advertisers who get it (those who bid for space on Rocketboom), most still do not, according to the blogger Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine.com.

Those advertisers "should have been falling over themselves to grab this unique bargain," Mr. Jarvis wrote. "And they should be slinking off with their long tails between their legs now."

March 11, 2006 at 04:37 PM in Videoblogging | Permalink


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Chuck - I know you've been sick, but are you wearing black velvet in the new RocketBoom? If so - wow. Only the best for you, man. The BEST.

Posted by: Noah Kunin at Mar 16, 2006 10:22:20 AM

man, i wish. you mean the intro where i'm sitting on the couch next to Amanda? i was wearing black that day, maybe in the low light it looks velvety.

Posted by: chuck at Mar 16, 2006 4:13:15 PM