When we started Medialoper, one comment I heard really resonated, but probably not in the way the speaker intended. In a discussion about creating content for Internet-distribution only, a well-meaning but ill-informed pundit opined that regular, quality content required major infrastructure behind it. There was no way (no way!) that people working out their living rooms could produce programming on a regular basis.
Mr. Pundit, meet Rocketboom.
Rocketboom is a daily video log (vlog, if you will). Think of it as a hipper, cooler, smarter nightly news. With correspondents around the world and regular production schedule, Rocketboom pulls in over 250,000 daily viewers — people who catch the current show and people who access the programs extensive archives. The daily program is largely created by two people: director/producer Andrew Baron and co-writer/host Amanda Congdon. Others work on the show in various capacities. And, as revealed during their SXSWi session “Democratization of the Moving Image”, almost no expense has been made to produce this show.
From the Rocketboom “About” page:
We differ from a regular TV program in many important ways. Instead of costing millions of dollars to produce, Rocketboom is created with a consumer-level video camera, a laptop, two lights and a map with no additional overhead or costs. Also, Rocketboom is distributed online, all around the world and on demand, and thus has a much larger potential audience than any TV broadcast. However, we spend $0 on promotion, relying entirely on word-of-mouth, and close to $0 on distribution because bandwidth costs and space are so inexpensive. While TV programs have traditionally been uni-directional, Rocketboom engages its international audience in a wide range of topical discussions.
So, yeah, it’s gonna be rough out there for the independent producer. Maybe 250,000 doesn’t get the attention of your typical Hollywood executive, but that number is double what Rocketboom was bringing in a few months ago. If I were the betting type (we leave that up to Jim; we’re all specialists around here), I’d say that number is going to increase, mainly because Baron and Congdon take their work seriously – daily product, community-building, interactivity, and global reach. Plus they’re looking at the news the majors aren’t.