So, I’m reading Time Magazine this week and stumble upon Joel Stein’s Totally Uncorked article.
Gary Vaynerchuk’s daily 15-min. video blog has 25,000 viewers who click onto his site each day to hear him describe–as he did a few weeks ago–a New World–style Spanish wine as “not obnoxiously over the top and fake as many of these types of wines are. Instead of a full face-lift and boob job and suction and all of that, maybe this just got a nose job.”
It’s clear that he’s doing the blog as promotion for his wine store business, which is at the same site as the video blog, so he doesn’t needcompensation for the blog. It’s also clear that Gary Vaynerchuck is that rare combination of expert (self taught so he retains the common touch) and a great on-air personality. Maybe a little over-the-top for some but very hard to look away from (perhaps for the same reason it’s hard not to stare at a train wreck).
But let’s say this guy just did the video blog and wanted to make a buck. The TV Wine Library vlog is daily and, according to Time Magazine, has 25,000 viewers per day (site visitors). Grant me the one indulgence: the technology to charge for individual items in a feed, as is suggested in this model, hasn’t been released yet, but it is coming.
Let’s say he could get some proportion, 20% maybe, of that audience to sign up for the feed even with a small charge associated with viewing the episodes. With incentives you might get a more than 20% to subscribe. Make the charge per episode low: a no-brainer decision level. For argument and easy math let’s say 10c per show, charged when it’s downloaded.
I think it’s reasonable to argue that if 15 minutes of programming isn’t worth a nickel then why are you wasting your time watching it? Your time to watch it is worth way more than that. (If you earn $10 an hour, that 15 minutes is equivalent to $2.50 of your time; scale your time’s value up to know how much it would cost you to watch 15 minutes of programming!)
Once the subscriber is on board, then the default in software like iTunes, is to download every show. (I prefer people to set it to manual download.) If you’re interested in wine then you’re probably not going to quibble over a dime a day. Make all the inevitable comparisons: “about the cost of one cup of coffee for a month’s wine entertainment and knowledge building.” (BTW, that’s the type of programming that has the most potential growth over all.)
Whichever way you put it, it is not a lot of money for a viewer. In an RSS feed it’s not a lot of effort, either: at most it requires a single click on the download button, if the aggregator is set to manual. All libraried in the same software (if using Apple’s iTunes). The show could then be sent to the Television via an Apple TV.
Ok, given that this is currently not possible, but will be in the near future, then our wine guy, with his smaller “for pay” audience over his the larger audience who watches for free, could pull in $1000 a day. That’s $5,000 a week, $20,000 a month, $240,000 a year. That’s a decent, middle class income.
His $5 million-a-year wine business is probably more worthwhile for him, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a hundred (or more) niche knowledge areas that would attract 5,000 or 10,000 people for a daily does of entertaining enlightenment. But I’ll bet that there are more than a few people for whom $150,000 plus a year would be a decent income.