If you haven’t seen it, you really need to check out rocketboom.com. Its probably the most popular, daily video blog on the internet. They have been doing it for a year just for fun, but recently decided to sell advertising.
They sold the rights to be the first advertiser on ebay. It sold for $40,000.
What did they sell? From their ebay listing:
For the highest bidder, we will create five original, fifteen second (minimum) – one minute (maximum) post-roll commercials that will span five days of programming, Monday-Friday, March 6 through March 10, 2006. Each day that week a different commercial that we create for your company will be played at the conclusion of the Rocketboom episode.
Rocketboom reaches a minimum of 130,000 people per day and each day’s video, over the course of several days, receives over 200,000 complete views. Thus, the advertisement reach for this auction is currently a minimum of one million views.
From a strict CPM (Cost per thousand) basis, that’s a $40 CPM. Given that they are producing the ads (which also reduces costs for the advertiser), I’m guessing most people will watch them because they’d probably be entertaining. From a quickie google search, a cheap 30 second TV spot can easily go over $100. Buying advertising on Rocketboom will get you 1,000,000 viewers and a 60 second spot. Moreover, the people who watch Rocketboom do so because they went out of their way to visit it. They probably wont sell every ad at that high of a rate, but it establishes a good point from which everyone else doing video blogging can work from. There is an argument that certain video blogs could command a much higher CPM that some network or cable shows becuase they have such a highly targeted audience.
Rocketboom is a 2 person operation. $40,000 is a huge amount for an show like that. Its a good deal for everyone. Its a great deal for the advertisers, its a good chunk of change for Rocketboom, and everyone who watches Rocketboom will get to keep doing it and can skip the ads if you want.
This is just a first salvo in the war, but if they’re smart, the television networks need to pay attention to this. Networks are vehicles for production companies. If you produce a show, you don’t need the network anymore. Sure, the reach of a network is a lot bigger than what your going to get online, but you don’t need to be a geologist to understand that trends in this area are not looking good for them.
Another group that should be interested in this are the ad agencies. They got bypassed totally in this affair. The sale was done in an open auction, and the creative is being done by the same group showing the ad. There is no middle man.