Rocketboom in the Red

Frank Barnako at MarketWatch wrote one of those posts that kept grabbing me. Then I remembered I have a blog, so I can see if it strikes anyone else. Here’s the excerpt:

Rocketboom is searching for a new way to put fuel
in its tank.  Advertising is not doing it.  “It’s frustrating that we
haven’t worked it out by now,” said the daily video blog’s founder, Andrew Baron.

“Even though we have a relatively large audience, advertisers are
just not happy to do ‘small deals,” he explained in an interview. Baron
says there are 200,000 downloads of Rocketboom shows, seven
days a week. “They say they want to blast their commercials to millions
of people.”  So, Rocketboom is again toying with the idea of charging for content.

Rocketboom is practically synonymous with video podcasts. Have they now jumped the shark?

Perhaps it just speaks to the challenges of going it alone. Yes, he reaches more people than some cable TV programs. But there’s only one way to reach the Rocketboom audience, as opposed to, say, reaching a smattering of viewers across a TV network, or a highly targeted and loyal audience of blog readers via one of the major blog ad networks.

Even so, perhaps Mr. Baron’s done the math and figures that’s still not enough. To me, it underscores how if you have any overhead whatsoever, regardless of the oft-reported dearth of video ad inventory, it’s a tough business to get rich in.