Today's Rocketboom answers a question that has inspired much speculation: How will the most popular of vlogs translate its popularity into revenue?
Answer No. 1: They're going to auction off not only advertising time but also their own ad-production services on eBay. The reserve is just over $1,000 for five commercials of 15 seconds to 1 minute apiece.
Answer No. 2: They're going to offer an ad-free "premium" Rocketboom with extended footage, out-takes, etc. Cost? Amanda Congdon says something about $3 to $4 a month.
Congdon also promises that Rocketboom ads won't come at the beginnings of episodes (they'll run at the end), and that there will be no product placement. Also of interest: She claims that the popular vlog gets more than 1 million viewers a month (the eBay link says the show gets a minimum of 130,000 viewers each day). Back in October we were impressed that they were getting 70,000 hits a week.
This signals the end of an era in vlogging and the beginning of another. At some point the VCs are going to want to see revenue streams, and one sometimes gets the sense that all vlogging is just one big audition anyway. But let's face it: It could be worse -- MUCH worse. The eBay idea is brilliant and creative in its own right, and offering paid content as an alternative to ads is far better than putting the entire product behind a paywall.
(Note: Is it just me, or does Congdon have a big bruise on her forehead?)