I thought it was a smart business idea back in March when I first heard of it and I think it’s a smart business idea now that I’ve seen the results. It reminds me a bit, in fact, of what the boss emeritus was aiming for with our daily “Vent” segments back when Hot Air first launched, although Palin’s project promises lots more video content than we were capable of. (I also wonder if, like HA, her channel will feature more written content over time.) Tapp, the company behind it, sees its goal as “connecting super-fans to the personalities they can’t get enough of,” and no pol has as many “super-fans” as Palin. That’s why I don’t understand the grumbling about the subscription fee. It’s slightly more expensive than Netflix — $9.95 per month or $99.95 per year, same as TheBlaze — but why wouldn’t it be? Until recently, Netflix was the ultimate low-motivation purchase. You signed up not because there was anything in particular you wanted to watch but because the size of their library meant that you could find something of interest when you got bored. (The success of “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black” may be changing that.) Palin’s channel and TheBlaze are high-motivation purchases: They’re pitched not at the general public but at core fans of two political personalities with “an intense following.” Why wouldn’t people like that pay more than the average Joe pays for Netflix? Some Palin and Beck fans would hand over quite a bit more than 10 bucks a month, I’m sure.
Where does Tapp go after this, though? Who else on the public landscape would be a good fit for this sort of personalized TV channel? I think athletes are the best fit: They’ve got the time to do it in the off-season (and maybe sporadically during the season) and they’ve got intense fan bases who’d be willing to pay for a look behind the scenes. Why should LeBron or Richard Sherman be content with pre-game interviews or Twitter when they could do a webcam vid speaking directly to their fans once or twice a week, post it to their personal site, and charge five bucks a month to watch it? In the off-season, they could hire a small crew and do slightly more professional features every couple of weeks. They’d make millions. Or rather, millions more than they do now. The only question is how much aggravation they’re willing to deal with during their down time in churning out clips.
Here’s her intro video. The one below, in which she talks about impeachment, can only be viewed at the site. Click the image to watch.