Off the channel grid

A little more on Thursday’s post about the economics of making Internet-only TV channels, from Robert X. Cringley, who knows a thing or two about TV and the internet

I am not saying that All My Children and One Life to Live are headed to YouTube as the basis of a Soap Channel, but I am saying that they’d be profitable both for their producers and for YouTube if they were headed there.

Each show has about 2.5 million daily viewers — each a potential buyer of an Internet-connected TV. That’s $2.5 billion worth of TVs and well worth a $4 million production subsidy.

If YouTube or any of its competitive services could reliably get 2.5 million viewers per original episode they’d see that as well worth the money, too.

This is long form video with commercial breaks going to a dedicated audience which can now be global (that last part could be huge). Remember 2.5 million viewers of a 44-minute soap opera is the equivalent of 36 million typical three-minute YouTube video views. As professional content with a 40 year heritage that’s an easy sell to advertisers — a no-brainer for P&G. 

Somebody (Cheaper Than Dirt!, Brownell’s, LuckyGunner, Sig Sauer, etc.) is going to realize the size of the market and the opportunities to be had for quality internet-only name-brand shooting shows and establish their marketshare ahead of all the others. Good for them, whoever they may be.