Hindsight is admittedly 20/20. But looking back on the evolution of AOL’s Patch, it’s hard not to wonder where the network might be today if the original focus had been on rolling out around 80 nationwide hubs rather than shooting for a ridiculous, illogical 2010 year-end target of 800+.
The fallout from that misguided tactic remains clear and present across the hyper-local news network to this day. It also framed a May 8 earnings conference call with AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong. As reported by streetfightmag.com deputy editor Steven Jacobs, Patch is going to take “all means possible” and consider “other revenue products” to make the operation profitable by the fourth quarter of 2013.
As is now standard for any such Patch-related news article, the reader comments include a smattering from former company employees that paint a hyper-dreadful picture. Here in SoCal, the rollout of the new Patch beta site design is just about to start. This morning for example, San Juan Capistrano Patch let readers know the new look will be turned on there next week.
Some epic Internet math was laid out last night at YouTube’s Space LA by The Young Turks COO Steve Oh. Speaking to a snazzily-dressed crowd of fellow TYT Network personnel, show fans and supporters, he tried to frame just how staggering one billion YouTube views for the show – reached April 19 – is.
Assuming each view counts for an averaged-out minute, Oh said, that’s a billion minutes. Or… 2,000 years. In other words, the online show that began in an east coast basement is now on par with one of Mel Brooks‘ most famous characters. Too bad they couldn’t wrangle Brooks for the April 19 broadcast.
Another funny remark by Oh, who spoke from the lobby stage ahead of his New Jersey high school pal Cenk Uygur, was a remark that touched on the fact that many Young Turks personnel work for below-market-rate salaries. After noting that one producer had turned down another opportunity that paid three times his TYT salary, Oh joked that he still had to fire that person “for being so stupid.”
On the heels of another triumph for 90-year-old Marvel Comics wizard Stan Lee (Iron Man 3), it’s now time for 87-year-old B-movie king Roger Corman to claim his piece of the shifting media landscape. He explains to LA AP business writer Ryan Nakashima why, after turning down an offer from Hulu some time ago, he has finally decided to jump on the Internet streaming bandwagon by means of a paid-subscription YouTube channel:
His channel, “Corman’s Drive-in,” will cost subscribers $3.99 per month for a rotating selection of 30 movies, refreshed with new interviews and clips from films that are in production. It is set to launch in June.
“I believed for many years that the future of motion picture distribution, particularly for the independents, is on the Internet,” Corman said. “I think the time is now.”
Last night at Meltdown Comics‘ NerdMelt Showroom on Sunset Blvd., magician Justin Willman hosted the fifth edition of his monthly Web talk show Sleight of Mouth. It’s got a name-brand producer (The Late Show‘s Robert Morton), musical sidekick Billy “Bushwalla” Galewood, a very loose vibe and guests who are always game.
The highlight of Episode #5 was Down Under jokester Rove McManus, who does reports for The Tonight Show and currently films a version of his smash Australian talk show here in LA. At one point, McManus cued up some video footage taken in the back of his SoCal canyon home by means of a motion-activated camera. There were a couple of deer, a bobcat at night and, on the vacant lot next door, “something I don’t think I can prepare you for in any shape or form.”
To help feed an operation that attracts around 54 million unique monthly visitors, CraveOnline has added a 4,000-square-foot green screen studio to its Ladera Heights headquarters. The new facility also features edit bays, dressing rooms and full live-streaming capabilities.
The Evolve Media men’s lifestyles publisher will be using the new studio in May to shoot – among other things – episodes of Clocked Out, TechKnow and The B-Movies Podcast. It’s also going to beam out pre- and post-boxing match analysis in conjunction with Sherdog and RingTV.
The B-Movies Podcast is one of two weekly audio streams co-hosted by CraveOnline film channel editor William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold. The lively pair also do something called The Trailer Hitch, which layers in fun MST3K-style VO on to the latest Hollywood coming attractions.
When it comes to the Top 50 mobile content destinations in the U.S., a pair of killer “B’s” crown the latest Quantcast ratings (next to comScore, these are generally agreed to be the most accurate publicly available metrics). Coming in at #7 with 4,373,802 monthly visitors is BuzzFeed, while 3,919,244 measured Smartphone/tablet visitors places The Bleacher Report at #9.
A number of listed sites have chosen to keep their profile names “hidden.” For example, if our cross-referencing is correct, #41 is Gawker.
Looking at the rest of the Top 50 group, FishbowlLA is intrigued by the listing’s reminder of the ageless value of the “Hollywood” word-brand. PMC’s hollywoodlife.com ranks 32nd and Guggenheim Digital Media’s hollywoodreporter.com comes in 48th.
“Hollywood Life’s audience of millennial women wants to get the latest news no matter where they are or what time it is,” Fuller tells FishbowlLA via email. “That’s why they are flocking to Hollywood Life’s well optimized mobile site in rapidly increasing numbers.”
Because Kevin Smith still and primarily uses an AOL email address (!), he is utterly familiar with HuffPost Live and a major fan of the nascent network. From the get-go of his half-hour chat alongside Jason Mewes with Alicia Menendez this afternoon, he kept dropping hints about wanting to be a host himself.
Smith continued energetically banging that drum, leading a producer to tell Menendez in her ear that he was hired. Then, HuffPost Live president Roy Sekoff bounded on set to seal the deal.
Upon clicking into the article “Best Places to Spot Stars in Las Vegas” on USA TODAY ‘s new co-branded vertical, we noticed something a little different. Next to each menu-page picture of the suggested A-list ambush locales, there is a button that reads: ‘ADD TO MY EXPERIENCE.’
Very clever. As readers make their way through a site that feels a lot like those of urbandaddy.com and other similar city-centric email blast services, they can build their own travel destination repertoire. This is a good example of how a newspaper can extend itself into the Web, well beyond the paywall-or-no-paywall realm.
And any Vegas Buzz section toplined by articles about topless pools and additional Caesar’s dates for Jerry Seinfeld immediately has both our outdoor and indoor attention. Put it this way: the new Sin City compendium is much more colorful than the blue-dot logo USA TODAY recently plunged into. (It’s prominently displayed on the new Vegas site.)
With a bimonthly print publication, podcasts and a robust website and online store, The Fader has succeeded as a brand by allowing each of its outlets to have its own style, says Andy Cohn, president and publisher of Fader Media.
“We saw a lot of other music publications trying to become websites and just becoming very busy and very formulaic,” Cohn told Mediabistro for its latest So What Do You Do? interview. “For us, we let our website be the website and let the magazine play to its own strengths, both from a visual — design, photography — and medium- to longer-form journalism standpoint. The approach that we’ve always taken is great content first, and then figure out how and where it goes second. And we’ve always been willing to let our readership play a role in that, because we’re not going to ever be married to one medium.”
– Nicholas Braun
NEXT PAGE >>