Today’s Wall Street Journal features a profile of Glenn and GBTV and it’s hard to deny the success of a network that is still only six months old! Glenn spoke about GBTV and where it could be heading in the future.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
“We’re taking on the big guys,” Mr. Beck said in a recent interview at the Manhattan production studio of GBTV in the basement of a skyscraper. The conservative talk-show host had just flown in from Dallas, where he now lives—”away from the suits,” as he put it.
Driving Mr. Beck’s subscription-based network is a belief that television is going through an existential crisis, with the rise of online video outlets like Netflix Inc. and Google Inc.’s YouTube threatening to lure away viewers.
“The political and pop culture personalities going directly to their public is definitely a phenomenon that is starting to break,” said Michael Hirschorn, the former head of programming at VH1 who co-founded the entertainment company IconicTV, which is creating three channels for YouTube. But that notion of stars going straight to their fans online is still mostly uncharted. “We have yet to prove the business model out, but it feels inevitable” Mr. Hirschorn said.
Mr. Beck is intent on keeping his Fox fans while also capturing the younger Internet-surfing generation. “When the audience of 65 and over dies off,” he said, “then TV is in trouble if they haven’t found a new way to connect with the next vibrant and mobile generation.”
In contrast to traditional TV, which depends on people buying big bundles of channels, GBTV is available as an individual channel and must be watched on Internet-connected devices.
“We are on the edge of something that is bigger than industrial revolution,” Mr. Beck said of the industry changes. “How do you survive? What will people want?”
You can read the full article HERE
Since leaving FOX News, Glenn has attracted more than 300,000 subscribers to GBTV. These numbers dwarf cable news networks which have been on TV for years, such as CNBC “which drew an average of 189,000 viewers over the course of the total day in February, according to Nielsen.”
What do these 300,000+ subscribers get with GBTV that they aren’t getting anywhere else? After all, viewers are going outside the traditional mainstream media in order to seek out this programming – it must be something.
Not only does GBTV offer Glenn’s primetime daily show, it has a slate of original programming as well. Taking a cue from successful premium networks like HBO, the network does not focus on a single genre of television but instead has a mix of news, comedy, reality, and children’s programming. The model is different than traditional cable news, but it offers a way from fans of Glenn to find entertaining shows that share a similar set of values all based around the network’s model “The Truth Lives Here”.
GBTV is also more mobile and accesible that traditional cable news networks. Outside of being available on TV via a Roku, the full network can be accessed on iPhones, iPads, Boxee, the web, and more. Such availability makes it possible to access GBTV from anywhere, not just the confines of ones own home.
The Wall Street Journal profile ends with a question of whether or not he would ever return to traditional cable television.
But asked if he would ever return to cable, Mr. Beck said he wouldn’t rule out working with a network as a supplier—just not as an employee. “I am a content provider,” he said. “I’ll provide content to anybody.””