More on Ze Frank and Rocketboom ad numbers

Ze Frank and Rocketboom came up in conversations here at the Blog Business Summit several times today. I asked the audience here how many people had never watched Ze Frank and Rocketboom. Most people (I’d guess about 90%) had never watched Ze, but only about 40% had never watched Rocketboom. And these were astute bloggers I was asking.

That said, Ze has a more engaged audience, based on my readings here. Several people said they loved Ze. No one came up to me, or talked to me, about Rocketboom after our talk.

As an advertiser I think I’d rather have Ze talk about my stuff right now than Rocketboom because I sense his audience is growing a lot faster than Rocketboom, and his audience is more engaged. But, that’s very hard to sell to an advertiser. I bet if I worked at a company looking to spend a million on one of these shows it’d be a lot easier to convince my boss on Rocketboom cause of the larger numbers.

Marshall Kirkpatrick of TechCrunch takes this on in an interesting and lengthy post today. So does Heather Green of BusinessWeek’s blogspotting, among others.

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35 thoughts on “More on Ze Frank and Rocketboom ad numbers

  1. I love Ze Frank, mostly because he’s just “out there.” Why are we having to decide between them, just out of curiosity? I guess the numbers are important to the advertisers or potential advertisers. Me, I’ve never watched Rocketboom.

    And how come you didn’t post more from Blog Business Summit? I had to read about it through Maryam 🙂

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  2. I love Ze Frank, mostly because he’s just “out there.” Why are we having to decide between them, just out of curiosity? I guess the numbers are important to the advertisers or potential advertisers. Me, I’ve never watched Rocketboom.

    And how come you didn’t post more from Blog Business Summit? I had to read about it through Maryam 🙂

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  3. Here’s what I just wrote on the subject at TC.

    The difference between the two is as great as the difference between TV and video blogging to me. RB is basicaly spam. It’s like the evening news that everyone watches but doesn’t really care about and will turn the channel to whatever suits them better at the time. Dan Rather or whoever it is at the moment, didn’t get famous because of their qality news reporting, but because they’re the default head for a network that is carried on almost every TV in the country.

    Ze is like Dennis Miller or Bill Maher. Someone that you seek out and follow for whatever it is that they put out, not just because they’re the default video for every new video download client that hits the market.

    Of course, we all know who’ll get rich and who won’t even make a living at it, but, again, that’s the difference between mass media and engaging your audience.

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  4. Here’s what I just wrote on the subject at TC.

    The difference between the two is as great as the difference between TV and video blogging to me. RB is basicaly spam. It’s like the evening news that everyone watches but doesn’t really care about and will turn the channel to whatever suits them better at the time. Dan Rather or whoever it is at the moment, didn’t get famous because of their qality news reporting, but because they’re the default head for a network that is carried on almost every TV in the country.

    Ze is like Dennis Miller or Bill Maher. Someone that you seek out and follow for whatever it is that they put out, not just because they’re the default video for every new video download client that hits the market.

    Of course, we all know who’ll get rich and who won’t even make a living at it, but, again, that’s the difference between mass media and engaging your audience.

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  5. Was your audience predominantly male? The only reason to watch Rocketboom is because you fancy Joanne Colan (I mean ‘I’ of course). Ze Frank makes you think. I would imagine that the Rocketboom audience churns relatively quickly, and that people remain faithful to Frank much longer. It would be interesting to see the numbers.

    Btw, great to see that you will be coming back to Lift ’07. Registration opened only this week (finally).

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  6. Was your audience predominantly male? The only reason to watch Rocketboom is because you fancy Joanne Colan (I mean ‘I’ of course). Ze Frank makes you think. I would imagine that the Rocketboom audience churns relatively quickly, and that people remain faithful to Frank much longer. It would be interesting to see the numbers.

    Btw, great to see that you will be coming back to Lift ’07. Registration opened only this week (finally).

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  7. I think Gary’s hit it on the head for me, but Michael, yep, Dennis Miller isn’t a brilliant example, but you get the idea. Ze is like taking addictive drugs whilst Rocket Boom is like cordial, you get hooked on Ze and he makes you think differently about things, whilst also entertaining, Rocketboom on the other hand is run of the mill find in your supermarket type stuff that you can either take or leave it…and yes, the biggest reason Rocketbooms numbers are bigger is because they are a default download on just about every video service I can think of, certainly Windows MCE plugins, and also with programs such as the Democracy player. Rocketboom is big by default, Ze’s audience seeks him out.

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  8. I think Gary’s hit it on the head for me, but Michael, yep, Dennis Miller isn’t a brilliant example, but you get the idea. Ze is like taking addictive drugs whilst Rocket Boom is like cordial, you get hooked on Ze and he makes you think differently about things, whilst also entertaining, Rocketboom on the other hand is run of the mill find in your supermarket type stuff that you can either take or leave it…and yes, the biggest reason Rocketbooms numbers are bigger is because they are a default download on just about every video service I can think of, certainly Windows MCE plugins, and also with programs such as the Democracy player. Rocketboom is big by default, Ze’s audience seeks him out.

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  9. Francine, you don’t have to decide between them. But advertisers certainly do.

    I didn’t write about Blog Business Summit because lots of people did and because I gave four talks and was too busy.

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  10. Francine, you don’t have to decide between them. But advertisers certainly do.

    I didn’t write about Blog Business Summit because lots of people did and because I gave four talks and was too busy.

    Like

  11. So we’ve heard the supposed numbers for Ze Frank and Rocket Boom, if you don’t mind me asking, how is the Scoble Show travelling? Are you happy with your numbers and the feedback you’ve received so far?

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  12. So we’ve heard the supposed numbers for Ze Frank and Rocket Boom, if you don’t mind me asking, how is the Scoble Show travelling? Are you happy with your numbers and the feedback you’ve received so far?

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  13. Here’s a fanboy story of my quitting the Legion of Awesomeness:

    I burned out on Ze during the Dweeby Von Asshat thing. His bullying demeanor was a turn off. It seemed that all of his anti-Bush talk, he was acting just like the jerks he criticizes. Yes, he apologized, but it all seemed weak. The coup de grace was the behavior of the fanboys. The League of Awesomeness members flamed Dweeby uncritically. Who are these losers and why was I one of them? Ick!

    (Dweeby’s flaming response to the attacks was great, btw)

    Yes, I wouldn’t have responded this way if Ze hadn’t been inspiring and hilarious. When Elvis Costello used a racist epithet to refer to Ray Charles after the magnificent Armed Forces record (filled with scathing attacks on political hypocrisy) it was the same kind of letdown.

    Yes, his next record was Get Happy, based on Stax/Motown music, in some way an acknowledgement of how badly he had fucked up.

    I know…trust the art, not the artist. Dweeby himself accepted the apology. The thing left me feeling queasy about my Ze daily fix. Ze is only human and he is doing some great stuff, I know.

    Yeah, his vlog is way more interesting than Rocketboom. I could never be disappointed in Rocketboom…! Joanne Colan’s debut with the rotten tomatoes and Amanda’s stint as a waitress were cute, but no Earth Sandwich Power Moves, if you Know What I Mean.

    Hmmm… maybe I should go over and see what Ze’s been up to…

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  14. Here’s a fanboy story of my quitting the Legion of Awesomeness:

    I burned out on Ze during the Dweeby Von Asshat thing. His bullying demeanor was a turn off. It seemed that all of his anti-Bush talk, he was acting just like the jerks he criticizes. Yes, he apologized, but it all seemed weak. The coup de grace was the behavior of the fanboys. The League of Awesomeness members flamed Dweeby uncritically. Who are these losers and why was I one of them? Ick!

    (Dweeby’s flaming response to the attacks was great, btw)

    Yes, I wouldn’t have responded this way if Ze hadn’t been inspiring and hilarious. When Elvis Costello used a racist epithet to refer to Ray Charles after the magnificent Armed Forces record (filled with scathing attacks on political hypocrisy) it was the same kind of letdown.

    Yes, his next record was Get Happy, based on Stax/Motown music, in some way an acknowledgement of how badly he had fucked up.

    I know…trust the art, not the artist. Dweeby himself accepted the apology. The thing left me feeling queasy about my Ze daily fix. Ze is only human and he is doing some great stuff, I know.

    Yeah, his vlog is way more interesting than Rocketboom. I could never be disappointed in Rocketboom…! Joanne Colan’s debut with the rotten tomatoes and Amanda’s stint as a waitress were cute, but no Earth Sandwich Power Moves, if you Know What I Mean.

    Hmmm… maybe I should go over and see what Ze’s been up to…

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  15. Robert’s fundamental issue here is what makes a good product for advertisers? There isn’t just one answer to this because advertisers have a range of problems to solve and goals to meet. There should be a place for both Ze and RB to thrive in a growing online ad economy.

    Anyone trying to develop an ad-supported media vehicle needs to think it through from the perspective of the advertiser. What kind of audience can you bring to the advertiser? What kind of impact can the advertising make on that audience? What results can you deliver? Measured how?

    Ze is taking a wrong turn if he accepts raw audience numbers as the frame and tries to debunk RB. Better for him to work on his own positioning. Ze’s audience must have value–we’re in it. He needs to understand and pitch that value to his advertisers. There are plenty good clues in this thread, beginning w/ Robert’s

    As for Ze vs. RB and Ze vs Dweeby… two theories:

    Rational: Ze knows Feuds are proven traffic builders (goes back to Fred Allen vs Jack Benny in radio days… probably earlier). Look how we’re all talking about it.

    Emotional: Ze is unhappy and frustrated with the way his business is going and he’s lashing out.

    Could be a mixture of both. Ze’s smart and funny. A little anger always helps feed the funny.

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  16. Robert’s fundamental issue here is what makes a good product for advertisers? There isn’t just one answer to this because advertisers have a range of problems to solve and goals to meet. There should be a place for both Ze and RB to thrive in a growing online ad economy.

    Anyone trying to develop an ad-supported media vehicle needs to think it through from the perspective of the advertiser. What kind of audience can you bring to the advertiser? What kind of impact can the advertising make on that audience? What results can you deliver? Measured how?

    Ze is taking a wrong turn if he accepts raw audience numbers as the frame and tries to debunk RB. Better for him to work on his own positioning. Ze’s audience must have value–we’re in it. He needs to understand and pitch that value to his advertisers. There are plenty good clues in this thread, beginning w/ Robert’s

    As for Ze vs. RB and Ze vs Dweeby… two theories:

    Rational: Ze knows Feuds are proven traffic builders (goes back to Fred Allen vs Jack Benny in radio days… probably earlier). Look how we’re all talking about it.

    Emotional: Ze is unhappy and frustrated with the way his business is going and he’s lashing out.

    Could be a mixture of both. Ze’s smart and funny. A little anger always helps feed the funny.

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  17. PaulB: I’m very happy with my audience growth over the first month. If my growth rates stay true I’ll have 100 times the audience of Rocketboom in just a few more months. 🙂

    Seriously, I haven’t really looked at the stats yet. What I care about is whether people are talking about my show. So I watch Technorati and Google Blogsearch to track that and I’m on track with what I expected.

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  18. PaulB: I’m very happy with my audience growth over the first month. If my growth rates stay true I’ll have 100 times the audience of Rocketboom in just a few more months. 🙂

    Seriously, I haven’t really looked at the stats yet. What I care about is whether people are talking about my show. So I watch Technorati and Google Blogsearch to track that and I’m on track with what I expected.

    Like

  19. Terms of Engagement, that is what it is all about. Sponsors don’t know how to put their arms around this evolving medium. I am learning myself.

    I know that Ze Frank is on to something…his group is engaged. I think he has us hypnotized by not blinking, for at the slightest suggestion we will send pictures of our vacuum cleaners dressed up as people.

    Imagine what would happen if George Bush didn’t blink. We would follow him anywhere. That is another discussion, more appropriate for The Huffington Post.

    G.W.B. does blink a lot, though.

    Yes, Robert, engagement is what it is all about. How can that be measured? Do any of the bright folks here have the answers?

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  20. Terms of Engagement, that is what it is all about. Sponsors don’t know how to put their arms around this evolving medium. I am learning myself.

    I know that Ze Frank is on to something…his group is engaged. I think he has us hypnotized by not blinking, for at the slightest suggestion we will send pictures of our vacuum cleaners dressed up as people.

    Imagine what would happen if George Bush didn’t blink. We would follow him anywhere. That is another discussion, more appropriate for The Huffington Post.

    G.W.B. does blink a lot, though.

    Yes, Robert, engagement is what it is all about. How can that be measured? Do any of the bright folks here have the answers?

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  21. I just recently became a Ze loyalist after reading strong blogger endorsements. And you bet! … I’d pay attention to advertisers he chose. I hope blog-democracy hits Apple soon. And hope all is well since ConvergeSouth, Jill F.

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  22. I just recently became a Ze loyalist after reading strong blogger endorsements. And you bet! … I’d pay attention to advertisers he chose. I hope blog-democracy hits Apple soon. And hope all is well since ConvergeSouth, Jill F.

    Like

  23. I really enjoy rocketboom. I read on TC that rocketboom has 10 times more audience than Ze. But why do advertiser have to make a choice. They can choose the both, no ? and split the budget

    I think there is the place for maybe 10 videocast like yours, ze o rocketboom. Each has a different audience they can monetize on different ways. And advertisers are not going to choose between them. Why woult it be different on internet than in television where advertiser chosse all the channels.

    Videocast has much more targeted audience which are benefit for advertiser

    (Scuse my english, i don’t speak very well)

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  24. I really enjoy rocketboom. I read on TC that rocketboom has 10 times more audience than Ze. But why do advertiser have to make a choice. They can choose the both, no ? and split the budget

    I think there is the place for maybe 10 videocast like yours, ze o rocketboom. Each has a different audience they can monetize on different ways. And advertisers are not going to choose between them. Why woult it be different on internet than in television where advertiser chosse all the channels.

    Videocast has much more targeted audience which are benefit for advertiser

    (Scuse my english, i don’t speak very well)

    Like

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