Commentary Traffic Grows, Augurs Well for GBTV

Remember that populist, rabble-rouser Glenn Beck. He used to have a highly rated show on Fox News. Then, he left with plans to launch some sort of Internet network, even saying he was going to charge people for it.

It was quixotic, maybe even cooked up in a huff as Fox showed him the door. Some combination of advertisers eschewing his show and commentary deemed even too wacky and incendiary for Fox led to his show being cancelled at the end of June.

So, he was going to doggone stick it to the establishment and go right to the people with GBTV starting in September. You don't want me Roger Ailes, watch me prove what a mistake you made.

Crazily, Beck was not only looking to establish appointment viewing on the Internet, but collect a fee for it -- $5 a month. Movies yes, live sports yes, but who pays for long-form Web content?

Liberals couldn't believe their good fortune. Beck had less chance than Mondale in '84. His influence would just wane away.

Not so fast.

There's evidence Beck's rabid fans may follow him. Even without the exposure of his TV show, unique visitors to increased 12% to 1.34 million in July -- his first month off Fox -- versus the year before. Visitors may be sticking around, too, or making a lot of return visits as page views soared 45% to 16 million, auguring well for Beck's GBTV show five times a week.

To be sure, Beck still draws a large audience on radio, so he's certainly not devoid of a GBTV promotional platform. There will be other programming besides the Beck show on the Web network, which debuts Sept. 12. The tagline: "The Truth Lives Here."

A promotion on says Beck will offer "the program (he's) always wanted to make." Take that, Fox.

(GBTV is $5 a month for Beck's show. Access to the full network is expected to be $10 a month.)

A taste comes over four days with live broadcasts from Jerusalem supporting Israel starting Sunday.

As GBTV awaits, Beck continues to fire away on the radio. He caused one Obama administration official to resign and this week went after another. He ripped Ron Bloom, who helped with the auto industry bailout and is leaving the White House, for alleged support for Chairman Mao's worldview. (Bloom made some comments in 2008 that he would say were in jest.)

Beck also took on the group blasting Republican Presidential candidate Rick Perry for his comments that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is "printing more money to play politics," which is "almost treasonous in my opinion."

Beck thought Perry was being too soft. "It is treasonous," Beck said.

Moving on to President Obama and referencing a campaign promise, Beck said "he is fundamentally transforming the United States of America and he is doing it with deception, bullies and lies."

More barbs to come on GBTV. If Beck can get just a quarter of visitors to become paying subscribers, he might fundamentally transform Web TV. The left won't like that.

3 comments about " Traffic Grows, Augurs Well for GBTV ".
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  1. J S from Ideal Living Media, August 19, 2011 at 4:57 p.m.

    The Left, I suspect, will mostly be relieved to be rid of far right people raging in the comments on their local news sites; they'll be off on Beck's forums instead. I think the future success of GBTV is less a measure of Beck's personal appeal, however strong that may or may not be, and more an indication of how obviously ready, willing, and able that audiences are for moving television broadcasting away from the current gatekeepers and onto the Internet. Everyone knows this is where things are headed -- Beck is just one of the first of many (as in, everyone) to take that step.

  2. Paul Scivetti from Synergen, Inc, August 19, 2011 at 5:09 p.m.

    Glenn Beck has tapped into the love of PERSONAL liberty and responsibility embraced by the Founding Fathers and what I believe is the majority of Americans today. He also articulates the frustration felt by many, many people that live between NY and LA on the direction this country is moving. In many ways, he is the conscience of America. Whether you love him or hate him, he is a powerful force in media today.

    At this moment in time, I would not bet against Glenn Beck. I think we're about to see content on the web transform right before our eyes (again)...and another thing that we 'know for certain' (i.e. that folks won't pay for content on the net) will get tossed into the scrap heap of history.

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, August 19, 2011 at 5:56 p.m.

    Hate is alive, well and paid for.

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