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I can’t believe all the major blogs haven’t yet posted about this major story! Qualcomm subsidiary FLO TV has announced a new exclusive distribution deal for the Amanda Congdon video show Sometimes Daily. The deal will bring the Sometimes Daily video show to mobile. Financial terms of the distribution deal were not disclosed.
Jonathan Barzilay, senior vice president of programming and advertising for FLO TV noted regarding the deal, ”Amanda’s plugged-in sensibility, sense of humor and charisma have made ‘Sometimes Daily’ a must-see show on the web. Now, Amanda’s loyal online audience will be able to experience her content on FLO TV.”
The announcement goes on to note that Congdon will create exclusive content for the mobile on Flo TV. I hope the shows are available on my Sprint mobile device.
Here’s Amanda announcing the Flo TV deal:
Over the past 24 hours, a story has blown up regarding video blogging and the lack of disclosure. We first wrote about the issues of video blogger disclosure with regards to Morgan Webb and her show Webb Alert. When she launched the show, it was produced (and still is I believe) by ad network Federated Media.
It sure seems to me like video bloggers have a different code when it comes to disclosure. Whether it’s with stories like the above, Amanda’s fiasco with DuPont, or other video bloggers, there seems to be little to no disclosure. Is that ok?
Let’s recap what happened over the past 24 hours. Techcrunch had a post about mobile video technologies and included Sarah Austin of Pop17 in the videos. Apparently Sarah is paid by Flixwagon to use their service and for some "consulting". There was no disclosure of this on the Techcrunch post. Author Jason Kinkaid says that Sarah was just the video model and didn’t actually comment on the reviews in any regard. Editor Mike Arrington says TC didn’t know of this sponsorship deal when they wrote their post. Pat Phelan caught word of this and posted an investigation of the Flixwagon deal. There’s a good discussion about video blogging disclosure on his post.
Let me disclose that I am friendly with both Sarah and her boyfriend Andrew Baron, Rocketboom founder. When Sarah uses Flixwagon it’s not required that she discloses that she is getting paid from them. But when she is promoting their service, she does need to disclose. Here’s what disclosures I believe were missing from the Techcrunch post:
- Sarah is paid by Flixwagon
- Techcrunch sponsors Sarah’s show Pop17
These simple statements would have avoided this entire issue. Sarah notes that she always discloses but I am not sure this is the case. Earlier this week she had Rocketboom on Pop17 but there was no disclosure of her fiduciary relationship with Rocketboom or her personal one. Should there have been? Hells yes. Last night she wrote about this topic and linked to Techcrunch. Should there have been disclosure that TC is a sponsor of Pop17? Hells yes.
Now let’s take this topic one step further to really drive home the point of video blogger disclosure at the macro level. In the videos she pimps her Web site, and says her favorite blog is Techcrunch. Which by the way is her show sponsor. Now let’s watch this video outside of the context of Techcrunch and view it on the Qik site. Here we see a video with a "popular" video blogger who pimps Techcrunch. Where’s the disclosure? The key to remember is that videos will travel further than text will and disclosure needs to be included in the videos so they travel with it.
Perhaps video platforms need to build in a disclosure option – this would certainly save us from future issues like this. As product placements in videos (see Diggnation) grow, this topic will become more widely discussed.
Here’s my video with some further thoughts on the topic of video blogger disclosure:
On a side note, it’s interesting to hear that for "a few dollars more" Sarah is willing to abandon Flixwagon for Qik. She says she would never take money if she didn’t believe in the product but she’s so willing to jump ship for a few more dollars. If I was running FlixWagon, she’d be fired immediately because that statement shows she is in it for the cash, not for the quality of the service. She pulled a Tila Tequila. Update: Just to be clear, this paragraph has nothing to do with disclosure, but more to do with endorsing products.
It’s simple. Disclose your relationships. Whether you blog on video, text, audio, whatever.
Former Rocketboom star Amanda Congdon launched her latest online video show, "Sometimes Daily" last week. I can’t figure out what the show is about other than it seems to focus a lot on Hillary Clinton. There appears to be a small cast of 4-5 people including Congdon’s business partner.
Today she is announcing a distribution deal with NY-based Media Rights Capital. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but Dan Goodman, President of Digital Media for MRC said, "Our focus for Sometimes Daily will be taking a great proven digital talent like Amanda and offering MRC’s support and infrastructure to unleash her creatively to do what she does best."
Here’s what’s really funny – Congdon bashed to all heck ABC when they didn’t offer embeds, comments, etc. on her news show on ABCNews, but on Sometimes Daily, there’s only a .mov file – no embed option. I just can’t see this show lasting, especially if they need to sign on a sponsor for ad revenue. Congdon does have a loyal fan base so perhaps that will help the show to grow. Check out our notes from Congdon at SXSW last year.
Gawker has more on Amanda’s online/offline/online transition.
TVNewser is reporting that Amanda Congdon and ABC News have ended their relationship. They list the official memo from ABC News:
"It’s been a great year with Amanda — a great experiment for both of us. We thank her for her many contributions and know that she’s about to embark on new endeavors and expect there will be times in the future that we can again work together."
Duncan seems to believe this means that online personalities can’t make the jump to mainstream. I disagree with this conclusion. Not sure how one videoblogger leaving a TV channel makes for a complete panic. If she joins a new network tomorrow, would he then believe that online personalities make the jump?
I have written about Amanda several times including calling her show a "digrace to women" after the first episode. But Amanda is an excellent marketer. She has been talking about a series for HBO and I assume leaving ABC will give her more time to work on this. She has also done work for Dupont and American Express and I expect her to work more in the "ad" space moving forward. She seems to enjoy that work more from what I can tell.
I also believe that ABC wasn’t ready for a videoblogger. Amanda’s fans bitched and moaned about no commenting, feeds, and other blog-oriented technologies. ABC seemed to always be in catch-up mode. Amanda was constantly apologizing in the beginning for ABC’s lack of current technology.
I am certain we will see Amanda back online in some video mode soon, probably back in the RocketBoom style. Hey, maybe she can be the video blogger for CenterNetworks! :)
Tonight on CNBC, Donny "I like to hold my glasses to look smart" Deutsch had "Internet Nobodies to Instant Celebs" on. He tries to come across as someone who really understands the Internet. No idea if it's for real or just a show.
I am guessing this will be on CNBC International or on YouTube at some point. (actually if you are on the west coast it's on at 10pm I understand and 12am on the east coast)
The guests on the show included:
- The two mentos guys – $35k in revenue from the videos so far
- Lisa Donovan – "used YouTube to become a star" (she had the longest segment by far)
- Liam Sullivan – "created comedy shows on YouTube and now gets paid by iTunes
- Gary Broslsma – "created Numa Numa on YouTube" – 15 million plays
- Brooke Parkhurst – turned blog into a book deal and a Conde Nast Deal
- Amanda Congdon – her segment was literally 90 seconds max – considering she hyped the heck out of this, it must be a shock to her about what they actually showed.
- John Vesely - was able to turn a MySpace album into a best-selling album with over 18 million plays on MySpace
- Brent Weinstein – his firm UTA is looking for online talent to help make people into celebs (they represent Ask A Ninja)
Overall, I thought the show was well done but could have used another 30-60 minutes as it felt very rushed. Give these people a chance to explain how they did what they did, but more importantly what they are doing now and where they are going.
Also, I think we all need to remember our audience. I just can't speak about this enough. When you get the chance to sit on TV in the real world, make sure you remember that most people watching are not Internet geeks. I can only guess that the name Nick Denton means nothing to most CNBC viewers.
Last afternoon I attended a panel, "The Rise of the Blogebrity" which included Nick Douglas, formerly of Valleywag, Amanda Congdon, formerly of Rocketboom. Nick now runs LookShiny and Amanda vblogs for ABC News and Starring Herself. There were two other videobloggers on the panel, Casey McKinnon (Galacticast) and Karina Longworth (Netscape). Also on the panel was a stats guy, Henry Copeland and was moderated by the head of Blogebrity, Kyle Bunch.
Before I get to my comments, does anyone else think that Amanda looks like Miss USA Tara Connor? When Amanda walked in with her new hairdo, I had to do a doubletake! Both beautiful women (amanda photo from Jeremiah). As much as I gave Amanda a hard time a few months ago, I think she did a good job on this panel.
I think the panel was pretty good, and I give it a 8/10. Overall the discussion was good, it would have been nice to dive deeper into why it even matters if you are a celeb and what makes someone a celeb. There was one audience member who asked a 10 minute question and hogged the mic. Why do people mic hog!!! Check out the panel pics on flickr.
Here are my unedited notes:
They begin with a overview – Nick notes that he used to write for valleywag before he was fired. The computer was screwed up and they couldn't get it fixed.
Copeland – focus on the Forbes 25 – Talks about the levels between 1st and 23rd (calacanis) – showing that you don't need to have tons of traffic, just be quotable. do you live on the coast and are you a male?
Then he disected the Technorati 100 – some are from overseas, 7 are services, some blogs with 400,000 impressions, numbers are totally meaningless.
Copeland- there are popular areas or networks – it depends on the area
Congdon – how often do i see them – do i see them – are they writing books, television, etc. – it's about full coverage – that's how I evaluate – like Jeff Jarvis is a good example
Longworth – there are those who were already celebs before they became web celebs – for film celebs – is a guy named david hudson
McKinnon – when i think of celeb video people – i think of ask a ninja and ze frank – if you are in the ny times, you are a celeb
Douglas – its interesting how more people watch my video than read my notes in the ny times, yet this is bigger
Congdon – when my gramma saw me on Frontline, that was big for her
Douglas – I am a lazy person and a hipster — waxy.org, thermopolus,
Bunch – where do things go from here with video?
Congdon – there are still books and tv – and they live together, 3 of us are video bloggers
Longworth – there are more people who are naturally writers
Douglas – cult of personality will happen with video blogging
Bunch – quality vs quantity
Douglas – quality is most important
McKinnon – quality in all aspects is most important
Copeland – the best of all are these daily filters – dailycoast is great
Bunch – what's the importance of being a celebrity?
Douglas – how much will your audience stand letting you sell them out? humancloud has drawings that he scribbles, but he also sells prints and made a brand
Bunch – Amanda is a great example of someone who has been able to talk to the big stars and celebs
Congdon – it's access, that was one of the main reasons I went with ABC when I left Rocketboom and the other thing that drives me is that I could leave the mainstream and still make a living – that's what drives me.
Longworth – I had a decent amount of influence over blogs and I had no health insurance and when I got an offer to take a corporate job, I took it.
McKinnon – audience participation drives galacticast – talks about a guy who helped fill their need and how they helped him.
Douglas – I like being able to bore thousands of people a day
Bunch – how do you transcend the first job to being a public personality
Congdon – never introduce yourself as "formerly from…" – she talks about how she wrote the rocketboom stories but never was really known as that she did it – and that was tough for her
McKinnon – I have started to brand my name vs Ms Kitka.
Douglas – Everyone would say "You are Valleywag" and I tried to make sure people know I am Nick not the site.
Congdon – if I am walking in NYC, I will get noticed, but in other cities, I don't get noticed as much
Longworth/McKinnon – we get noticed at conferences mostly
Bunch – is it always ok to be approached or does it bother you?
Congdon – the only time I find it's a problem is when I am getting ready to speak, but otherwise I love it. I try to reply to email also.
Longworth – I like it – but I don't like being hit on.
McKinnon – it's nice as long as it's not creepy
Douglas – it's only bad when people think I am Nick Denton
Bunch – these ranking systems have a lot of flaws – and going forward how do we fix this so it's not just the boys club over and over
Congdon – I am in the process of creating a show for HBO. I think that internet culture is becoming more and more mainstream I think that as the two cultures converge we will see more and more blogelbrities become more celebrities.
McKinnon – there are issues with getting listed on IMDB for video bloggers
Question – isn't attention the most important
Copeland – page impressions are the most important
Question – when will the bloggers become inaccessible as you become bigger?
Congdon – it happens but everyone has their own breaking point, if you can only do 10 fans a day, do that
Douglas – look at Ze, he made a forum to get people to talk
Question – some of the video blogs have more views than some cable tv shows – as advertisers get into the game, how do you deal with it as you get more overtly.
Congdon – I work with blip – they helped me get in touch with paltalk and dove. It was great because it worked best with my audience. It gives the viewers power to help determine the advertising. There are people who will find anyway to connect with an advertiser.
Question – we are getting mixed celebrity and people with influence – you dont have to have 150 million in pageviews to be able to monetize. This woman just kept going on and on with her question which is really just some comment.