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Updated: Sony Brings Video Show Rocketboom Into the Fold; Seven Figures?

Sony (NYSE: SNE) continues on its knack of, well, picking up things well past their prime (in keeping with its other habit of messing up a good thing going): its subsidiary Sony Pictures Television has bought the worldwide distribution rights to the once-pioneering video podcast/show Rocketboom. It will be integrated into its original video entertainment site Crackle (fka Grouper), the video site which SPT also bought two years ago for $65 million, much past its prime. It will also be distributed across other Sony platforms such as the PS3, PSP, and Bravia I-Link TVs.

Besides distribution, SPT will handle all of Rocketboom’s ad sales. TC says the deal is “seven-figure guarantee plus a share of revenues.” If the deal doesn’t do well, Rocketboom presumably would “regain complete control of distribution and ad sales after the contract expires.”

Updated: Now it is clearer: Rocketboom founder Andrew Baron explains on his blog the rut–and the inability to take on further investment unlike competitors– the video show was stuck in for the last two years, due to a lawsuit. And then the troubles of developing ad sales, and at the same time trying to focus on the content part. Also, on the deal with Sony: “Instead of gaining capital to burn while continuing to build or seek an advertising solution, we now have one of the most prominent advertising solutions out there, along with increased distribution, a road map for expansion and a guarantee that I believe is an unprecedented deal for this space.” If the guaranteed amount is what it is rumored, it is a big one for the still nascent space.

3 Responses to “Updated: Sony Brings Video Show Rocketboom Into the Fold; Seven Figures?”

  1. Thanks for the update Rafat!

    @Joseph I completely agree that is was a blessing in disguise because we were destined to head down the same route, too soon. I think we could of built up big shows, but that it was too early to monetize them, which would of required way more investment. Furthermore, what I didn't speak about in my weblog, is that while standing by, we figured out a better way to expand the content offering without all of the separate verticals that the other networks have.

  2. Joseph Weisenthal

    After reading Andrew's post and seeing what he had to say about Rev3 and NextNew getting funding, it occurred to me that being unable to take funding may have been a blessing in disguise for Rocketboom.

    Say he took $2-$3 million. There's absolutely no guarantee that any future shows or Rocketboom spinoffs would be just as successful, or even nearly as successful. Seriously, what would he have done with the money? The only sure thing is that it would've made a sale/cashout harder for Andrew.