Pasadena News Site To Launch Hyperlocal, Online TV Channel
by Matt McGee on Jul 29, 2010 in Industry
Pasadena Now, a news site that’s been covering its southern California hometown for seven years, is getting ready to launch a hyperlocal, online TV channel that will offer 16 hours of programming daily, seven days a week. James Macpherson, who publishes Pasadena Now with Candice Merrill, tells me that the channel is scheduled to launch on August 20th and the goal is to equal the viewing experience that locals are used to from watching television.
“The key, in my opinion, to hyperlocal video being successful will be to offer original programming which is streamed,” he said in a recent email conversation. “Protocols and appearance must mirror network TV standards to the greatest extent possible, in order to gain the public’s acceptance. The look and feel must mirror ‘real TV.’”
Macpherson says Pasadena Now will initially feature pre-existing content. By the six-month mark, the plan is that the bulk of programming will be new content. The video channel’s home page currently advertises a weekday, 6:00 pm newscast and a 7:00 am morning talk show. Both are planned to debut in October. Macpherson says the channel will also live stream community events. All of this will be done with a team of 7-9 videographers.
For now, Pasadena Now hasn’t tried to sell advertisers on the concept, but Macpherson has a plan and says he’s “not terribly worried” about finding advertisers.
“Our objective is to create specialty audiences. For example, to work with the Pasadena Humane Society to produce a weekly ‘Pasadena Pet Channel.’ We won’t charge the PHSSPCA, but we will require that they must promote each show with an email blast to their 5,000 members. We will then sell commercials to local pet stores and vets who can be guaranteed that the show’s audience will perfectly match their target audience.”
Macpherson’s math suggests that the channel — if it sells its entire commercial inventory — would bring in more than $13,000 per week: 12 commercials per hour (30-second spots) for 16 hours each day is 192 spots per day, or 1,344 commercials per week. If Pasadena Now charges $10 per spot, that’s $13,440 per week. Is it wishful thinking that every available spot will be sold in a given week? Probably, but Macpherson is confident.
“I am extremely optimistic. Our prices will be reasonable, our costs low, and let’s face it, most people love the idea of being on TV.”