Rocketboom Teams Up With Sony
It took a couple of years and few crises but Rocketboom is set to take off. Founder Andrew Baron just inked a seven-figure plus revenue-sharing deal with Sony to distribute the webcast across its properties, including Crackle.com, Playstation 3, Playstation Portable, Bravia i-Link and syndicated network of 3rd party distributors.
Baron blogs at length about the development at his Dembot blog, and reveals in the process the two-year set back that occurred upon Amanda Congdon’s sudden and dramatic departure in 2006. Baron is more than happy to note New York courts refused to acknowledge Congdon as co-owner of Rocketboom.
The courts’ denial of Congdon’s claims was two years in the making, though, and Baron says he was unable to accept investment offers or partnerships while matters were tied up in court. This meant Rocketboom ran out of money at fairly regular intervals while trying to get the startup off the ground.
Sounds like Rocketboom good times are here again with the Sony deal. Baron discussed the options, which included the rejection of Federated Media and blip.tv because of exclusivity demands, along with accepting investments from sale-minded venture capitalists. He also cited (and criticized) the relative success of other webcasts that went on to spawn online video networks.
"Aside from the hit shows which have spawned the networks, most of the other shows on these networks have not lived up to their predecessors, content-wise, and new shows are often canceled soon after they are launched. This may be an indication of content quality more-so than a pre-profit phase of a nascent marketplace."
So, driven by a desire to maximize exposure and revenue while maintaining control of a single video entity, Baron chose a strategic partnership with Sony over other major corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, and ABC because he viewed Sony as the "complete package." Sony’s expansive network and solid distribution infrastructure were the hot buttons for Baron.