Big Fin's Link
It has been an interesting learning experience and served some utility to accomplish part of the goals in our business plan.
With outdoor TV experiencing the same declines as all other TV platforms, the opportunity on other digital platforms is far more appealing in terms of reach, freedom, and finances. TV was 100% of our views just two years ago, prior to starting a YouTube channel in January 2016. When our Amazon channel launched in late August, it proved even more that traditional TV was a dying horse. In just two years, YouTube and Amazon are now 80% of our views, with TV shrinking to less than 20% of our views.
So, we have decided to leave outdoor TV. The video at the link explains where you can find us.
The short version is this:
>----> Amazon – This is where long-form content will premiere. It will be longer episodes than you saw in the past. It will be commercial-free. Both a big change from the format and style required of outdoor TV. It is free to Amazon Prime members.
>----> YouTube – We will continue to use this for our day-by-day episodes, tips, ideas, advocacy, strategies, etc. And once the longer episodes have been on Amazon for a while, we will eventually post them here. For those without Amazon Prime, YouTube is a free platform where you will also get to watch the full episodes, just a bit later. If you subscribe (free), you will get notified when new episodes show up on YouTube.
By going exclusively to these two options, we accomplish many objectives that are critical to our "Why":
1. Make our content commercial-free.
2. Make our content free to anyone willing to watch it.
3. Get away from the model of outdoor TV where it is hard to tell a story the way you want, where even if your content is different you are required to package it according to the network guidelines, making it all look pretty much the same.
4. Higher engagement with viewers where we can get feedback on what they watch more/less, what length, style, etc that attracts more viewers.
5. Have the distribution platforms pay us, rather than pay the networks to distribute our content. In my nine years of outdoor TV, my annual airtime purchase cost has ranged from $52K to $185K. That’s a crazy amount of money, for the small amount of views TV gets you.
6. Get away from the “King Maker” model that is outdoor TV. The networks make investments in some shows, giving them the best time slots, sending sponsors to those shows, giving them “tune in” advertising, and a host of other efforts to make sure these “investments” are given priority. Many comment how they don’t like what they see on outdoor TV. A big part of that is because the networks, many employees of such being non-hunters, get to pick and choose who they want to see as the “Kings.” That is fine. Their model and they can do what they want. I’m no longer in a position that I have to accept that.
7. Be free of network contracts. Those contracts have serious consequences if you say/do things they find damaging to their business. It is all at their discretion. I’ve never been one to worry about hurt feelings, but hurt the feelings of the wrong person at the network and you will find you no longer have airtimes and you are then in breach of your sponsor contracts. Serious consequences come with breaching a sponsor contact.
I’ve never been so excited to be headed where we are. It has been a ton of work, a lot of risk by me and our LLC members, required huge support from our sponsors who told us to take this risk, and support from all of you. We have a lot of new ideas that these platforms allow. You will see them in the coming year.
Want to thank all of you for the great support you have given us. Not a chance we would have been able to get here without your support. Hope you will watch us online via one of these digital platforms, commercial-free and free to you.
I don't have Amazon Prime, but this may be a good reason to get it ! Again, good luck and good hunting !
Big Fin's Link
Best of luck, Randy! Looking forward to a new,improved format that lets you create as you wish. I'm a Prime member so that's just fine.
Great for you guys Randy
Good luck, Robb
I cut the cable in 2016. Saves a pile of $$ each month. I Put an antenna on my roof and get plenty of free tv when I want to watch. I don’t pay for nuthin to sit in front of the tv. I guess I have too many hobbies and other things to do.
Good luck, Randy....been watching you on AP and YouTube for some time now. Meateater on Netflix as well.
Thanks for being a great ambassador for all of us outdoor men and women....your leadership is greatly appreciated!
Thanks for your candor Randy....but I will have to ask my kids how to get this off of my computer onto to the TV- grin.
Amazon Prime is an annual fee of $99. College students can often get it for quite a bit less if you watch for the sales they have. They have a good video selection of movies, tv shows, etc, along with Prime shipping and other perks. Not quite on par with Netflix in my opinion, but they have some good stuff and some original content as well.
Assuming you have Prime and want to stream their content to your TV, there are some easy ways to do that. Most Smart TVs already support Prime streaming, but maybe can't get updated apps to do it. If you have a newer flatscreen, check if it has a Prime option already. If not, you can get a streaming box from Roku, Apple, or even Amazon themselves which connects via HDMI to your TV, and wifi to your home internet. I personally like the Roku devices as well as the Prime TV Stick. Keep in mind these devices often require you have a decent wireless signal in your house for internet access, but in general the cheaper models work quite well with most TV sets.
If you live out in the country and not a major metro area, check that your internet service is good enough to be streaming video via youtube before you jump on board with Prime or Netflix, so you aren't disappointing.
If you do sign up for Prime, check out the "Channels" section where you can sign up for different cable channels content like HBO, Starz, Cinemax, etc for additional monthly fees for each. It is a good way to have access to certain cable content and keeping your overall monthly bills low vs cable/satellite subscriptions.
Those same streaming devices should also support Youtube, so you don't need Prime to watch Randy's show and stream it to your TV if you choose that route.
Lastly, you can also get a Prime Video app for your smartphone to stream there via your Prime account, just like you can with the Youtube app.
Really enjoy the show Randy. Your show and Steven Rinella's are the only ones I watch anymore. I'm glad to hear you'll have more flexibility with how you make the show, I'm sure it'll only be better.
Also guys, if you're on Amazon, set up your smile settings. when you go to amazon.com, instead of typing in amazon.com, you type in smile.amazon.com and a percentage of everything you buy on amazon goes to the charity of your choice. I have mine set to RMEF and after every purchase, it shows me how much has gone to RMEF. It makes me feel better about buying all this crap :)
However, after seeing a post a while back from Randy saying his content was going to be on Amazon Prime, I looked it up to see what it was all about based on the positive comments from this site.
I am now hooked on his shows. Some of the best outdoor tv I have ever watched. Like others have said, I also watch Bill Winke's Midwest Whitetail, Grant Woods' Growing Deer, Meat Eater, and some of Winke's former staff on their new YouTube channel, The Hunting Public.
I really enjoy the way Randy shows the ups and downs of every hunt. I can relate to it much better than the typical highlight reel that is most shows on TV. His advocacy of the sport and public lands is amazing as is his willingness to share his knowledge and information with everyone.
Good luck on your new path!!
One thought about the decline of the various outdoor channels from a consumer point of view. Our local provider is Charter. The various outdoor channels were packaged in with other sports channels like the NFL network, MLB, etc. If you wanted the outdoor channels you have to upgrade your basic cable to include the sports package and pay more. I know that turned off people.
While I'm on a role with ideas for Randy......is there an opportunity (or feasible?) to also have the shows on Netflix or maybe even your own Roku channel?
Best Wishes, Jeff