The Cheddar goes all out on Facebook Live hosting a daily show. This may not be a business news publication that you are aware of if you are outside the US – their target audience is millennials with content based around topics such as tech, media, startups and entrepreneurship, but the paid news and lifestyle subscription site, the Cheddar, was founded in January 2016 and they quickly raised $3 million a month later.
Earlier this month it was reported that former BuzzFeed operations chief Jon Steinberg who established Cheddar was setting up Cheddar Life, aiming to sell its shows directly to online platforms such as Netflix, DirecTV Now and Hulu, which have traditionally licensed the bulk of their content from library holders like Disney and Time Warner. Steinberg calls it “CNBC for millennials”.
Cheddar Life is based in a new studio on the ground floor of the Flatiron Building in Manhattan, New York. Sprint has been a retail tenant at the base of the building since July 1997 and their arrangement with Cheddar Life is an interesting one for business who is no doubt looking to target a millennial audience.
Interestingly in the article when talking about the partnerships that Facebook has established with major players from news to entertainment and sports which we have covered several times in the Live Stream Insiders shows, Steinberg commented “I never rely on these platforms,” says Steinberg. “You’ve always got to have your own revenue streams in place”.
Fidelity investments have signed on as Cheddar’s first financial sponsor. Cheddar has already generated ad revenue so far of $1.5 million, but licensing fees that will be the main way they look to monetise.
The article references that in the US between 2011 and 2016, 40 percent of millennials’ TV viewing time migrated to streaming video and other activities (data based on Nielsen Total Audience Report) and they comment that in a Deloitte survey last year it was reported that 39 percent of US millennials’ total viewing time is devoted to streaming.
Of course when you are setting up a new businesses, you often turn to people you know and trust to join the team. It was reported this week that Steinberg has just hired a former BuzzFeed executive Eric Harris as its new Chief Operating Officer.
The article comments that in an email to employees, Cheddar CEO Jon Steinberg, (also ex BuzzFeed as I mention above) announced Harris would be responsible for HR, finance, vendors and capex project finance, project management, legal management, and business operations at The Cheddar.
So the organisation seems well equipped with talent that know what it takes to create a viral sensation such as BuzzFeed.
Eight Things You Can Learn From The New Facebook Live Show Cheddar Life
I spent some time exploring the live streams and the Facebook Page for Cheddar Life and identified eight things you can learn from their show that you could deploy for your live stream shows. Let me know if there are things I have missed.
If you look at their Facebook pages there are some elements of good practice that all live stream shows could emulate, no matter what platform they are on. These are all tactics that we try to use for our weekly show – though it must be easier with a production team – do not under estimate the time that hosting a live show takes.
1.You can find the Facebook Page for Cheddar Life here and you can see them sharing pictures before launch day, building up anticipation for their first broadcast.
2. You will notice the shows are well produced with lots of cut-ins and graphics.
3. They are re-posting content from the new Cheddar Life page to the main Cheddar page on Facebook using all their digital assets to attract an audience to the new show. )The main Cheddar page live streams from the New York Stock Exchange for their daily show covering CEO and Founder interviews).
5. They keep their content themes and guests on target for their audience of millennials so this will attract their them to stay with them longer – viewing time will be an important metric for the advertisers and brand partnerships they will want to attract.
6. They bring in comments from the audience and even invited two into a show I watched in real time (all you have to do is contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have an interesting story it seems).
7. The team mix up the conversation between having panel discussions with guests, to bringing people onto the show via Skype and then segments recorded live streamed from outside the studio in New York, therefore keeping it moving at a reasonable pace and visually engaging.
8. They republish highlights of the main live stream on Facebook as short form videos uploaded to their page as they realise not everyone will be able to watch the main show. This could also encourage people to go back and watch the main episode.
There is certainly a lot of work going into the production and promotion of Cheddar Life. I did not anticipate that I would find the content of interest, but I have to admit that when watching an episode as research for this article, I could become ‘hooked’ though I am not their target audience!
It is early days for this new venture so it will be interesting to see how The Cheddar Life Facebook Live show developing in the months ahead and if this new model of broadcasting will win eyeballs and dollars for the founders.
If you like this type of story about live video, make sure that you subscribe to my weekly show The Live Stream Insiders where we discuss case studies and breaking news in the world of live streaming.
Images featured in the article from the Cheddar Life on Facebook (excluding the header image which is copyright @KrishnaDe)