Podcasting 101 (Reel.com) & 102 (Gamer’s Edge)

Mission: Maintain the community of Reel.com and grow the community of Game Crazy
 
Cost to Develop: $4000* (equipment purchase and rentals)
*30 episodes across both vehicles
 
Costs Recouped: All cost were recouped through co-op and vendor advertising
 
 
Why: As Hollywood Video was looking to phase out Reel.com, the high-brow-college-educated-with-disposable-income audience was actually was begging for new content.  The internet marketing group at HV needed to come up with a way to leverage their contacts with the movie industry to add new, fresh, hip content to the site to prevent losing the users of Reel.com.  At the time I was given carte blanche to develop whatever was necessary to maintain the audience that could allow us to leverage the writers from the Reel.com staff along with product’s vast vendor network that included Showtime, Miramax and others.   
Game Crazy had a similar situation where they did not have wherewithal outside of the Asylum program (above) to generate new users to their online services (which included wish lists, collections lists, recommendations, etc).  Building upon the lessons learned from Reel.com and using the members from the Asylum to help us promote the podcast we developed the Gamer’s Edge podcast.   The goal was to create a voice for buyers, analysts, marketing representatives and game vendors like UbiSoft, Activision, Nintendo, EA and others.
Result:  These podcasts helped stabilize the user exodus from Reel.com and kept the internal team excited about the prospect of working with their fans and the vendors.  Internal team morale was the highest it had been since the ‘million dollar days’ of Reel.com‘s inception.  Game Crazy’s results were more tangible as we were able to recoup all costs of the program (both Reel and Game Crazy) through vendor Co-Op and advertising.   Both programs are still available from iTunes which continue to get downloaded.  Game Crazy’s highlight moment came between episode 8-10 where the show was ranked in the “Top 25 Podcasts” in games on iTunes (ranking at #19).