Tom Van Riper at Forbes.com discusses Costa’s plans to launch a subscripton-based show.
So what to do? Embark on a go-it-alone formula that, if successful, could prove to be the path for more media personalities looking to sustain their careers, or just to find a way in. Costa is gearing up for his own gig, set to launch on May 5, emanating from a 750-square-foot studio in Cheyenne, Wyoming, distributed on PCs and mobile devices, for a subscription fee of $72 a year. The plan is for an eventual stable of contributors to churn out content through audio, video and the written word.
To find investors willing to provide start-up cash, he hit social media, eventually getting the attention of two of his Sirius listeners in New Jersey: Anthony Menicola, an owner of construction and landscaping businesses, and Frank Stillitano, an accountant and management consultant. Together they invested $250,000, enough for a low-overhead media startup to get going.
In today’s crowded, cutthroat marketplace in sports (and other) media, is this the new vehicle of entry? In a certain sense, the business has always been entrepreneurial – you either find a way to get ratings or you go away. But today’s technology allows you to put yourself out there solo at a low cost. It means doing without the advantages of a brand name station or network umbrella. But it also means more freedom to read the marketplace and serve it the way you want to. And if you hit, all the profit flows to you. Costa’s numbers say 2,500 customers would provide enough subscription and ad revenue to break even. His goal is “several thousand” or so subscribers within the first year.
John Chelesnik, who runs the Sportscasters Talent Agency of America, praises Costa’s abilities but points out that the rogue approach is still a tough road to hoe. “Why would someone pay when there’s so much choice, so much free content?” he posits.
Costa, who does go in with an advantage of a built-in listener base from his years at Sirius, says this: “We believe we’re at a price point that’s reasonable for content that’s not available anywhere else.”
I will say this for Dino. When I wrote about his dismissal from SiriusXM, I received more response than any previous post I have done in two years at this site.
Obviously, he has a loyal following. But will they be $72 per year loyal?
At the very least, Costa won’t be gripping about the management.