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File:Rocketboom logo.png
Hosting Molly Windman (July 6, 2009 - present)

Caitlin Hill (April 2009) Joanne Colan (July 12, 2006 to April 17, 2009)

Amanda Congdon (October 26, 2004 to July 5, 2006)
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Updates Daily
Debut October 26, 2004

Rocketboom is a daily vlog produced by Andrew Baron and hosted by Molly Windman as of July 6, 2009. Caitlin Hill took the chair for a few episodes in early 2009.[1] Joanne Colan hosted from July 12, 2006[2] until April 17, 2009. It was hosted by Amanda Congdon from October 26, 2004[3][4] until July 5, 2006.

Rocketboom is presented in the format of a newscast with a comedic slant. Each weekday Rocketboom offers oddities, vlog excerpts and explores emerging social movements. It sometimes presents political commentary. Apart from an occasional use of old newsreel footage or vintage commercials, mainstream media is avoided. The Rocketboom weblog and Apollo Pony feature supplemental material that isn't fit for the vlog.



In August 2008, Sony Pictures Television signed a distribution and advertising deal with Rocketboom for a seven-figure guarantee plus a share of future revenues generated by the show. Sony distribution would send the show across multiple digital platforms such as Crackle and its syndication network, the PS3, the PSP and Bravia Internet video link televisions. Rocketboom is also available on its website, TiVo, iTunes, Miro, Apple TV, Pando, TVTonic and other web video portals, including YouTube, Metacafe, and Vuze.[5]


The Rocketboom production team members include its creator Andrew Baron (writer, producer, director), Molly Windman (host), Kenyatta Cheese (producer), Jamie Wilkinson (developer), Joe Bonacci (editor) and Elspeth Rountree (producer). Cheese, Wilkinson and Rountree have also featured on-screen for Rocketboom spin-off Know Your Meme.[6][7] Rocketboom and Rocketboom Human Wire's World Video Report both present webcasts packaged by its correspondents in the United States, Europe and Kenya: Annie Tsai (Los Angeles), Andy Carvin (Washington DC), Zadi Diaz (Los Angeles), Ella Morton (New York), Ellie Rountree (New York), Ruud Elmendorp (Nairobi), Steve Garfield (Boston), Milt Lee (South Dakota), Chuck Olsen (Minneapolis), Bre Pettis (Seattle), Tyson Root (Houston), Stefan M. Seydel (Switzerland/Germany/Austria) and Graham Walker (Prague).


File:Time 100 Jimmy Wales stares and grins.jpg
Rocketboom interviewed Jimmy Wales at the Time 100 Most Influential People Gala as of May 8, 2006 as featured on this vlog on May 9, 2006. Watch the vlog here.

Rocketboom started on October 2004 as a daily webcast staged as a mini-Newscast. By December it already had 25,000 downloads per day and growing, with its promotion depending mostly of word-of-mouth. Its revenue came from selling ad space at the end of the reports. [3]

In its first ten months, it went from an initial 700 viewers to 70,000 viewers. The vlog's success was noted in the summer of 2005 by CBS Evening News[8], Wired News[9] and other publications. BusinessWeek labeled it "the most popular site of its kind on the Net."[10]

When, on October 2005, Steve Jobs from Apple, was introducing the new iPod 5G's video podcast capabilities, he showed a playlist of video podcasts that included Rocketboom.[11][12][13] During Steve Jobs' introduction of the iTV in September 2006, when discussing podcasts, host Joanne Colan was shown.[14]

The January 9, 2006, issue of Newsweek stated that Rocketboom had "130,000 daily viewers."

On February 2, 2006 Rocketboom was incorporated into an episode of the TV series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in a fictional scene of a murderer watching a Rocketboom commentary on the crime.[15] In the month following the CSI episode, the number of Rocketboom viewers jumped to 200,000. As noted by Dan Mitchell in the New York Times (2006-03-11), this is similar to the size of a small cable show audience. In "A Blog Writes the Obituary of TV,"[16] Mitchell wrote:

One recent week, the video blog Rocketboom drew an average of 200,000 people a day to watch its short daily news reports on technology, the arts and other topics. The Abrams Report on MSNBC, meanwhile, drew 215,000 viewers to its weekday hourlong show about legal issues. Does this anecdote -- that an unpopular cable news show and a wildly popular Web site draw similarly sized audiences -- prove that the Internet is upending the economics of the television business? It does for Prince Campbell, a former media executive who runs the Chartreuse (BETA) blog. Mr. Campbell wields superlatives in a particularly bloggish manner at "Broadcast television is dead," he declares. "Just like the Internet killed the music industry, it's about to do the same thing to broadcast TV."

In April and May 2006, Rocketboom introduced its first commercials. The first commercial sponsors were TRM and Earthlink.[17] Each of which was a series of 5 commercials shown, one per day, over the week that they were featured.

In Fall of 2006, Rocketboom's popularity claims and self-published statistics came into question. In an interview with Dow Jones, Baron claimed "400,000 viewers per day" and that "some episodes are more popular and receive well over a million complete downloads." After extensive analysis[18] BusinessWeek reported that Rocketboom provided incorrect statistics data resulting in "cutting in half the original estimate... to 78,500 downloads" and noting that Rocketboom refused "to let any third party... verify these stats."[19]

In March 2008, named Rocketboom one of the fastest growing video startups on the internet.[20]

In June 2009, Rocketboom announced it was looking for two new anchors, after not being able to reach a deal with current host Caitlin Hill. Job postings for the New York position and the new Los Angeles desk sparked a heated public talent search as the positions listed a base salary of $80,000 plus a $10,000 signing bonus and 3% of ad revenues. It is believed to be the highest paid on-camera job in web television.[21]


Streamy Awards:

  • Streamy Award for Best News or Politics Web Series (2009) (nomination)

See Also


  1. "Caitlin and Planet X" Rocketboom Episode, April 20, 2009. [1]
  2. Colan, Joanne (2006-07-12). "Wednesday July 12, 2006 : daily". Rocketboom. Retrieved 2006-08-25. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Frazier Moore (2005-05-06). "'Rocketboom' May Be Future of TV News". ABC News. Retrieved 2008-07-19. 
  4. Congdon, Amanda (2004-10-26). "October 26, 2004 : daily". Rocketboom. Retrieved 2006-07-07. 
  5. Schonfeld, Erick. "Rocketboom Inks Seven-Figure Distribution Deal With Sony," TechCrunch, August 5, 2008.
  6. "Rocketboom to Expand Video Blogging Portfolio". Retrieved 2008-01-18. 
  7. "Rocketboom - about". Retrieved 2008-01-18. 
  8. "FutureMedia News, Reviews, Interviews, Analysis, Expos, Press Events, Parties". Retrieved 2006-07-07. 
  9. Cohn, David (2005-07-13). "The Vlog World's Greatest Hits". Wired News.,68175-0.html. Retrieved 2006-07-20. 
  10. Green, Heather (2005-09-05). "Rocketboom's Powerful Lift-Off". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2006-07-07. 
  11. Robert Mackey (2005-12-11). "TV Stardom on $20 a Day". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  12. Andrew M. Goldstein (2006-04-12). "The Rise of the Video Blog". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  13. (mov) Apple Special Event October 2005. Apple. October 2005. Event occurs at 13:39-13:41. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  14. Paul Boutin (2006-09-12). "Live from the Steve Jobs Keynote -- "It's Showtime"". Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  15. "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation". Retrieved 2006-07-07. 
  16. Mitchell, Dan (2006-03-11). "A Blog Writes the Obituary of TV". New York Times. Retrieved 2006-07-07. 
  17. Anderson, Diane (2006-02-17). "Rocketboom Takes Off: Earthlink and TRM are First Advertisers". Brandweek. Retrieved 2006-07-07. 
  18. Green, Heather (2006-10-27). "Why Ze Frank is Right and Wrong About Rocketboom". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2006-10-28. 
  19. Green, Heather (2006-10-27). "The Continuing Saga of Rocketboom Numbers and Yanking Our Estimate". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2007-05-29. 
  20. Patriquin, Alex (2006-10-27). "February Online Video: Politics Offsets the Writer’s Strike, Racks Up Impressive Year/Year Growth". Retrieved 2008-03-25. 
  21. Hustvedt, Marc (2009-06-04). "Is ‘Rocketboom’ Gig The Highest Paid Job In Web TV?". Tubefilter News. Retrieved 2009-06-07. 


External links

Official sites


Newspaper articles

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