The Glenn Beck Empire Is Stronger Than Ever

This will make you throw up a little. Even though he lost his Fox News show, Beck is prospering -- thanks to his gullible audience who doesn't understand he's just a morning zoo deejay playing a character.

Viewers pay a monthly subscription fee of up to $9.95 for access to programming that includes Beck’s two-hour daily broadcast, a children’s show and a reality show. More than 300,000 subscribers have already signed up, a number that, as WSJ notes, already exceeds the average audience of many cable channels, including CNBC and Fox Business Network.

However, GBTV’s rate of growth has moderated considerably from its torrid pace of last summer. From June to September 2012, Beck’s subscriber total nearly tripled, going from 80,000 (the number who subscribed to Insider Extreme, GBTV’s predecessor) to 230,000. That it’s added “only” another 70,000 new subscribers since then suggests that the audience of Beck diehards willing to pay for video content not covered by their cable subscriptions isn’t infinite.

  • D_C_Wilson

    300,000 is only 10% of the audience he had at his peak on Fox. Of course, now the subscription money is all going into his pocket and he doesn’t have to worry about chasing advertisers away. It’s the perfect setup for his brand of con.

  • muselet

    Glenn Beck is about to face the same problem he had at Fox News: stagnant ratings.

    The number of people willing to pay for access to Beck is plateauing. Either he will have to be content with respectable but steady audience numbers or do what he did before and amp up the crazy. This won’t be an easy decision for him since going mad on-camera sent him to the internet in the first place, and if you fail on the internet there’s nowhere left to go.

    What he decides will depend on how well he learned the lesson from his time at Fox News.

    Internet TV is cheaper than real TV—I’ll bet you a cookie nobody working at GBTV belongs to the relevant craft guild, for example—but there are still expenses. Keep those contained and he can pocket a reasonably large chunk of the millions being sent in by the rubes, month after month. If his ghostwriters keep churning out book-like artifacts with Beck’s name on them, that’s another steady source of revenue.

    But Beck’s not so good with the long con. Sooner or later, he’ll start saying more outlandish things to try and boost his audience (and his take). But this time, he’ll have to balance his inherent greed with not losing his audience (and his take) entirely.

    That could be a lot of fun to watch.


    • D_C_Wilson

      I don’t think it matters what he says. He’s reached the peak as to the number of suckers he can take in. Anyone willing to pay $9.95 to listen to him talk will believe anything he says. He could say that Obama is frying up aborted fetuses and serving them at state dinners and they’d believe it.

  • Jimmy Abraham

    I wonder what the Children show is like? I am sure it is trying to indoctrinate an ideology while he is trying to poo-poo children being indoctrinated by Obama and The Lorax!

  • agrazingmoose

    Geesh! That costs more than my subscription to the NYT.

    We just need to be patient. It won’t last.

  • Zasta_Krockett

    His cultural impact is somewhat diminished, though. Back when he had his daily show on FOX, hardly a day went by without some crazy shit he said appearing at HuffPo, at Media Matters, all over the blogs,…

    And I doubt that his crazy “rallies” would draw as many people as they used to, if he decided to revive them.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      Exactly. And you’ll also notice that both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert don’t make fun of this doofus’ verbal diarrhea on a consistent basis anymore. Glenn Beck just has his own little world to play in.

      • Zasta_Krockett

        Yes, I remember Jon Stewart’s brilliant 15-minute Glenn Beck impression. That wouldn’t happen today.

        It’s still sad that there are 300.000 people voluntarily giving money to Glenn Beck, though…

    • Miranda

      I doubt he’d get big numbers at his crazy rallies either. Mostly because the people paying money to listen to Beck live in bunkers and constantly on blogs devoted to various conspiracies about new world orders, black helicopters and whatnot.

  • Razor

    To be fair, it’s mostly just the 250,000 voices in Glenn Beck’s head creating their own accounts.