In Which Ezra Jumps The Shark

Ezra Levant

Not actually Ezra

I don’t actually watch Rebel Media. A bit too over the top for my taste; but I do get their emails and today Ezra went over the top.

There is no question that the prog Silicon Valley people are sharpening the knives for the less than PC people. And there is no question that alternatives to Google, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are needed.

But this is just nuts:

But making high-tech apps is expensive — all the different parts of it will cost us $302,000. From the app itself, to the video player, to the bandwidth for the hundreds of millions of video views a year that we broadcast.

Ez wants to ride the alternative horse to 300K. So dumb.

Gab got off the ground for about $3000 bucks.

There comes a point where a good idea – The Rebel – needs good management. Ez has his moments as a provocateur but The Rebel, and all who sail in her, would be best served if the “Rebel Commander” was kicked upstairs and smart people came in to run a lean, hard dollar, operation.

Update: In the comments Kathy Shaidle suggests I look at the cost breakdown of Ez’s app palace. Ok, you can read it here. But here are the line items:

Developing the app is going to cost us a lot of money. $120,000, for it to have all the functions I mentioned — all the fun notifications, all the social media, play all the video content.

To integrate it with our video hosting system, and with our payment system, that’s another $19,000.

$90,000 to build a proprietary video player, that runs the videos in the app. That serves up all the gigabytes worth of videos, on demand, quickly, in high def, to replace what YouTube gives us now free.

To move our 6,500 videos over from YouTube to the app, now, is about $13,000 — or about two dollars a video.

To upgrade our existing TV apps for Roku and Apple TV is $20,000.

And $40,000 to upgrade our computer software and servers at our headquarters, to make all of this work.

Together, that’s $302,000. I know that’s a lot. It’s the biggest expense we’ve ever had in our history.

Couple of points. Why bother migrating the entire Rebel catalogue of 6500 videos? Rebel is on the news and, like any other news enterprise, its output fades to irrelevance very quickly. The last couple of hundred vids would be more than enough. Building a “proprietary video player” – what the heck is that? There are dozens of off the shelf video players available for various devices. In terms of video hosting there are dozens of outfits who provide much the same service as You-Tube and some are happy to do so on a “white label” basis.

However, the larger question is why Ez is so convinced the Rebel needs to have proprietary apps and players. It would be a lot smarter to get together with Breitbart, Daily Caller, Gab, GoDuckGo, wikileaks, The Intercept, Kim Dotcom and a host of other “right wing”, no censorship, entities and actually construct the necessary backbone on an open source, distributed basis. The Rebel building its own little walled garden just isolates it from the general conversation on the right. Useful for fundraising, perhaps, but bootless if the objective is to build a work around for SJW and liberal censorship.



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8 thoughts on “In Which Ezra Jumps The Shark

  1. Mike Power says:

    Would agree Jay, but do you live in Alberta? I don’t know too many media people or social media people that aren’t out to get Rebel. It is a question of time. Bad leader or good, we need them. I don’t watch much either, but I do Twitter which keeps me up to date on Rebel.

    • Jay Currie says:

      No question that people are out to get Rebel. All the more reason that Rebel needs serious management and a realistic plan going forward. A 300,000 app is not a realistic plan and reflects remarkably bad management.

  2. No, you’re wrong. The right needs its own video platform because progressives and the left own the existing ones. Ezra is just ahead of the curve.

  3. fivefeetfury says:

    Yeah, because Gab and a free all-platform app with all those features are EXACTLY the same. Stick to your knitting, Jay, or at least read the breakdown of costs first. #badfaith

    • Jay Currie says:

      Kathy, building a “free all platform app” is a pointless waste of time. Generally, apps are fading as means of disseminating content. But do go right ahead. If people are dumb enough to fund this sort of idiocy why shouldn’t Ez skin’em? And maybe buy Laura Loomers some new tires with any money left over. #badfaithmyass

  4. Terry Rudden says:

    Well, here’s a theory.

    The Rebel appears to me to be a financial disaster, for reasons that go right back to its startup.. Sun News, backed by big corporate bucks and a national newsgathering infrastructure, discovered that advertisers won’t sponsor outlets that periodically enrage large sections of their potential markets, and died an inglorious death. The Rebel’s attempting the same trick, but with lower overheads (and standards, and quality, and talent, of course – Faith Goldie? “The Menzoid”? Really?) When the Rebel first launched, as you may recall, their ad sheet offered a wide range of sponsorship opportunities – none have materialized. The only advertising on the site is of the “ad choices” click-and-get-a-penny variety and even that’s under attack.

    As far as subscribers, they’ve pretty much tapped out the aging redneck and proud-boy wannabee markets in Canada. Their lunge for the Tommy Robinson skinhead thug demographic was an imaginative expansion that seems to be fizzling out; not a very prosperous lot to tap, that, and Tommy appears to be siphoning Canadian funds for his pet projects instead of helping Ezra pay for his own renovations.

    Which leaves the rapidly and hilariously proliferating web of “special” fundraising campaigns, all off which drive readers through multiple pages (good for the hits counter), and collect contributions for which Ezra issues no receipts or reporting to the donors. At this point, he’s raising money to send a debunked “I Was Raped By Muslims” poster girl on holidays, buy a high tech wheelchair for a vet, buy a new sign for some shopkeeper’s window, play Tommy Robinson’s legal bills, and several other campaigns. My fave was last year’s “Rebuild the Right” campaign, in which Ezra set a target of $500,000 to hold conferences, train conservative journalists, hand out awards, and…oh, yeah, hire some staff. The campaign appears to have collapsed (Ezra netted $60.00 of a $10,000 budget for his proposed “Awards Gala”, according to their website); but several thousand bucks were still raised. Since donors were invited to send cheques to the Rebel without specifying which campaign they were donating to, one can only assuming the funding went into general revenues – if that’s an unfair assumption, the Rebel could certainly debunk it by accounting for what the campaign actually achieved.

    So I think this new initiative is along the same lines. No actual budget is provided; no actual reporting on outcomes or expenditures is promised. My guess is that the contributions raised will help pay for “project management and administration” (i.e., current fixed costs at the Rebel), and possibly some new hardware and software. In a year or so, Ezra may or may not announce the creation of an app that some Sheridan College student actually designed for him on a $5,000 contract; or he may simply trust his long-suffering donors to forget what they contributed to, and roll out a Brand New Grand Scheme.

  5. […] my readers know I have very little time for Ezra Levant and RebelMedia. However, the SJW bullies are now well […]

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