Far be it from me to take issue with Robert Scoble, or for that matter Jeneane Sessum — who doesn’t suffer fools gladly — but until we can measure likeability or engagement then downloads will have to do. And it seems obvious that unless Andrew Baron of Rocketboom is a complete and utter liar when he talks about his statistics, Rocketboom is leagues ahead of Ze Frank. This all stems from the recent throwdown between Ze and the Rocket.
Does that matter? Not to Jeneane and Robert and other Ze fans — of which I am one. We care that he is bizarre and funny and engaging. But I bet it matters to Ze. Like Rocketboom, I assume that Ze Frank is looking for revenue so that he can keep buying those expensive props (like the duck) and new paint for the wall he sits in front of. And when it comes to video, downloads and unique eyeballs are the currency that advertisers want to hear about. As Scott points out, old or new media, you have to have the stats.
Once Ze and Rocketboom get more advertising, then (strangely enough) it will get easier to measure engagement — because then you can track who clicked for the $10-off coupon on Swiss Chalet or the discount pass to Six Flags or whatever the hell they decide to advertise. Scoble is on the right track when he talks about how a mention in USA Today gets more readers but a mention on Scoble gets more clicks.
If Ze wants to really thumb his nose at Rocketboom, all he has to do is find a way to turn those duckie-lovers into clickers. Maybe his duck-sponsorship program, which Google Checkout recently axed and then changed its mind on, will give him some new numbers for a future Rocketboom smackdown. In other video-blog related news, the guys at Ask A Ninja are looking for ad money based on a $50 CPM, which would mean $50,000 to $100,000 per show (assuming their stats are legit).