Episode 37

Kyle Scott Laskowski

How to Monetize an Audience of Any Size

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In this episode, Adam is joined by Kyle Scott Laskowski, the founder of CrossingBroad and co-host of Monetize Media. Kyle Scott talks about the mistakes he made in monetizing early on, how creators can best monetize their content, and lessons operators can take as we go build media platforms and companies today.

Highlights from the conversation:

  • How CrossingBroad came about (2:44)
  • Selling CrossingBroad to Excel Media (11:53)
  • About Monetize Media (17:55)
  • How to 5x your revenue without ads (21:07)
  • Content trend: products (28:36)


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Transcription generated by Otter.ai

Adam Vazquez 0:06
On this episode, we’re joined by Kyle Scott Laskowski, the Founder of CrossingBroad.com and the co-host of Monetize Media where he and his co-host discuss how creators grow and monetize their audience. This was a special episode for me. I was a huge fan of the site Kyle founded, CrossingBroad.com, and for anyone from the Philadelphia area or a fan of Philly sports, this site was special. Kyle describes it as the TMZ of Philly sports. I knew it as the place to go find out the real stories behind the standard press conference answers we’d hear in the media. It’s a great site. Loved it growing up and still love it today.

So Kyle joined to tell the story of building CrossingBroad.com, the mistakes he made in monetizing early on, and the lessons that operators can take as we go build media platforms and companies today. As I mentioned, Kyle is also the host of Monetize Media where he discusses how creators can best monetize their content and turn their audiences into businesses, so we got deep into that as well.

This is a great episode with lots of depth, some very accurate and unfortunate sixers predictions from Kyle and I, and a ton of lessons learned for anyone building a media brand today. Let’s get into this episode with Kyle Scott Laskowski.

Intro 1:25
Put that content down. Content. The close is over. What’s your name? Content. That’s my name. You know why, mister? Because you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight. I drove an $80,000 BMW. That’s my name. Content Is for Closers.

Adam Vazquez 1:47
Alright, we are back with another episode. This episode we’ve got Kyle Scott from a lot of places. Originally from CrossingBroad, now talking about Monetize Media. But Kyle, thanks for spending time with us.

Kyle Scott Laskowski 1:59
Adam, thanks for having me. Excited to be here.

Adam Vazquez 2:01
Alright, so before we get into like the career thing and everything, I don’t really get to talk Philly sports much on here. Although people probably know how I feel you that kind of just leads into what you’ve been able to do with your career and obviously starting crossing broad anyone who grew up in around the Philadelphia area, I tried to explain it to other people. And sometimes I think they think I’m exaggerating, but sports is just such a huge part of being from the area. Everybody wants to work in sports in some fashion or another and you actually did it in starting CrossingBroad. How did that come about?

Kyle Scott Laskowski 2:36
Yeah, you’re right. You really can’t explain fully to people until you’re here. It’s such a provincial town, and people just grow up at sports as a part of their lives. So I always wanted to go into sports media and had wanted to be a journalist worked in ad sales of the Enquirer mistakenly thinking that could get me into like the writing side, or internships at Comcast, Sportsnet, which is the local sports network. And I realized, like, I’m not a good employee, I’m not a great nine to five guy, right. And some of those people are working crazy hours for low pay. So for every Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann, you see there’s like 100 people behind the scenes that are making a fraction as much working terrible hours. And I was like, this isn’t for me. So I went into sales, I worked in some digital marketing, I worked at GSI commerce, which is kind of now fanatics. So I had some experience in like the ad sales, the apparel, the monetization piece, and I knew I always will always wanted to get into like content. And I had started a few sports blogs over the years like starts and stops throughout like the mid-aughts, the early 2000s, and then create one in 2009 called Crossing broad and I tried to be a little bit different. We were like TMZ meets barstool meets Deadspin meets real sports news. And it was just something different that people in Philly weren’t used to and it kind of stuck right away. And it’s kind of awful once you get a little traction with something like that, that’s your passion, just kind of like go all in and that’s kind of what I did.

Adam Vazquez 3:57
Yeah, it’s awesome. I remember clearly reading crossing broad over the years. And at one point it was—or maybe it still is—it was the largest independent media site. Is that right? In Philly?

Kyle Scott Laskowski 4:09
Yeah, I like to think so. I mean, not everywhere, publishes their numbers, but Right, just in terms of getting a sense of the lay of the land. No, it’s in Philly. I feel like we were the biggest certainly in sports. You have like these SP nation sites that are part of the network, they get pretty good. Right? We’re like truly for a while. We’re truly independent.

Adam Vazquez 4:26
So I want to talk more about what you’re doing now, but I have to just dig in a little bit. Sports is so competitive and Philly sports is incredibly competitive. What did you do in the early days, maybe even things that didn’t scale long term, but were crucial to getting some inertia early on?

Kyle Scott Laskowski 4:46
Yeah, I think the TMZ thing is probably the best way to do this. Yeah. And we got a lot of heat, Philly’s a sports town and you’ll hear from people in sports media that there’s no online community like there is in Philly, just be people on Twitter podcasts. And back in the day, it was bloggers. And it was like this tight-knit community and no one was really approaching it like a business. And I kind of came in and was like, there’s a lot of people who care about this, I can get enough of an audience and then figure out a way to make a living off, right. And so I, I approached it more competitively or combative Lee than some other bloggers. And I think my way of doing it was like, we’re going to be TMZ we’re going to write about like, which flyers are out partying. Our big story, we broke the story of Riley Cooper race, used a racial slur at a concert. And if you was like sports center within hours, and like, we’re going to do that and be different, we’re going to talk sports too. But I always use the example people in Philly. It’s such a sports town that more people spend time-consuming, like the local sports talk radio guy that actually watching the game. And we started covering the media personalities. And that made us a lot different. And some of the media hated us for that. And some of them liked it. But it gave us an audience, whereas everybody else was just talking about the X’s and O’s. And you always got to kind of like find your pocket. And that was ours. Long term, though, it did make it more difficult. When we tried to create like a subscription business. We didn’t go deep. We went like shallow on a lot of topics. So we went for breadth more than depth. And then when it came time to like, try and compel people to subscribe for a paid product. It was tough because we weren’t like, deep into the weeds on the Sixers. Sure, or the Eagles, so it was good and bad. It gave us scale, but it kind of meant that certain business models were never going to work for us in terms of like deep knowledge on one area.

Adam Vazquez 6:32
In fairness, back then, I don’t think being verticalized to one sport was as common as it is today. Like now you’ve got the athletic, you’ve got a bunch of people who do like the athletic MBA or whatever rights Ricky Sanchez, just basketball at the time, everybody did everything. So that that seems like it’d be normal, but going about it the way that you did and talking about whether it be lifestyle or different things did that make it difficult to like, because sports is so contingent on who your sources are your relationships? Was it difficult to establish those player relationships? Did they hold you at arm’s length at all?

Kyle Scott Laskowski 7:09
They did. I mean, the team certainly did. It took us years till we started to get credentials, like 2016-17, it was about six or seven years where we were able to even have that conversation. And some teams are more receptive than others. We never really I always wanted to be away from the rain. It wasn’t until we started hiring more people and they wanted to, like get credentialed. Because for us, it was better. You go down to an Eagles game, there’s like 50, local repricer no exaggeration, it’s crazy. It’s those guys are like they think they’re covering the white end was. And it’s true, man. I mean, it’s a different breed. So we’re like, we’re going to keep an arm’s length. And we’re going to comment on that stuff. Some of the stuff that they’re doing some of the stuff that media is doing. I think we’ve seen this recently, even when mainstream media like can’t choose your cable news fighter, right. But they comment on what the other media they know, the media on the left, yeah, right doesn’t matter. We kind of started doing that early. So for me access, not only wasn’t necessary, and a lot of times we didn’t want and because it allowed us to kind of, frankly, take potshots but also just kind of speak truth and be irreverent and have some fun and really approach it. Like the fan watching from home or the fan of the game. Some of our most popular stories were about the new beers at Citizens Bank Park or some gaff on the local postgame show. And that’s not like totally groundbreaking barstool and Deadspin were doing that. But at the time, on a local level, there wasn’t a whole lot of that. And now though, you have every mainstream outlet has like a factory of 22-year-old content writers monitoring this stuff 24/7 And we couldn’t compete, like our edge was gone by like 2015 in terms of like, Hey, we’re gonna post this crazy screenshot that happens in the game, because now mainstream media is thinking that way, and they have more resources to throw at it. So then we started becoming like a bit more personality-driven at that point.

Adam Vazquez 8:58
Yeah, now it’s just viral. Everyone sees it live. The other night during the Sixers game, a dude fell asleep in the front row, it was seconds. As soon as I saw the scene on TV, I was like, I mean, this is gonna be killer in a few seconds. And it was.

Kyle Scott Laskowski 9:11
And in 2010, that would have been us, and it would have been dead yet. And maybe like one outlet. Yeah, now it’s on Bleacher Report, NBC picks it up because they know— It’s kind of still in the playbook.

Adam Vazquez 9:23
Which is crazy, but yeah, and to your point about the local thing. I think that’s so interesting. I’m seeing that more and more. I’m down in Greenville, South Carolina now. We have a company here called 6am City that’s really turned the daily newspaper into like morning brew for very local midsize cities. I’m curious to see how that continues to expand because, as you said, the traditional topic-based reporting and even now the slant stuff or the off the field stuff or whatever, all those things kind of ubiquitous, but when you get super hyper local, it’s harder for bigger people to be competitive in that. So I think that’s still an area that has more for content creators to investigate and I’m curious to see how that unfolds over time.

Kyle Scott Laskowski 10:10
Yeah, I’m familiar with that company with I find it very interesting what they’re doing. And I’ve thought like, hey, what’s next for us? One of the things kind of thought is like, Hey, can we do something else local there is that you can be you can create a niche, or get people who are really knowledgeable in a community. Where the problem with local is from my experience, and this is not for everybody, it is hard to find the right business model. It took us years and kind of the legalization of sports betting to make this a scalable business, she’s talked about in a bit, but for years, like I was knocking on the doors of bars in Old City, Philly trying to sell ads, right. And it was me and like one other person for five or six years. And the response was always cool. Can you get people into the barn, right? It’s like, yeah, we can, but like, I want to just show your ad on the website. I can’t come out every night. I was hosting quizzes for drinkers in an old city. So I’d be blogging all day. And then like two nights a week, I would go host a quiz, because that’s what they needed. They need to meet the needs and my ability to bring in a crowd, right? That’s not scalable. And it’s like you’re nickel and diming I remembers McFadden’s down at Citizens Bank Park paid us for a Super Bowl party, like out of cash like under the table and then like extorted us to give half of it back to their bartenders as a tip and it’s like, okay, this is not a scale remodel, we need something else and we eventually got into apparel but local is tough because your ad sales you’re not dealing with like a big agency, you’re going like doing otter pop and bars. It’s a different type of like relationship.

Adam Vazquez 11:36
I love that though. I love how you were able to do those things that were unscalable if those things that were not fun in the moment, but obviously paid off. So you and your partner were able to sell a CrossingBroad eventually to Excel Media. Tell us a little bit about that process and what you’re doing with them now.

Kyle Scott Laskowski 11:53
Yeah, so for a long time, CB was May in 2017. I took on a couple of local guys as investors so we can hire if you follow like Kevin Kincaid. He’s our Sixers writer and some of the other guys to really help me focus on growing the business. So at first we tried that subscription thing. And I talked about earlier, and we realized, Oh, well, we don’t go deep anywhere. And we got a few 100 subscribers like this isn’t a scalable model. So then we went into apparel, and I was more of an opportunistic thing. The Eagles were starting to get good. They won the Super Bowl, and we sold like a lot of shirts, but again, not scalable. It was me stuffing shirts in my garage for like six weeks, no joke, 10s of 1,000s of Philly special shirts going out and stuff by me and like some neighborhood kids, but then really everything changed. I think for sports media in general with the overturning of paspa, which is the supreme court ruling that effectively made it allowed states to legalize online sports betting. And I had this weird background of like digital marketing and affiliate marketing and new gambling companies spent a lot of money to acquire new customer hundreds of dollars for a single customer. And it just so happened for us that Pennsylvania and New Jersey were the first two states to legalize this. And I was like okay, our audience is ripe for this. We have some tactical like tactical abilities. So I found a partner a guy named Jason sir Nicky, who was a big affiliate in Daily Fantasy also happens to be in Doylestown, PA, we synched up in 2018. And we’re like, okay, you got a skill set as an affiliate, I got a content and audience skill set, let’s work together. So we took CB in house, he had some SEO sites, we bought a site in New York that was a little more forward-looking for when they legalized what she just did. And then we started partnering with other sports blogs around the country, like Mile High sports in Denver, bleacher nation in Illinois, and we created this betting affiliate content for them. And it’s a whole different level of revenue generation and made it a business more than like, figure two is it made it a scalable business instead of a lifestyle business. And then we started to get acquisition offers, and then said no to the first few, and then eventually they offer you enough that you can reconsider.

Adam Vazquez 13:59
Wow, I didn’t realize I didn’t know you guys were tied into Bleacher Nation. That’s awesome. Those are big, reputable sites. So you sold to Excel and you’re working with them currently. And in the is it daily fantasy or I guess still sports gambling content creation stuff?

Kyle Scott Laskowski 14:05
Yeah, so we have a number of sports so we keep those partnerships so we still own CrossingBroad and elite sports in New York similar type site, we try to find similar sites around the country like bleacher nation, Chicago and so on and so forth. But now, we’ve seen mainstream media and newspapers actually realizing how much money is in like sports betting advertising dollars, and the most lucrative part of that we think is, is the affiliate opportunity because it’s hundreds of dollars to refer new customers or we’re not working with just announced the partnership today or yesterday with cleveland.com which is like the main domain in Ohio. Yeah. And our team goes in and we create game previews, how to bet I was gonna say the Indians at the Guardians game tonight and things like that, and I have a link to DraftKings and FanDuel is of the world and it’s a really good revenue opportunity for sports media. And it’s great for the sports books because they only pay bribes, they get performance to actually get the referral.

Adam Vazquez 15:10
That’s where the affiliate comes in. You’re not doing it as a branded partner, content partner of DraftKings where they own all your content, you’re just you’re giving a link and the consumer can kind of decide, is that right?

Kyle Scott Laskowski 15:22
Yeah, exactly. So if you take crossing broad, like we had our Sixers and eagles content, and then we’d layer in a post about how to bet on the Eagles game here. The sports books you could use here, the betting promos are like, Oh, this works. And it works really well on Crossing broad. And that’s like, Hey, we should buy another site or partner with other sites to help them and it helped me because I had been the lead blogger on the site for like five or six years. And when you’re doing content all day, every day and I’ve heard some other guests at your show, say the same thing. Like all you think about his content all day long, and the business sometimes come second. So we went to like some of these other bloggers around the country are like, listen, I get it. I’ve been there. You’re spending all day blogging about the Cubs or the Broncos, and you’re not thinking about like how to make the best affiliate business. So let us come in, we have a team of people that can create this betting content, and it makes for some of our partners has really changed their trajectory too. And way more than like programmatic ad dollars.

Adam Vazquez 16:19
This is just like a sidebar, but what’s your thoughts on… So for instance, a game three of the Sixers heat series Embiid was questionable, and then he was out and then at the last second the Sixers put them in the lineup, and I think they just took some fine for not having disclosed that he was going to play earlier. And the sons did it either this round or last round with Devin Booker. Do you see that? Like, it seems like it would have a direct implication on like, like people like what you’re doing or obviously the gambling sites themselves? Do you think that’s gonna, we’re gonna see some changes in those things?

Kyle Scott Laskowski 16:54
Yeah, I think you’re gonna see leagues crack down harder on it, I know, they find the Sixers $50,000 to an MBA, and I’m gonna move the needle, but you’re gonna see him crack down on it’s a story today, I just saw someone on Twitter talking about how the NHL still discloses injured injuries, like during the Dark Ages, lower body, your upper body and this, it’s actionable. It’s actionable info now, so all these leagues that wanted to stay away from betting forever, I just saw this, the Sixers tweet on the day of a playoff game and ad for their custom branded blackjack game with one of the locals. So it’s like, we’re in a whole new world. So much gambling money is flooding into sports and every facet, that the league’s know, they have to be putting out good information. They’ve been the ones trying to lead the charge trying to claim they need to integrity fees from sportsbooks. But if it’s their own teams and players who are sort of holding back information, you’re going to see them crack down on it.

Adam Vazquez 17:49
Yeah, makes sense. Okay, so done all that. You’re doing that now still with Excel. You just told us about that announcement. But there’s something on the horizon, you and your partner are starting a new site together. Tell us a little bit about that. I think it’s called Monetize Media.

Kyle Scott Laskowski 18:03
Yeah, yeah. So it’s monetize.media and it’s really set up to be a podcast, and we kind of look to grow a brand off the backs of it. And it’s about really what we just talked about how to monetize. If you have a following of any kind, be it on TikTok a blog, a podcast, right? Our belief is that if you go back hundreds of years, even to like, the biblical times, right, anyone who had an audience had like, a small handful of ways to really make a living off that audience. You can get supporters which would take the form of donations or Patreon, you could get subscribers, you can take that all the way forward to the radio era, the newspaper era, and now online. If you have a number of people consuming your content, you have to think about what type of people they are, what type of audience you have, does it go deeper? Does it go wide? If it goes wide, you monetize differently than if you have like a really ryokan of water here, right? Like, if you specialize in coconut water, you could charge a subscription for the eight people who need to know everything about coconut water, right? So we think there’s only like a handful of business models. And the idea is to talk to creators who are out there, putting out content, whether it’s written audio, video doesn’t matter. And then like really dive deep into their business model and how to own the audience. You hear about so many people who have are making a ton of money on Instagram, or on YouTube? And it’s like, okay, but if that dries up? Do you own your audience? Do you have a true business model? And it took me almost a decade to kind of figure out a way to do that. But that’s what that’s kind of what we want to pull out of other people and make it valuable for the audience. So everybody can learn from somebody else that hey, what this works for them and their vertical I can might be able to apply to my vertical.

Adam Vazquez 19:34
Yeah, that’s awesome. So tell me about how you came up with this. I assume it’s from your CrossingBroad experiences, but how did you all formulate the idea for Monetize and how did you see that as a pain point?

Kyle Scott Laskowski 19:52
Yeah, we kind of sat down one day and said, Hey, we’re not going to be at our current company forever. We kind of get here and have an agreement. had to stay on for a period of time and, and kind of grow this opportunity. And it’s still big. But in the future, what do we want to do? And could we create a new media site and sports or somewhere else? Yeah, we could write and we can operate a site. But we were a success story now, like, hey, we had this, we had this really interesting exit this in this kind of high profile business model. And we’ve learned a lot of things. And the two of us have a really kind of unique content and digital marketing skill set. And like, Hey, we love when we get on partner calls, we love like talking to our partners for two hours, sometimes just about like their business model and their audience, and has nothing to do with like our direct partnership. And we’re like, Well, we really enjoy this. Why don’t we just like, find other people that have audiences and do this as a podcast, and then see what opportunities it opens for us down the road? Certainly, we could monetize your podcast itself, we wouldn’t be going to be some of them and do that. But, yeah, exactly. But we think it might open up. So consulting, investing, advisory opportunities.

Adam Vazquez 20:57
Very cool. All right, good. I didn’t fully understand the concept, but this is perfect timing. I just got to do a little bit of an argument on LinkedIn and Twitter yesterday over this topic. So I believe that advertising specifically is I think, I know you’re gonna say its width versus depth. But advertising is it can be a lazy monetization effort if it’s just what you go to immediately, which is what a lot of people do. A lot of people start a show and then immediately are looking for advertisers or giving away advertisements to generate interest, etc. And my point was, with our business, for instance, throughout through this show, 5x, our revenue over a two-year period between 2017 and 2019. With no advertisements, it was through the people that we invited to come on the types of content that we created, the partnerships, like all the behind the scenes, stuff of the content business, was how we generated our revenue. And it wasn’t a ton of revenue. But we’re talking about a jump from initially when we very first started $100,000 a year to just over $500,000 A year annual recurring revenue in that two-year period. And so my point was, if you just jumped to advertising, you’re missing everything else. Was I wrong? What do you think about that?

Kyle Scott Laskowski 22:09
Yeah, no, I totally agree. I could share some anecdotes from the past and how I think about it. Early on, like within six months of launching, CrossingBroad hit 30,000 impressions per month. It felt like a lot. It was 1,000 a day. At the time, it was a lot in, in hindsight, it really wasn’t right. And I was like, alright, this probably isn’t worth maybe like five to $10 and CPM revenue per day or something. But I tried to throw in an event with a local sponsor, I was like, Oh, you ran on these people, I guess, look at 30,000 impressions, right? Two people. And I spent weeks instead of putting content on the site about the Phillies, at the time who were really good there in the World Series or bestehen, baseball, I was promoting this event at Lucky Strike in Center City, and two people showed up. And I think you can sour an audience that way. And it’s also not the most scalable model. Sometimes advertising, in any format, you can kind of take the programmatic ad dollars. And if you have enough scale, if you’re a YouTuber who gets millions of views, then it’s a lot of money. But it’s almost never the best or only business model. Advertising is a great part of any mix. Don’t get me wrong. And I think a good podcast ad is as effective as any ad, but it’s rarely the very best business model. We were relying on some programs through Google back in like 2015. And it was like, it was like, 80% of my personal income. And Google just decided, hey, we’re gonna put this inventory on our own sites now like YouTube and Google Play, and some of their other stuff, and cut out publishers like 98%. So I went from literally like, $500 a day, we were pulling it from that to literally $2 a day. And it was like, wow, okay, I need something that’s more sustainable. And that kind of forced us to think about apparel and affiliate and like, how can we really monetize our audience more effectively? So I think it’s a part.

Adam Vazquez 23:56
Okay, given what we just talked about with advertising, obviously, that’s one extreme. B2B relationship-driven monetization is not even really content monetization in the traditional sense. You said there are lots of different models. Do you have a favorite model that you believe in or evangelize as you’re going through this?

Kyle Scott Laskowski 24:15
I really think it depends on the type of content and audience, and it’s not even just depth versus breadth. It’s your vertical. What we’re trying to do with Monetize Media, for example, is more like B2B consultant type work. And if we could get really one strategic partner or client out of that down the line, 40 episodes of podcasts may have been worth it, right to establish that credibility to get it. Whereas if you have a sports website, it’s really doesn’t have like value in the actual world, right? It’s really in your covering entertainment. So you’re gonna get the beer advertisers. Luckily now for people in sports, you’re getting those gambling advertisers who are spending bitcoin. It really is about the vertical. What kind of information are you putting out and how valuable is that information? If it’s valuable information, your options to monetize are a bit more scalable because you can charge subscriptions or get consulting opportunities out of that. If it’s just more like surface-level stuff, then that’s where I think you got to default to like advertising and more just traditional affiliate stuff to kind of piece it together.

Adam Vazquez 25:18
Yeah, consulting the B2B stuff is super under the radar, even though there are a lot more people talking about it now than there was five years ago, I still think it’s an underrated asset.

Kyle Scott Laskowski 25:28
And I think products too, by the way. Like Mr. Beast is a great example. My kids know him as the guy who throws burgers down the shore. Like, can we buy a Mr. Beast burger? And you’re seeing these services called Pop Chu. And there are some of these services that allow these creators to create a product like not just white label, but have their hands in creating it. And it’s almost different, like it used to be brands would pay people with an audience to advertise to them. Now, you could almost do the reverse, you could build your audience. And then you could say, alright, what is my audience like, and I can create a product and do it the other way around where the people with the audiences are the ones who in the future who are at the center.

Adam Vazquez 26:02
That’s another model where scale is pretty necessary to be able to even have those conversations.

Kyle Scott Laskowski 26:08
Yeah, unless it’s like some high-value product, I think, if you have an audience of 1,000, but you’re like, it is where you are some but if you’re talking about like, save an audience of 1,000 people subscribe to your newsletter and your newsletters about orthopedic surgery on like the ulnar bone, right, you probably have a lot of doctors who would pay premium, top dollar for your information or to get you to come in and work with them or something like that.

Adam Vazquez 26:35
You know a lot about the ulnar bone. Is that a specific injury you’ve had?

Kyle Scott Laskowski 26:38
I did. I don’t need to tell that story here, but I did. I broke it playing roller hockey. I got punched in the face and broke my wrist when I hit a tree.

Adam Vazquez 26:47
One thing you said when you were kind of going through that initial description was there are their supporters, their subscribers, and then there are advertisers. Just because I haven’t heard supporters used as often, is there an interesting anecdote or somewhere you’ve seen that being used effectively, the supporter model?

Kyle Scott Laskowski 27:07
Yeah, I’m not trying to plug our show, but one of the people we spoke to early on as guy called Kenny Coleman, who started Bourbon Pursuit, it’s a podcast all about bourbon and they had a lot of Patreon subscribers, but more supporters, they really didn’t get much for being a supporter other than like a T-shirt and things like that didn’t really get them more content, those people really appreciated what he was doing, or like, Hey, I’m gonna give you 10 bucks a month. So you could do this as a living and put out more content. To me, that’s a supporter versus someone who has to actually pay to receive the content. If someone’s willing to just do it out of the kindness of their heart because they like you and want to support the mission, that’s kind of where I draw that distinction. But he was able to lever that up into now he’s creating his own brand, and they’re instilling an aging whiskey. So those early supporters gave him enough juice to be able to do this full time, basically. And now he’s been able to put his effort into, he’s literally going to distill an age for five years, his whiskey, which is a very, very intensive process.

Adam Vazquez 28:09
Well, Kyle, it’s been great getting to talk with you, I appreciate you coming and sharing all of what you have with us kind of last two questions. The first is just what is and maybe it’s just the creative economy on the whole, but what’s a content trend? Or a business model trend online that just has you super excited at the moment? And then be sure to tell us where we can follow all the stuff that’s coming out with Monetize Media, the show, all those things.

Kyle Scott Laskowski 28:33
Yeah, sure. I think the products one is really interesting to me, because for a long time creators, it was always like, T-shirts, apparel, right? And that’s what we do. Because it was easy, you can find gets, you go to Spreadshirt, or Shopify and quickly dropship shirts, but I think now, there are companies that can help facilitate people with audiences creating products related to the niche, which I think takes the business ramifications rather than relying on a brand’s dollars, you can be the brand, I think that’s really huge. And for me, subscriptions is one that’s like, it’s really trendy right now. But like, if you look at what happened with Netflix late, that’s premium content, even they like they reached their apex. And there are only so many more people you can get. I wonder if at a certain point, how many people are going to keep subscribing and paying for a $5 newsletter or a $10 newsletter, like eventually, probably painting 150 bucks a month on newsletters, right? Like, that’s not sustainable. So that to me, I don’t say we want to say it feels played out. But I think you need to watch that. Like, it’s not the only model.

Adam Vazquez 29:33
Yeah, I’m curious to see what the next chest movement on that is. Because to your point, I mean, newsletters is one thing. And similarly, I probably have five or 10 that I subscribe to. Then there’s like, between Disney plus ESPN plus HBO, Netflix, Hulu, like you could accidentally be signed up for like 10 or 12 of these streaming services offer 15 $20 a month. And I think it just seems like it’s probably gonna take longer than we think but it seems like people are gonna come to their senses and be Like this is costing me way more than it did when I was bundled back in the before times, so I am curious what the next move of that is if there are curation services or, I don’t know what it is, but that’s super interesting to me as well.

Kyle Scott Laskowski 30:12
Yeah, there’s Ben Thompson who runs Stratechery and talks about the tech and stuff. And you always said everything is bundling, and unbundling and bundling again, and no, eventually you just get back to the point where you’re going to think the cable companies are sitting pretty right now. Because you’re right. You sit down like once every three months and you like look at your bills, and you’re like, Okay, Netflix isn’t that much when I add it together? I’m between my internet, my phone and I’m spending like $400 a month on some levels subscription just for content. It’s not sustainable.

Adam Vazquez 30:41
Kyle, thanks so much. Where can people keep up with all the stuff that you’re doing?

Kyle Scott Laskowski 30:44
Yeah, sure. I mean, they can go to CrossingBroad.com for the Philly sports news. The new thing is that monetized.media We’re launching it on May 17. We have our first four episodes recorded so it’ll be Monetized Media on all your podcast players. You can follow that on Twitter. It’s brand new @monetizemediahq and me. I’m @KyleScottL on Twitter, all one word.

Adam Vazquez 31:04
Cool. And we’ll be sure to link all that below. Thanks so much for coming on sixers in six.

Kyle Scott Laskowski 31:11
Yeah, seven maybe but yeah, go sixers.

Carlton Riffel 31:14
And that’s a wrap. Thank you for listening to this episode of Content Is for Closers. We hope you find this show really helpful as you grow your business with content. Maybe you know of other people who would find this show helpful as well. How about you send them our way? If you didn’t like this show and you want to tell us that, then you can head over to contentisforclosers.com where you can send us a message, give us some feedback, ask questions, or find detailed notes for every episode. Until next time, keep creating and keep closing.