The Quarter Million Man: Spreecast’s Reality Steve, Regular Guy


DALLAS, TX:  What constitutes a Spreecast hit webcast?  The word “hit” is thrown around a lot these days, not least of which by DNN Tribune. However, once the word has been thrown around enough, it becomes devalued.  Is Honest and Frank really a hit with a dozen live viewers?  How about Kermit and Friends with eighty live viewers?  Within the world of Spreecast, luring live viewers in the double digits will usually put a webcast in the top half of most-viewed Spreecast programs.  The total number of impressions for a show like Kermit, which includes replays (and doesn’t differentiate between viewers who watch one minute and one hour, or viewers who view a show once and those who leave and return a dozen times), has very consistently averaged between 1,600-2,000 for the last three months; Honest Frank would usually end up with a couple of hundred total impressions.

Honest Frank: more of a hit in our hearts than on the charts
Honest Frank: more of a hit in our hearts than on the charts

Frank is a special case, but Kermit‘s numbers place it among the most consistent performers on Spreecast, comfortably placing in the lower half of the top-10 regular programs.  This is a solid performance, and its host can be proud.  However its numbers pale in comparison when examined next to those of the powerhouses on Spreecast.  For example, Bomani Jones’ The Evening Jones routinely notches over 150,000 impressins per show, while Reality Steve’s program averages a staggering 250,000 impressions per episode.

A quarter of a million hits every time out is pretty impressive, no matter what kind of program it is or where.  DNN felt it would be remiss to not investigate Reality Steve’s webcast, and see what makes the Quarter Million Man tick.

Reality Steve is devoted to discussion of reality shows, which this season is almost exclusively focused on ABC-TV’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. The format is simple; Steve Carbone, an affable gentleman of 40, fields questions from the chat room, Twitter, and other sources about the programs.  Although he works on neither show himself, Steve is probably more of an expert on either than anybody else one is likely to encounter.  So if you want to know which contestant has dated whom, or whatever became of a contestant, or whether or not a contestant is a back-stabber, Steve is the guy to watch.

Steve's large viewership means his spoiler sharing gets noticed.
Steve’s large viewership means his spoiler sharing gets noticed.

Steve seems to do the show solo; on the hourlong January 14, 2016 edition, there were no guests, just Steve in a grey hoodie.  Steve is an articulate speaker, and if you are a Bachelor or Bachelorette fan, all manner of minutia is covered.  However, if you are not a viewer of either, the show is an incomprehensible jumble of random names, innuendo, speculation, and trivia.  The overall presentation, while competent and engaging, is unremarkable.  Much of the show is simply Steve’s opinion on characters on the shows, and he does digress.  Not every single question is from the Bachelor shows; he’ll field a couple about other reality shows as well, particularly those featuring Bachelor or Bachelorette alumni.  He also covers Real Housewives, Survivor, and Big Brother.  He is also notorious for giving out spoilers, which has managed to draw the attention of the mainstream media.  So his own buzz winds up generating more buzz.

There’s nothing wrong with Steve, his show, or his format.  However, the show is remarkable in how unremarkable it is; in presentation at least, this could just as easily be a discussion about BitCoin, or analysis of the Dallas Cowboys, or a motivational speech.  More remarkable are the quarter million views.  How does Steve do it?  Can others follow the formula?

Obviously, diehard viewers of the ABC shows will find something of interest here, and the shows have viewers numbering in the millions.  So, Steve’s first smart move is to identify a single, popular topic to base his show upon and then stick to that topic.  Viewers like reliability and consistency; if one has the Bachelor on the mind all day, they can rely on Steve to talk about the Bachelor.

Secondly, Steve (@RealitySteve) is a prolific tweeter with 99,600 Twitter followers.  In this era, you can’t have a well-attended internet webcast without the leverage of Twitter; the old build-a-website-and-they-will come days are over.  Steve’s Twitter is singularly dedicated to the topic like his show is; while there may be digressions, almost all of the time he is on-topic. So, if you have a show to promote, set up a Twitter account dedicated only to your topic. Tweet often, but not to the point where you’ll be muted.  Don’t use it for idle chit-chat about off-topic subjects.  Steve also only follows 67 people with his @RealitySteve account; thus, he has a minimum of external chatter to distract him.

Steve's unremarkable, but diligently maintained, website.
Steve’s unremarkable, but diligently maintained, website.

A third useful item of promotion is Reality Steve’s website, which has an impressive 40,000 visitors per day (source:  Keeping a central location on the web is still important; people need a place to bookmark where everything is neatly organized and easily referenced, and written content helps keep your visitors pumped for your webcast.  Steve also has a Facebook page entirely devoted to his show as well, which is updated with each new installment.

So, if Steve sees this, DNN hopes he takes no offense when we call his show “ordinary”.  His ordinary show is a lesson to all would-be webcast stars: you can get huge numbers of viewers if you are disciplined, diligent, and determined, and if you use your own social media in a synergistic way.  You don’t have to be a huge talent; you just need content that enough people care about, and you need to create your own buzz for it.  The ones who fail generally aren’t organized with their social media, they mix business with pleasure (or whatever it is) in their Twitters, and they don’t provide content for their viewers to read when they aren’t watching.  Steve is also smart in keeping his content simple; just because Spreecast gives you four camera slots, you don’t have to use them all when one will do.  Steve is just a regular guy who talks into a camera for an hour; the numbers are the real story here.

Oh, and did we mention Steve makes a six-figure income from spoiling the Bachelor?

Steve treats it as a job; he doesn't even like the show! (New York Times)
Steve treats it as a job; he doesn’t even like the show! (New York Times)