RealNetworks and CBS are proving that Netizens will pay to watch Internet content. At least a small number, so far.
The duo said Thursday that more than 25,000 people have paid a subscription fee of roughly $20 to watch the Webcasted antics of the “Big Brother 2” housemates.
Traffic to CBS.com skyrocketed 127% after the first week “Brother 2” hit the Web site, jumping from 282,000 unique visitors to 639,000, according to Nielsen Net Ratings. Nielsen said the show accounted for more than 29% of CBS.com’s audience at that time.
RealNetworks and the Eye web will be splitting the $500,000 they’ve generated from the online subs.
Fans can watch an entire broadcast run of the show at the official CBS “Big Brother” Web site for a one-time fee of $19.95, or they can subscribe to RealNetworks’ RealPlayer GoldPass for $9.95 per month, which includes exclusive programming, games, software downloads and other content. The company claims 300,000 subscribers for its GoldPass service to date.
RealNetworks plans to keep working with content providers such as CBS, Major League Baseball and the NBA to offer streaming sports, games and other entertainment content.