Let me answer some questions from the last couple of posts. All my sites, taken in aggregate, run about 300,000 uniques a month. On some months with special coverage or when the blog is linked off the big conservative sites, that number will jump substantially, as much as 2X. Based on some major things we'll be announcing at SHOT, our goal for DRTV is a million uniques a month by the end of 2009. The podcast reaches approximately 150,000 people a month through iTunes and our various on-line players and RSS feeds and, again, will benefit from our aggressive 2009 business plan. The two broadcast shows (soon to be three) reach between 500,000 and a million a week for 3 showings each, depending on time of year, lead-ins, content, etc. With the addition of THE BEST DEFENSE, my new show, and the NRA's AMERICAN GUARDIAN to the Wednesday Night at the Range line-up on OC in January, I am anticipating a major bump in ratings (which are already up almost 50% in the last 18 months).
So yes, my company has a broad and deep reach into the niche, and I'm proud of what we've accomplished.
RE: Data..."lies, damn lies and statistics..." I believe is the line. My data is drawn directly from data the industry itself is using in its planning, along with proprietary sales numbers on firearms and accessories (and, yes, I am generally under nondisclosure on those numbers). There are lots of other numbers out there...you pays your money and you takes your chances.
We are facing an unprecedented war against our gun rights. Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox put it best in this month's AMERICAN RIFLEMAN: "These next few years are either going to be our proudest moments together as NRA members and as freedom-loving Americans or the worst nightmare that gun-owners have faced or ever will face."
Yes, unity is important, but wars are fought on intelligence and money. During the last decade, we pissed away — or, more accurately, we allowed our politicians to piss away — an historic opportunity to consolidate our gains and grow our culture. That happened to a large extent because we were operating on wrong or incomplete intelligence...we spent a lot of money on things we assumed were of paramount importance, only to discover that we spent the money — our money — on the wrong things.
We must have these discussions, lest we go haring off on the wrong path again! I am at a loss to understand what's "divisive" about reporting the fact that S&W took a $76 million hit. I can tell you categorically that the implications I've talked about are being discussed at the highest levels of the firearms and accessory companies right now.
If you don't like this blog or the podcast, I encourage you by all means to start your own! We'll link you off DRTV and quote you just like we quote everyone else. The reason I have a voice in the industry is that in the long run I've been right more times than I've been wrong. I've been wrong lots of times, but I have made my living for most of three decades by analyzing trends, and I stand by everything I've said.
BTW, one of the anonymous commenters said:
"Competitive shooting has as poor a retention rate as scuba diving. Too many people get in, have fun for a while and improve, but then realize the time/$/effort commitment to get better doesn't float their boat and are tired of being at the same place on the results sheet every month.He or she is EXACTLY right, and that is an area that several of us in the industry are working on. We'll have announcements at SHOT.
Plinking at a one-target-one-shot-per-second range is even more boring IMO.
Fun not-very-competitive shooting (action-type or reactive-target-type) is where it's at for mass appeal, but there's precious little of that."