Did anyone notice when the intro of the Paula Deen Network hit the news a few weeks back?
It seems that during that time after the lawsuit was half dismissed and half settled, Paula and her team spent some time away from the media glare and quietly huddled on the options. A cable network may have no longer been an option for her and the Paula Deen brand, but there were certainly a lot of supporters still out there.
Remember when the upcoming cookbook she had with a major publishing house started pre-selling at a huge velocity? I think the publishing house scuttled plans to publish it…but still, it was a remarkable show of support from her fanbase. Not only in the sheer volume of orders…but the money it would have made for the publisher and Paula Deen.
And I don’t think the lines outside of The Lady & Sons restaurant in Savannah got any shorter? The line waiting to get in still wrapped around the building. People were still willing to pay and be seen publicly supporting her (even though she didn’t even own the restaurant anymore).
It seemed as if her fans were signaling that if she could make it through the more immediate and harsh media storm, her brand possibly had a way forward? It may take a while for the public to forgive and forget, but the Deen team seemed hunkered down and looking for a way to keep bringing Paula to her fans.
That initial wave of news on the Paula Deen Network was just the announcement that the online channel was on the way—but still a few months off. The accompanying video shows that they’ve been hard at work with a rather large production team and an audience of about 12 in her kitchen. The atmosphere felt both intimate and very festive. That audience looked happy to be in her company—and she seemed thrilled to have them there.
It’s interesting to note that the Paula Deen Network will be subscription based. It’ll be equally interesting to see if her fanbase will be willing to pay for access to the online recipes and videos that were previously free. If she didn’t have any sponsors to help foot the bill for the production costs, most--if not all of it (in theory)--would have to be covered by the money raised through subscriptions.
This first round of info asked you to sign up just to be on a list to receive the subscription info when it finally became available. I think they used that list of initial interest to help gauge the number of fans that could potentially follow her to the online channel and to also help them come up with an amount or amounts that would get them on the path to profitability.
On the evening of July 21, an email went out with three subscription rates and terms. The lowest rate was $7.99 a month for a subscription that lasts 12 months. That’s being pitched as the “best value” and includes extra incentives like 40% off an order from the pauladeenkitchenware.com site; BOGO 40% off a Paula Deen Live Event, an invite to attend a launch party in Savannah and a sneak peak video for a “Paula Colada.”
Other plans include an $8.99/month 6-month subscription as well as a $9.99 month by month plan.
This is going to be interesting! If the Paula Deen channel has enough subscribers, she may never need fear losing another lucrative sponsorship deal. The crazy part of this could be that if the fans really do line up, sign up and fork over $8 to $10 bucks a month, the sponsors will come running back for a chance to get in front of her subscribers.
Launch day is September 24th…will you be there?