We are pleased to announce the debut of the brtv Network. This is going to be a network for and by people who love pipes and cigars.
It’s only natural to think that the birth of brtv came out of the demonetization of YouTube videos in regards to tobacco content, but it did not. Not directly. It was only a coincidence of the timing. The rules of YouTube have always been there. It’s just recently that they have decided to enforce them. Although it did not take a genius to figure that out. It is equally as obvious that the complete banning of tobacco content on Social Media platforms is in the future.
Pipes and cigars have had the misfortune of being lumped in with cigarettes, which is very fashionable to go after. Every activist with nothing better to do and a feeling of self importance loves to try to ban what they don’t approve of. Currently their target is vaping. Since the government needs an angle they are lumping that in with tobacco, and once again pipes and cigars are caught up in the mess. Many of the people who run the Social Media websites are aligned with these activists, if not ones themselves, and have begun using their positions to advance their ideology.
Things Change Quickly
In the past people have been able to put up pretty much any content they wanted and were left alone by these activists. The Companies in hopes of shielding themselves from legal action classified themselves as platforms. Just a place for people to put up their own content. They had no editorial say in it. With so many people using the platforms it’s almost impossible to police it. Therefore people are free to do and say what they want as long as it’s legal. But those same companies now want to be more like a publisher. Determining what they want or don’t want on their sites. Now that they have the technology to determine what everyone says and does on their videos and sort through the massive amount of content it has put them in a position where they want to start culling what they don’t like.
There Are Some Good Points
The argument that they are private companies and can do whatever they want is totally valid, and would get no argument from us. The problem arises when they simultaneously want to be both an open platform and a publisher. While they decide that, what happens to the individual who has contributed some of their content or maybe uses that website to promote or do business? It seems nobody cares. It doesn’t matter if one makes money or not, your content is the fruit of their time and their own intellectual property. Maybe some people just do it to kill time or goof around, but others don’t and they take it seriously. They invest a lot into their content and it is for them to decide what they want to do with it.
The only way is to own and distribute that content yourself. For now it would be impractical to have dozens of websites. If everyone with a YouTube channel had their own website, very few people would be able to find you. The costs would be very high compared to the audience that would be watching.
What Can We Do?
Many months ago we contemplated this very question. How can a person making pipe and cigar videos possibly be free to do what they want? To not be at the whim of someone who doesn’t approve of their content making the rules.
That’s where we stepped in. We believe that if we started a network of people who love pipes and cigars as much as we do we could attract a large enough audience and advertisers would follow, helping sustain the costs. It would not be a platform that people joined. What this is, is just like people hosting their own show, on their own website, owning the content and making their own rules. But doing it together so the costs and logistics of running the site are spread out.
Other than that what options do people really have? There are other platforms, and ways to make money from their content, but sooner or later they may run into the same problem. They could stay on a platform and if they wanted to continue to be paid they would be at the mercy of the company collecting the money. What if a company like Patreon didn’t want anything to do with tobacco? Plus what about the viewer? What if they enjoy ten shows? Are they expected to “subscribe” to each one? There will come a point where they will have to draw a line.
The Trusty Free Market
We have always like the advertiser model. The person or company running the ads benefits by exposing their ads to a targeted audience. The viewer gets to watch the content they want at no cost or expectation of paying. Plus, since the ads may be relevant to them they might be introduced to a product or service they can use. If they buy the product everyone benefits and the viewer ens up with something they can use instead of a “shoutout”.
The Trusty Corn Cob Pipe
Take Missouri Meerschaum for example. Every pipe smoker should have some corn cob pipes, and Missouri Meerschaum makes the best. Clicking on their ad and getting a cob from them is something you were probably going to do anyway. Doing so through a website they advertise on helps out the company and the website. A big community bringing viewers, presenters and advertisers all together, benefitting each other.
So we believed people producing shows should be the core of the network. The people who love pipes and premium cigars. Those people deciding what kind of show they wanted to produce and what rules they wanted. They would all have a vested interest in the success of the network. Their time and energy could be spent producing the best shows they could. They wouldn’t be worrying about if the rules are going to change. No more tip-toeing around existing rules. Trying to beat the system.
That really is ridiculous if you think about it What are we, six years old? Last time I checked we are talking about adults in a country that was founded on freedom and individual liberty. What has gone wrong?
It’s Time We Are the Ones Making the Rules
No more following other people’s rules. Nobody making pipe and cigar videos is doing anything wrong. It’s time to say enough is enough. Not only do we not need other people to provide us with a way to share our content, we don’t want them to. From now on we decide what we want to do. We will do whatever we want, make the rules, produce and pay for the content ourselves. It will be put it on servers we control. Nobody is going to say “we don’t approve of what you’re doing, your content is gone. Instead we say, “we don’t like the way you run your business and you’re the one who’s gone.”
Of course we are taking that to a bit of an extreme. Many, if not all of our show’s hosts will continue to produce content on other platforms. When it comes to the kind of content we want to watch we have a place for that. One with no strings attached.
Since we here at Briar Report are not exactly tech. savvy pulling this off has been a monumental effort. Making sure the server will be able to be big enough and able to handle the load when many people are watching at the same time was very difficult for us. You can’t predict exactly what you will need. We think we have a handle on it but you never know. We tried to put ourselves in a position that we can rapidly shift gears if any problem arises. Hopefully that won’t be necessary.
Just the Beginning
The number of shows was based on how much traffic we thought we would be able to handle right from the start. This is actually an experiment to judge what it is exactly we will be able to to do. As we go along and learn it will hopefully light the way to the future.
We are trying to figure out just how much interest something like this can generate. How many viewers will it attract. Not only that, but will it interest advertisers and would they be able to get a return on their investment. Would advertising with us be a smart move for them? We also need to find out what kind of load our website can take. All of which would be used in determining if it will not only succeed but the possibilities of expansion. All of these are questions that can not be answered hypothetically. We need real world data before we can move forward.
We ran into some other problems. Like how to overcome or replicate the built in functionality of some of these huge websites. For example when you go on YouTube it looks at what you watch and recommends other videos for you. That’s how a lot of people discover new shows. They also alert you when certain shows put up new videos.
How will be able to attract new viewers since who is going to recommend us? And how are we going to let viewers know new content is available for them?
All very good questions that we will answer in part 2 of this article.
This Is Our Place
Basically what we want to convey to you is that we are trying to create a place on the internet for pipe and cigar smokers. People who love premium tobacco or collect pipes. We want to change the way people think of the content. Not trying to fit in an existing paradigm but to create our own future.
Smoking a pipe or cigar was just something people did for long before the internet came around. It was done for enjoyment and was part of people’s lifestyle. There is no reason that should change now. Despite dwindling numbers we are not some fringe niche thing. A group that needs to take what they can get and hope nobody bothers them anymore. We are going to do whatever we like, and if that means building our own space from the ground up, fine. We can do that.
The people missing out are the ones mired in what they call “Social Media”. They can’t get out of it and have let it control their lives. A lot of good stuff there, but a lot of sick twisted garbage. Being caught in that trap will rot your brain and ruin your life. Don’t take it for granted that they make the rules and they determine the future. They would like you to believe so, we don’t.
Face-what? Never Heard of It
A company like Facebook is so arrogant. They don’t realize that when they kick people off, they are giving that person a gift. They could care less about what you think or want. Companies like that just want another set of eyeballs they can get on an ad. The only difference YouTube sees between a person talking about pipe tobacco and a sick twisted pervert is they don’t like you talking about tobacco. The way we see it is, the people making shows on brtv and the people watching all have the same love for pipes and cigars. We value each and every one of you. We can create a community of like minded people apart from all that drama.
When it comes to pipes, cigars and premium tobacco there should be only one place you think of. We want to provide the latest and best content. Free from distractions. This experiment of brtv will find out if that is not only possible but if it can thrive in an environment that the internet has become. Grab your favorite smoke, sit back and join us to see if it will.