March 09, 2016

NEW! Become a PREMIUM Rebel member today — See what you get...

Ezra LevantRebel Commander
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The Rebel just celebrated our one-year anniversary. And it’s only possible because of your support.

Last February, a week or so after we launched, I told you our business plan. We wanted to build our audience and fan base by bringing you short video reports, then eventually, full length shows.

Since that time, along with all the short videos from me, Brian Lilley, Sheila Gunn Reid and the rest of our team, we’ve been producing "The Ezra Levant Show" every night, and "On the Hunt" with Faith Goldy each Thursday.

The latest addition is a regular show called "Standoff," with the amazing Lauren Southern.

(And we’re starting production on another regular show too that I’m not quite ready to tell you about yet, but you’re going to love it...)

Our plan is to have two full shows a night, every night — my one hour show, and then another one right after it. All of them real, full-length TV-style shows. We really are building an alternative to the mainstream media. And when I say we’re building it, I mean you’re building it.

Because none of this would be possible without you — thank you again.

But you heard our plan: from the very beginning the idea was to have a ton of free content available every day — written news stories, quick video clips every day — those five minute videos that you can watch on the go on your phone, or your computer. Brian Lilley and Sheila Gunn Reid do a lot of these, and they’re great, and I love doing them too. We’re going to do even more, as we add staff in Toronto and Vancouver, and other expansion cities.

And that stuff will always be free of charge.

But our plans were always to set up a premium membership, for $8 a month, or 80 bucks a year — less than Netflix.

And starting today, March 9, our hour-long shows will be for members only.

(By the way: If you’re already making a monthly crowdfunding donation of $8 or more, you will automatically be signed up as a premium member.)

If you’re not quite ready to spend $8 a month, that’s OK — every day we’ll post free highlight clips from the members-only shows — like little movie trailers, giving everyone a free sample of what members get. It’s our hope that people will be so tantalized that they’ll want to sign up.

And of course, members have access to our entire video library — so you never have to worry about missing a show.

We’ll ALWAYS have tons of free stories and videos on our website. But hopefully, our work this past year has impressed you enough that you agree our shows are worth $8 a month — the cost of a fancy coffee and a muffin at Starbucks!

I think this is how TV should work — asking people voluntarily to support us. If we were the CBC, we’d just whine and get a billion dollars a year from the government. But I’d rather go bankrupt than become a government journalist, paid by politicians.

I want to be free and independent — giving you the straight talk you’ve come to expect.

So please sign up as a premium member for $8 a month, or $80 a year.

And if you’re really a super-fan, join our Producer’s Club for $250 a year. That gives you all the benefits of a premium member, PLUS extras — private get-togethers in cities like Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa. A special welcome gift, and a wallet-sized producers club membership card. Even discounts on special Rebel merchandise. That’s for folks who love us a lot — maybe that’s you?

It’s because of you that we’re thriving — double the size of my original prediction last February. So whether you’re still checking us out for free, or joining as an $8 a month premium member, or taking the leap to join the Producer’s Club  — thank you for your support. I can hardly wait to see what we build together this year.

It’s easy to sign up — you can do so now, at, or on any of our premium video pages starting today. Thanks for your help. Now let’s go beat the CBC.

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commented 2016-03-18 17:58:07 -0400
The numbers go like this.

How many dollars does the rebel need to earn in order to sustain itself? How much of that money can be brought in by the paywall? Are there enough people that want to fork over money for the paywall?

I know I am far too cheap to pay.
commented 2016-03-14 12:02:41 -0400
Of course there are numbers to be crunched out Sam, but you don’t have them.
commented 2016-03-14 01:59:13 -0400
Hey..I really don’t like this, I understand the need but I don’t like a 2 tier system for members. I may not be a paid member, in fact as an Alberta oil family – unemployed, I couldnt pay if I wanted to, but I am SO thankful for your Alberta support, stories, Anti Notley stance, Alberta farmers, climate tax, …etc.. etc… that I share 2 – 5 of your stories through emails, twitter, facebook… and I KNOW many friends who have never given the rebel a 2nd thought before, or even knew about you now come here frequently and many also share your stories. I think many members do their part to support you even tho they dont pay, should we be pushed to 2nd rate members just b/c we cant pay money? I don’t like this at all.
commented 2016-03-13 20:30:39 -0400
Of course there are numbers to be crunched out. You just can’t figure it out.
commented 2016-03-13 19:34:51 -0400
Say’s Sam,“I will be damned if there are even 100 people that have paid for a subscription, that have never given any money to the rebel before.”

The point is Sam, there are no numbers to crunch out. The numbers you are using came out of your derrière. Pure supposition at its finest.
commented 2016-03-13 03:07:32 -0400
If you can do a better job at the math, then I would like to see you crunch out the numbers.
commented 2016-03-12 17:41:52 -0500
I sure hope you don’t make a living in consulting.
commented 2016-03-12 17:40:33 -0500
Sam, I mean Mona, go to the States and vote for Bernie, everything is for free in Bernie land. He even offers free cheese to go with your whine. Your math is a whole lot of supposition Sam. I sure hope you make a living in consulting. Maybe that’s why you’re so bitter all the time…..
commented 2016-03-12 03:49:47 -0500
None of the shows here ever break the one hour mark. Faith’s shows is usually about half an hour long. And lets not forget all the commercials inserted in between.

I don’t think a paywall is the way to go. In the long run, it may actually hurt the rebel more than it helps it.

Have you people noticed that ever since Ezra started doing his show, that he had less news clip segments go up? With the reduction of these segments, and with Ezra’s show locked behind a paywall, the public will get even less exposure to Ezra. This means people will not know what they are missing, and thus will not even consider what they will get from paying for a subscription. And no, the 2 minute clip of the shows are not going to change anything.

I will be damned if there are even 100 people that have paid for a subscription, that have never given any money to the rebel before.

Lets do the math.
100 people x $80 per year = Not worth putting up a pay wall.

Ezra needs to understand he is on the internet, and that people on the internet do not like to fork over money for anything. Paying money on top of the internet bill feels like getting double dipped.

And Ezra also needs to consider that there is going to be competition coming from within. Doesn’t Brian have a radio show that starts some time soon? And that it will be available for streaming? The show is supposed to be three hours long, on each week night. If that thing is free, then I will gladly choose it over a paid subscription for the Ezra show.
commented 2016-03-11 22:43:25 -0500
I’m not happy Ezra, I enjoyed your programming and promoted you political views. Obviously that was not enough for you and your team, I am now excluded from your content and am not willing to sort through which I can or can not see since I was promoting your political views and that should be enough. Take away the members only area and I’ll be back but you are excluding me by forcing payment for news.
commented 2016-03-11 13:17:44 -0500
I’m thinking a more fair price would be about half what is being charged here. Crappy green-screen “studios”, random show lengths (we were told 1-hour shows at the start but I have yet to see one) and so on don’t quite cut it for 80 bucks a year.

You’re gonna lose people and this is not what you need. The buy-in has to be far less, build slowly and as the quality improves you can incrementally charge more to the customers.

You’re over-reaching, sorry to say – I’m a daily consumer and have donated to many campaigns and to build the site initially. Really think about this.

It reminds me of the Pearson Airport to Union Station (Toronto) rail link. They build the thing and then price it WAY out of reach for the Joe Average who may want to use it. And it is EMPTY. Be very careful here Ezra.
commented 2016-03-10 19:16:31 -0500
Peter Netterville said: “How many paying customers agree with Liza Rosie’s comment: “I thought having a pay wall was going to keep the trolls out. It defeats the purpose still letting them comment.”
Simple. Put your money where your mouth is. Until then you are not entitled to bitch!
commented 2016-03-10 19:07:41 -0500
So how much money is being blown on this cruise to the Caribbean?
commented 2016-03-10 18:13:35 -0500
Ezra did not promise any of you your own comment section.

If you want your own section, then you can go to the private parties held exclusively for the producers club. Assuming you live in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, or Ottawa. Or for that matter, you can go on a cruise together.

And what would you people do together in your producers club meeting anyways? Would you turn that thing into a book club? You can all read Ethical Oil, or Sheila’s stupid book, and talk about it? I will be damned if Ezra shows up to one of those meet ups.
commented 2016-03-10 17:10:42 -0500
“The socialists are all about silencing those they disagree with in any way possible while screaming that they are all about freedom of speech. "

Is this before or after you demand that the lefties be banned, because paying members shouldn’t have to be exposed to differing opinions?
commented 2016-03-10 16:04:40 -0500
You know what’s really funny? You guys calling others trolls. You’re all fucking trolls, you sit on here all day long a whine about the same old shit day after day. I suppose that most of you are old, retired and probably have nothing better to do. It’s kind of sad really.
commented 2016-03-10 14:08:43 -0500
Uh oh….. Rosie and Peter are triggered…. SAFE SPACE!
commented 2016-03-10 13:04:47 -0500
*How many paying customers agree with Liza Rosie’s comment:

“I thought having a pay wall was going to keep the trolls out. It defeats the purpose still letting them comment.”*
commented 2016-03-10 13:01:56 -0500
I agree with Liza Rosie!
commented 2016-03-10 11:15:56 -0500
sick to death of the damn trolls.
commented 2016-03-10 11:14:47 -0500
I thought having a pay wall was going to keep the trolls out. It defeats the purpose still letting them comment. If they don’t watch the vid how what can they comment on. They will only bitch. They can comment for free when the snippets come out. I thought not having to put up with the trolls was one of the perks included in buying a membership. I’m more than a little disappointed that the comment section on the full content video’s is open to trolls. If they want to bitch here they should pay for it.
commented 2016-03-10 10:42:08 -0500
Drew said, “Michael Mann thinks a blog is some proof of something LMAO!”

Anyone can find anything on the Internet to suit their viewpoint. For the lefties/socialists that becomes a club with which to beat their target. Truthfulness of the article/blog is irrelevant. That it can be used as a weapon in attempt to silence those for whom they disagree is the only relevance to them.

The socialists are all about silencing those they disagree with in any way possible while screaming that they are all about freedom of speech.
commented 2016-03-10 10:36:08 -0500
Michael Mann = Ron Christensen = socialist twits who are obsessed with Ezra and TheRebel and love it here.
commented 2016-03-10 08:50:56 -0500
MICHAEL MANN Thank you for the truth.
commented 2016-03-10 02:45:45 -0500
Michael Mann thinks a blog is some proof of something LMAO!
commented 2016-03-10 02:44:56 -0500
Michael Mann , the only fool here is you. Pathetic child. And i will remember your claim if Hillary does not win, and the way you said it , if Bernie wins then you lose as well LMAO! You are not too bright i see. Now go to the CBC for some lies and fake news.
commented 2016-03-10 02:15:50 -0500
Whoever wrote that long essay that Michael Mann posted up sure has too much time on their hands.

And Peter, I am sure you will see me comment in the free clips of the paywall material.
commented 2016-03-10 00:54:58 -0500
Michael Mann, and still the same question to you, if the Rebel is such garbage then why do you seem obsessed with every minute statistical detail of those who read and support the Rebel?
commented 2016-03-09 22:50:16 -0500

Sorry the link didn’t work for you. Here is the content:

Who Pays for “The Rebel”?

Dawg commenter “My Pet Gloat” suggested in the preceding thread that Ezra Levant’s “Rebel” site was sustained by contributions from “a very tiny audience of fools”. While I can’t dispute MPG’s characterization of Ezra’s fans, I think there may be a bit more to the Rebel’s donor base than that.

God knows Ezra is merciless when it comes to rooting through his followers’ pockets for spare change. A typical Rebel “news” “story” will include an invitation to provide a donation for a “special poll” on the issue: a link to a petition with its own funding pitch; a separate invitation to “Join the Fight” and contribute directly to the “Rebel’s” coffers; and a link to the “Rebel Store”, which features some of ugliest and unfunniest propaganda items ever contrived (barring the wonderful $25.00 Ezra Bobblehead doll, of course). So it’s true that Ezra does siphon as much from his viewers as their wallets will bear.

But that’s not much. Until a few months ago, The Rebel’s online pitch to potential advertisers included a profile of the typical Rebel Follower – male, primarily from Alberta, and over fifty-five. From the comments section, it’s clear that many are retired and on fixed incomes. That’s not a very deep reservoir of cash to tap. And after a year of Ezra’s relentless begging, there are signs the well is running dry.

The Rebel’s last major, direct fundraising pitch, excreted last December, was a campaign to “Rebuild the Right in Canada”. According to Ezra, the key to that “rebuilding’ was to send cheques, payable to “The Rebel”, so that Ezra can “build up” the “Joseph Howe Institute”, a moribund, slapped-together entity that last surfaced two years ago when it promoted a conference shilling for big oil. (Hey, look, there’s Ezra on their website!). Ezra’s heroic “Rebuilding of the Right” would include such Rebellious Acts as holding an “Awards Gala for Best Conservative Journalism”, the “endowment” of special conservative journalism projects, management of an “incubator” fund for “young conservatives with big plans” (wow, that’s pretty specific!); and, of course, hiring a bunch of people to run all this Rebellious Rebuilding. In other words, Ezra invited his readers to write cheques to the Rebel and he promises to do stuff with it.

The cost of Ezra’s rescue of Canadian conservatism? A mere $500,000, of which “half would be given away.” Now, most charities in Canada look at an informal 80/20 rule – eighty percent to fund charitable activities, twenty percent for overhead. But hey, the Rebel’s not a “charity” – Ezra has a business to run! Since you don’t get a charitable receipt for your donation, you don’t really get to squawk when half gets spent on salaries and operations.

Except – it seems that “ask” may have been a little too much for even the Rebel’s credulous readers. Three months into the “campaign”, Ezra has raised roughly 2% of his target. My favourite contribution option, the Conservative Journalism Awards Gala, got a whopping contribution of $60.00 – not even enough to rent a decent tux for Ezra.

Advertising? The Rebel’s original pitch to advertisers offered a large and vastly overpriced range of exciting options – Top of Home Page Banner ads, side panel ads, program and segment sponsorships – you know, just like real TV. Except, of course, no-one bought. What corporation in its right mind would sponsor a service whose entire raison d’etre is provoking rage against a portion of its market? Today, advertising on The Rebel is limited to a handful of bargain basement, random Ad-choice products (“FOLLOW in JESUS’ FOOTSTEPS with Holy Land Tours!”), paying pennies per click.

Hmm. No real advertisers, no prospect of real advertisers, and a small pool of aging donors.

So where does the money come from? Yes, it’s a cheap and cheesy operation; and when your notion of “journalism” is a single interview with no fact checking, analysis, or counterpoint, and when you endlessly recycle the same story and footage as “MUST READ REBEL EXCLUSIVE NEWS”, then assorted “follow up” articles recycling the original material, then “survey on the story”, then “survey RESULTS”, then a “Petition on the Survey Results”, and of course “The Rebel’s Greatest Hits” – well, like a candy floss machine, you can spin a teaspoon of substance into quite a froth. And of course, like a candy floss machine, the key ingredient is hot air, blown hard.

But dirt cheap or not, there’s still rent and salaries to pay. And of course, those special projects.

Last year, for example, Ezra launched a series of “public”, “open”, “town hall” emergency meetings in Alberta, at which he harangued blue-haired audiences in hotel ballrooms about the wonders of the oil industry and the perfidy of the NDP and Liberals, and showed them little clips of old Rebel programming. The meetings were not actually “open” – Ezra’s goons ejected critics who got under his skin. And while they were “free”, donations were energetically solicited.

That made me wonder. So on the Rebel site, and in an email to Ezra and the Rebel’s general information address, I noted that an anti-NDP, pro-oil lecture tour was certainly fair ball, if a slightly dubious undertaking for a “news” source. But in the interests of transparency, I suggested that Ezra should divulge whether these junkets against the NDP and on behalf of oil development were being sponsored by his former lobbying clients in the industry.

I asked for a couple of reasons. “Ethical Oil”, the organization Ezra created, finally acknowledges that they accept funding directly from the oil industry. Previously they’d admit only that they were funded by “Canadians and Canadian businesses.” And around the same time, the Rebel began touting another series of community rallies opposing the NDP and organized by “grass roots community workers”. That was a pretty dumb claim, as a simple LInkedIn search identified the “grass roots” organizer as an oil industry consultant.

So I asked, clearly, but politely, who was paying for Ezra’s anti-NDP, anti-Liberal, pro-oil tour (and thus its subsequent exhaustive and exhausting coverage on the Rebel). It seemed a fair and relevant question: I have no problem with oil industry advertising and advocacy, but I think readers/viewers should be told if they’re watching a paid infomercial hosted by a lobbyist pretending to be a journalist.

I received no answer, and shortly afterward, I was banned from asking questions or posting at the Rebel site. Probably a good thing – it was having an impact on my blood pressure.

In collecting links for this story I went back for the first time in a while. Same terrible click ads, same handful of bitter, angry old commenters recycling the same bitter, angry old platitudes. Still no actual ads, still the same shrill solicitation.

And still the same question – who’s actually paying for this garbage?
commented 2016-03-09 22:47:04 -0500
I chipped in a little for the crowdfunding of the studio because I wanted so badly for The Rebel to be a success. Kind of embarrassing to admit that I can’t really afford the $8 per month now.
I’m living in Ontario and have two levels of tax and spend Liberal governments to worry about. That being said, it doesn’t appear that things are going to get any easier for me in the near future.
It’s a shame advertisers haven’t stepped up to make sure important content remains available to everyone.