Breaking Points: Multiple Revenue Streams | James Li from 51-49 Podcast: Breaking Points' Affiliate Breakdown
A high-level look at a PORTION of the funding behind Breaking Points with Krystal Ball & Saagar Enjeti. Monthly & Lifetime Member Subscriptions | Analysis into James Li as a BP "Network" affiliate
Breaking Points’ Primary Funding?: Monthly Subscriptions
Thanks to Twitter user @BradStewart347 - his high-level breakdown of just the primary source of funding reveals that the show, at its’ current level of 40k paid subscribers (as Saagar proudly thanked in this stream), is generating between $300,000 - $400,000 per month, averaging out to $3.6-4.8 million annually.
There is a one-time “Lifetime Member” Tier of $1500, which apparently more than 700 people have paid in the first year, another $1M to add to the pile.
That does not include: merch sales (of course, they have a merch store too), YouTube subscriptions, podcast ad revenue & any other funding we are unaware of. Also, please note the link under the 3 tiers above. They will accept any donation one-time (I’m sure for any amount) which opens an entirely new question about the volume and amounts of any one-time donations. Have they been transparent about any large donations received via this method? They have zero incentive or obligation to do so, other than being up front with their audience about the larger funders behind the show. Are there DC Think Tanks, for example?
James Li - Why Would He Align With BP?
Who is James Li? Find him on twitter @jamesccli
Relatively unknown in the independent space - channel, “51-49 with James Li” is 2 years old. “I talk about Business, Politics & Society.”
Has a subreddit that hasn’t been posted to since he started with Breaking Points, but did not have much engagement prior.
His videos are 7-15 minute clips, edited really well, topic specific, one a week. Similar, in style, pace & format to Second Thought (who has over 1.2M subscribers on YouTube).
He gives credibility to an argument that since corporate media is bought & paid for, you should be watching “independent” media - LIKE HIS SEGMENTS ON BREAKING POINTS, perhaps?
This video from June 8, 2021 is likely how he appeared on their radar - over 2200 likes & 46k views - BY FAR the most he’d ever had on his channel to that point.
(1:07) “It really was an awesome show… but it was the Hill.” Admitting it felt like corporate news.
(1:30) “Going independent eliminated potential conflicts of interest.” That is a nice thought.
The Hill was adjusting content to appease lobbyists and advertisers, per Saagar on the mashup KKF podcast where they explain why they left
Hoping they’ll be able to cover more UFOs and Jeffrey Epstein, but, again, no mention of Julian Assange.
(4:36) “for decades, or pretty much as long as we can remember, the pinnacle of success for someone who wanted to be a broadcast journalist was a gig on TV, maybe CNN or FOX News, or, if you're dreaming real big, a prime time network news gig.”
(5:07) “I think Krystal & Saagar have the resume, the talent and the INTEGRITY to change how people perceive independent media.”
We wonder if he’s looked into what happened with the People’s House Project PAC, with DNC Establishment & Paypal Mafia megadonor Reid Hoffman providing half the funding. How did only 3% of that money donated go to end up directly donating to candidates, but Krystal’s salary was the #1 expenditure?
We also wonder if he’s aware of Saagar’s links to The Hudson Institute, their funders & mission and the alignment with many of Saagar’s foreign policy takes.
(5:40) “Their move could potentially… alter the pipeline of talent in broadcast media and journalism in general.”
(5:50) “a young, talented kid who wants to be a journalist or a political commentator - the dream, the PINNACLE - wouldn't necessarily be
establishment media anymore.”
Partnership Announced 2/28/22 on 1st Breaking Points Segment
8 videos total x $300 = $2400
His role on the show as a freelancer is to give “extreme” anti-corporate takes to set the narrative of what’s acceptable to the discussion in this realm - but he provides the furthest left position.
Most of The 51/49’s channel growth appears to be organic (not paying for clicks or manipulating the algorithm). It got a big bump from the initial video about Breaking Points in June 2021, where James predicted they would “beat” MSM news, then his channel went back to typical traffic, about 1000 views per video. Then, he appeared on Breaking Points to announce the partnership in February, another spike - which you can see from the 2 red lines on the bottom lefgt and right of the stat image below (these come from socialblade.com).
His channel is clearly getting a lift from the partnership.
Issues / Concerns / Questions
Never once has mentioned Julian Assange - why? Especially telling that his name was conspicuously absent from this video in May 2022 titled: “How the Media Hides the Truth…”
Can you find any mention or support of direct action or mutual aid? We’ve done more than a cursory glance and had a hard time finding any
How much has he investigated the hosts’ backgrounds and ties with billionaire Reid Hoffman & conservative DC Think Tanks like The Hudson Institute
He’s been doing this 2 years in a very small space where most of the people who align on these issues know each other.
Nobody in the independent activist space has really heard of James
What was his position on:
Force the Vote?
March for Medicare for All?
General Strike Summit?
What’s in it for James?
Visibility. With a channel 80X the size of his and a growing subscriber base, he likely saw the partnership as not much to lose. He is certainly helping Breaking Points perpetuate the notion that they are independent of corporate influence. Plus, if he’s paid the same as Max Alvarez, he’s getting $300/segment plus any boost from traffic while increasing his name recognition in media.
Admittedly, $300/segment seems awfully light for a show earning $300k+/mo - from subscriptions alone.
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