This article from NewTeeVee.com is a fascinating look at ad revenue online and in traditional broadcast. To quote:
when it comes to monetization, Hulu’s ad platform beats nearly everything else out there. Hulu reports that it averaged $0.143 in ad revenue per episode in 2010, which is better than broadcast DVR ($0.097), cable ($0.106) and cable DVR ($0.048). Hulu doesn’t yet top ad revenue for the typical broadcast TV show, but the startup appears to be on its way to doing just that: in the fourth quarter: Hulu monetization rose to $0.185 per half-hour episode, compared to $0.216 for broadcast TV.
The rest of the article has charts and other interesting speculation about Hulu’s future, but the aspect that intrigued me was the final price point – Hulu makes $0.185 per half hour while broadcast TV averages $0.216 for the same. Which means the best available ad supported program on broadcast makes less than one quarter per half hour. I’m not sure what this means, but it’s something to think about. Thoughts?
I just read an article on NewTeeVee about Ed Burns and his new media efforts. Word is, he’s trying to recreate the Brother’s McMullen in the digital age. I was unfamiliar with his 10 episode webseries ‘the lynch pin‘ before this and I am impressed. It’s a familiar story about a bad ass suit wearing assassin who wants out of the game but “the only way out is in a body bag.” Well executed with Mr. Burns as the titular assassin, the show has a paltry view count on YouTube, which is unfortunate but not unexpected. I wonder how it fared on iTunes? The drop off rate is noticeable and, after watching a few episodes, understandable. The lynch pin suffers from the same curse as most other short series – “Opening Title Fatigue.” After seeing the same intro six times in 10 minutes, it gets old. This is something we’re struggling with on Sexual Miscreant and something I’m looking to solve. The need to constantly remind the viewer what show they’re watching ruins the experience of the narrative. At the same time, lumping the episodes into one large chunk has disadvantages as well, longer load times being the least of them. I’m going to expand on this idea in a future post, so for now, back to the matter at hand. It’s a quality show and a strong effort, well produced, shot on RED and cut with snap and vigor. Well played, Mr. Burns. Well played.
According to the article I linked above, Mr. Burns feels that the $30,000 direct-to-consumer filmmaking model is the way to go, where the only compromises you make are the ones you choose to make. His newest no-budget film is called ‘Nice Guy Johnny’ and it hits iTunes and VOD on October 26.
For about two years now, I’ve been obsessed with the possibilities of the webseries as a narrative format and a potential business model. I’ve followed the ups and downs of the industry, studied the dedicated creators and critics, watched and loved shows like Joe Swanberg‘s “Young American Bodies” and Lena Dunham’s “Tight Shots” and many others. I launched a new media initiative for a local PBS station and shepherded the content to over a quarter of a million views and an invitation to the YouTube Partner program. After one false start and many months of observation, I’ve gone all in and produced my own original series.
Suddenly, I’m on a journey to the new media frontier and I intend to keep this blog as a record of my trip. It’s a place for me to ask questions, get answers and hopefully, a place for me to publicly analyze the failures, successes and lessons I learn along the way.