The Right-Brain 'Art' of Sales vs. the Left-Brain 'Analytic' – Musings on Media from the 'Sell' Side, with Occasional Forays into Music…and Wine
Part V – Finale: The 19 Revenue Sources for WebSeries Creators
Yes, this Series has stretched into 5 parts, and no…it was not planned that way. But if I am going to do what I espouse in places like WebTVWorkshop; i.e. ‘Be True to Your Content’s Form’, then this was the fewest segments for this to be offered in. Last, if you are a new visitor, thank you, and please catch the original ‘List of 19’ opening Blog post on MoM[S] that started this run.
Tax Incentives & Credits – This may affect very few WebContent/Series creators at this moment, but you are kidding yourself if you don’t think this will grow in importance going forward. In a lot of ways, the idea here is similar to what we discussed under Product Placement/Barter Firms in Part III: effectively reduce your bottom line, which can either reduce your needed funding, increase your profitability, or both.
In the Trad film world, I’ve been told it’s a given that you don’t even bother submitting any kind of proposed Producers budget or serious ‘pitch’ plan for funding, without including any/all available Incentives/Credits, as well as their potential amounts. You won’t even get looked at without them. So…why would you NOT do the same here?
Video Ad Platforms & Content ‘Channels’ – There are many players in this area right now, but you can expect heavy consolidation going through at least 2012. There are also several options here to earn revenues, but basically they come down to: A] Build & Host your content on your own site, and have Ads sold/served there by a Video ad platform, or B] upload your content to a Video viewing platform [which I’ll call content ‘channels’ here] and have them sell/serve the ads to yours & other content in an aggregate or ‘bundled’ package to Brand/ad clients.
There are pros/cons to each of these, much of which is a more lengthy dialogue than can be had here. But to summarize, in the first version, you can have more flexibility to also serve any ads/sponsorships that you sell, but you have to have adequate viewership/traffic to make this worthwhile. With the second option, you get the convenience of having them handle most aspects of this, but most likely “pay” for it by receiving a lower Rev/Share percentage.
Players in the video ad platform space include: BBE, adap.tv, YuMe and BrightRoll. Content ‘Channel’ sites out there right now: Babelgum, DailyMotion, MetaCafe, blip.tv, MyDamnChannel, StayTunedTV.net, and of course, YouTube.
Friends & Family – Borrowing money from family and/or friends has been the basis of many, if not all, of the early WebSeries projects created. The results of this are mixed as you would expect, though perhaps “raising funds” [as I’ll call it instead of borrowing] may be less onerous if done through one of the Crowdsource sites, such as IndieGogo. Most importantly, try to maintain the relationship if you can, which is often difficult to do when borrowing.
Another variation to check with your Tax pro on is ‘Gifting’ by your family. With current limits set at $11,000/yr[?] sans taxes, this can help both parties in many cases!
Credit Cards, Loans & Cash Advances – Yes…I know. We’ve all known people who have done it. Defied the odds. Paid the money back. Went onward & upward. The Bannen Way & many others started initially this way.
And there IS something to be said for those so confident in their project, that they will be even resort to these…anything to get their project shot. Having said that, the risk is high, the payback is huge, and the debt incurred is to be avoided wherever possible.
That concludes this Series for now. With my ongoing coursework at WebTVWorkshop, my [new] ties to iTVFest festival in Hollywood, and my continuing involvement in the fast-changing Online Media world through such excellent firms as Casale Media, there are likely many updates to come on this fascinating subject!
Thanks again for reading & let me know your thoughts > right now!