The web series market is increasing daily. For every web series I watch three more sprout in its place. In the same arena, innovative companies are being created to tackle the web series mark. These range from creators, to distributors to multi-media venues. One such company is Movie Pals. Solomon Rothman is the innovative, driven and creative CEO of the company.
I recently had an opportunity to ask Solomon Rothman about MoviePals and the web series market in general. This is part two of the conversation. Part one is here.
4. What do you find to be the biggest rewards of web series entertainment?
The biggest rewards are being able to innovate learn from mistakes and improve in a much faster manner than ever before than other mediums. The ability to interact with fans and shape the direction of the series dynamically and possibilities for other products, spin off series and endless creative contributions and even crowd sourcing would not be possible using other means. Because the web series are much cheaper to produce and you can self-distribute to some extent, depending on your revenue generation strategy you can try things that would never have made it through financing in traditional television. These things are amazing and what makes working with web series entertainment so exciting, even with the tough hurdles to overcome.
5. Many web series lack a profitable business model. Do you think web series, in general, can be profitable now or in the future?
Web series can be profitable now and successful the ones, or ones that use innovation to build a community around the brand will continue to be profitable even amongst the vast competition. Most web series, even the ones I’m working on are currently over-relying on advertising as the major means of monetization but in the future other revenue possibilities are possible and will be explored. The key to making a profitable web series right now, today in 2010 and 2011 will be to keep costs to their minimum so even a few large sponsors and views can push it into profitability. We’ve been experimenting with an alternative revenue model: using the web series team to directly sell commercials and corporate videos. Though we’re in the early stages, it’s one example of a revenue model outside of solid advertising.
6. Do you think web series innovate entertainment? Or innovate the creative model for filmmakers? Both?
Most the time no, web series are rather poor examples of innovation in entertainment, but as most new things it’s still maturing and the ideas still have time to mature in the upcoming years. One of the most exciting things about web series innovations is the fast pace at which things can progress and the possibilities for fan and audience interaction that are not possible on other mediums. Web series present capabilities and ideas that can combine and cross mediums and allow interactivity to inspire audiences in ways not possible before.
Most web series online would absolutely love to be made into movies or shows (including ones I’ve worked on), but again that’s because even the revenue models we’re using and trying to explore are new and not mature; today, you’ll get paid a lot more for successful TV shows and films. As technology continues to increase and innovation on the area of distributions and revenue generation happen simultaneously we’ll see lots of “hybrid” interactive web series that will not be possible as a TV show or movie. That will be awesome. Despite the web series that depend on the traditional model, lots of web series are stand-alone, because they don’t’ possess the production quality capability of sustaining or being acceptable to a theatrical release, blu-ray release or HD television broadcast on cable networks.
To return to part one, click here.
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