Yuri Baranovsky, creator of the hit web series Break a Leg, believes that making a web series is a formula for not making money on the web. He divulged that with over 2 million views on YouTube he only received about $1,600. He has made some other cash here and there but nothing wonderfully dramatic, like say a million cool ones. Now the Ask a Ninja guys reportedly made a $100,000 a month for their show. However, other sources claim that the web series, with the help of the United Talent Agency, struck a deal with Federated Media for a flat $300,000. Either way the Ask a Ninja team managed to be more profitable than the Break a Leg team.
You can make money from creating a web series. You just have to be business and profit driven rather than artistic driven. Start with a plan for profit. In film the profit model is built into the distribution model. In a web series the model is, by necessity, more diverse. A web series is created for the internet and, for this reason; your model must be informed by Web 2.0. This doesn’t mean getting zealous about Facebook (although it helps). It means understanding how your web series functions on the internet terrain, and how it interacts with others on the world wide web. The current trend with companies – from Apple to Walmart to the cool yoga studio down the block from you – is to be everywhere. Being everywhere in our modern age is not foolhardy and unfocused. It makes great business sense. A web series, like any corporation, needs to be everywhere. Your profit rests on infiltration.