Monday, June 23, 2008

Internet TV

In The Times, Dominic Wells argues that while 'Internet TV' is attracting viewers, money is still in short supply.
In fact, the whole of internet TV is pretty hand-to-mouth at the moment. Kate Modern broke new ground by selling product placement in its “webisodes”. But on the whole, as's [Paul] Berrow puts it, “the advertisers have yet to come to the party”. When YouTube makes only $80 million profit a year, despite controlling 60 per cent of the market, you know there's precious little revenue left among the sites scrapping for that other 40 per cent. And, ironically, the more viewers they attract, the more it costs them in web-servers to support the demand.

1 comment:

  1. Dominic Wells argues that "money is still in short supply."

    Well, I'd argue that Mr Wells is dead wrong. And my company has done the research to prove it.

    He's making the basic mistake of confusing oversupply with a lack of finance. It's like saying that the movie industry can't pay for all the scripts that people send in on spec.

    Yes, there is no shortage of budding writers and directors who can now self-distribute via YouTube. But that's all about marketing your creativity. The Web show producers that we interviewed figured out very fast that tiny payments from YouTube were nowhere close to covering real production costs, even when everyone is working for free.

    Happily for WGGB members, the professional end of the market is picking up. Bebo in particular is commissioning one show after another, each with major sponsors attached.

    Well-known brands are more than willing to take part in the USA – see for instance In the Motherhood which is supported by Unilever's Suave shampoo and mobile operator Sprint. It is now in its second season with a budget of more than $1m for 25 minutes total screen time.

    Story ideas are from mothers, about their real-life experiences - but it's Hollywood writers who turn out the finished script.

    And online shows are increasingly integrated into mainstream broadcast television, as Sofia's Diary demonstrates. It's based on a well-established international format that has been in production since 2003, with the Bebo version now being rebroadcast via Fiver.

    I would argue that the money knows exactly where it wants to go and that WGGB members are well-placed to meet the forthcoming demand.

    For everyone who is interested in Web shows and their professional potential, you're all cordially invited to read and comment on our online TV blog at


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