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After A Web Series Premiere, You Have to Keep Them Coming Back

LeBron’s week isn’t getting better. DigiDay says that LeBron James’ Web series “The LeBrons” is losing steam. The first episode got 1.2 million views, but the latest, number eight for the series, posted last week, hasn’t yet reached 65,000.

According to Digiday, a fall off in viewership is the usual pattern for a Web series. But of course, with constant new content, you’ll want to keep a substantial number of people coming back. The story says part of the problem may be that the series targets grade schoolers but is housed on YouTube. Another might be the nature of YouTube, which is better-known for one-off videos. Still, with a YouTube channel, a subscriber would be alerted to new shows.

A partnership could be a solution.

LeBron is taking a beating this week, so much so that some reporters are crying out for mercy. Unlike Michael Jordan or even Shaq, who had universal appeal, LeBron doesn’t really appeal to anyone right now.

And unlike Sesame Street, which is well-known and beloved by children and their parents (and creates content that encourages them to watch together), LeBron doesn’t have a relationship with kids so that they would seek out the content on their own.

A partnership that promotes the clips and generates continued interest throughout the life of the series is one way to create a hook to entice repeat viewers. For example, Bravo has announced an eight-part Web series with Cars.com tied to the upcoming season of its program Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. Cars.com might not have been able to create a Web series on its own. But with help from Bravo, they can participate in one.

Or the Zach Galifianakis’ Web program “Between Two Ferns,” which has the benefit of both celebrities and the traffic from Funny or Die.

What other tips do you have for launching a Web series? The comments section is open.

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