“TV series tell a story and web series create a world,” noted Sam Reich, president of original content at CollegeHumor Media. The world of web series like Dinosaur Office, (left) has taken off in recent years, attracting the attention of celebrities, TV networks and large viewing audiences. Reich appeared on an Advertising Week panel on Monday, along with other TV web content producers, marketers from TV networks and companies to offer a behind-the-scenes look at this popular format. Below are key takeaways.
As TV web content proliferates, the audience needs a roadmap. ”There’s an excess of YouTube videos, with approximately 72 hours of videos being downloaded every 60 seconds,” said Rob Barnett, founder and CEO of My Damn Channel. One example of an audience roadmap is USA Today‘s “TV on the web,” designed to help viewers sort through their many online programming choices.
Web TV comes in various forms. Barnett explains that “The different paths include mass aggregation of other content, re-purposing TV content on the web, and creating something original, which is a challenge”. Reich characterized his channel’s approach as “internet-forward and not TV-backward.”
TV networks use existing resources for their web offerings. “CBS uses adjacencies with our talent and programming”, said Marc DeBevoise, SVP and general manager at CBS Interactive Entertainment. For example, Jeff and Jordan Do America uses two characters who initially met on a CBS reality series. Live on Letterman shoots in the Ed Sullivan Theater with the same crew and musical artists who appear on “Late Night”. In DeBevoise’s words, “It’s an inexpensive way to launch live programming franchises.”