Monday, September 01, 2008

For Web TV, a Handful of Hits but No Formula for Success -

For Web TV, a Handful of Hits but No Formula for Success -

"When the Writers Guild of America strike stopped television production last fall and winter, Hollywood writers and producers rushed to create new scripted series for the Web, often called webisodes for lack of a more artful term. The strategy seemed simple: make money by going straight to the Internet.

Months later, they are realizing that producing Web content may be easy but profiting from it is hard. While a small number of writers, producers and actors are making a living with webisodes, they are still a long way from establishing the form alongside television and feature films. The newfound industry lacks clear business models and standardized formats.

And so far, it also lacks audiences. Ask most average media consumers what Web shows they watch, and the reaction is likely to be a blank stare. If they have heard of webisodes at all, it is probably in the context of “Quarterlife,” a Web series that leapt to TV and flopped spectacularly in the ratings in February, or “Prom Queen,” an online drama backed by Michael Eisner, the former chief of Walt Disney."


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