Why Isn't 'The Line' a Bigger Hit?
The series was produced by 'SNL' cast members, and produced by Lorne Michaels' Broadway Video. It features several recognizable actors -- including Bill Hader and Jason Sudeikis. It was directed by Seth Meyers.
They got big publicity earlier in the week in The New York Times. They paid to send out a press release on PR Newswire. They had distribution on sites like FunnyOrDie.com, YouTube, and Crackle. The series is funny -- I watched four or five episodes in one sitting.
But on YouTube, the episodes on average have 43,000 views. On Crackle, the average is 18,000 views an episode.
If they were depending purely on showing advertising around and during the episodes, that kind of traffic isn't going to produce much scratch. Lucky that they signed a sponsor for the series, Sony Pictures (Crackle's parent company), which uses it to advertise some upcoming movies.
What isn't working?
I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.
I'd pinpoint two things...the second more significant than the first.
1. Not enough of a cliff-hanger or hook to carry you from one episode to the next.
2. The name. Try Googling "The Line" and see what comes up. You get Johnny Cash and a lot of other stuff, but not this series. Now try Googling "Ask a Ninja" or "Homestar Runner" and see what happens. Those Web series are the first result.
"The Line" is a good name for a movie or TV show, when you have a studio or network to spend millions advertising it and promoting it. People know to find it at theaters on August 22nd, or on TV on NBC.
But on the Internet, Google is the way many people find stuff, and if you don't appear on that first page of Google results, people won't keep hunting. I submit you need to give your series a distinctive name that doesn't already produce lots of Google results. (What did the words "Homestar Runner" mean before the animated series started up?)
Here's a link to Episode 1 of "The Line."
Interested in hearing your thoughts...