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Thursday, April 17, 2008

$5 Million to Lonelygirl15 creators: What it means

People who invest in digital media and Internet video content have one belief: that creatives are gonna find a way to produce really compelling content that attracts big audiences much more cheaply than the studios. When you've attracted a big audience, advertising dollars will follow.

That has been the thinking behind Vuguru, 60Frames, MyDamnChannel, FunnyOrDie, and now, EQAL, a micro-studio formed by the guys behind the lonelygirl15 series and KateModern.

EQAL just raised $5 million from Spark Capital in Boston; Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape; and Ron Conway, one of the original investors behind Google. Here's the Wall Street Journal coverage ... the NewTeeVee story .... and TechCrunch.

From Rebecca Buckman's piece in the Journal:

    Todd Dagres, a partner at Spark Capital, the Boston-based firm that led EQAL's round of financing, said the studio understands that "the Web is not TV, and you can't advertise like you do on TV."

    Instead, EQAL, formerly known as LG15 Studios and led by Chief Executive Miles Beckett and President Greg Goodfried, plans to weave advertising into the content of their shows, Mr. Dagres said, and also to interact with its community of viewers.

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  • What it means? Not a lot, 'cept these folks found someone who knows how to raise money.

    LG15 is currently getting about 20-50,000 hits per post (I just checked). Pretty sad numbers when the repost of a cat playing piano gets a few hundred thousand.

    If you want an idea like LG15. Get an attractive young girl. Have her pose like she is looking to:
    1. lose her virginity
    2. looking for advice about sex
    3. looking for a geeky boyfriend, cause she has a fetish about geeks

    I bet you beat 50,000 posts.

    By Blogger GBH, at 1:40 PM  

  • thanks

    By Blogger محمد , at 1:25 AM  

  • The cast of Friends used to make this much in a week - for what, 17 minutes of one liners? We are at the early stages of Web-To-TV. Videos shot on a cell-phone or laptop camera are best watched on a cell-phone or laptop, but professional video with TV screen quality, acting and editing is a new game.

    By Blogger Sam Beal, at 5:36 PM  

  • @gbh - not sure where you checked things up but I just looked at Youtube's all time list, lg15 is in the top 20 with 103,601,800 views and 323 videos uploaded. That makes an average of 320,749 views per video (or post). Quite a difference from the 20-50,000 hits per post you calculated.

    Assuming they make $5 for every thousand views that makes about $500k in ad revenues and assuming they spend $1,000 for every min of video they produce that's about $300k in cost. Quite decent returns on investment.

    My own guess though is that it's going to be a while before "creatives are gonna find a way to produce really compelling content that attracts [BIG] audiences much more cheaply than the studios" simply because consumer behaviors need to make a HUGE shift for this to happen. Most of us are going to have to shift from appointment viewing to engagement viewing, the technology needs to be easier (anytime, anywhere, anyhow) and creatives need to come up with some pretty good ideas.

    I do think there are ways to attract moderate numbers of pioneers today and make some money. Many are assuming that ads and sponsors are the only ways to monetize, that's a big assumption, and the big difference between the TV/cinema and the internet. Why not build online games into the shows and make money off the game? Why not increase interactivity ,e.g. mobile voting and make money of telecom carriers? Plenty of opportunities to exploit before the BIG audiences come around methinks.

    By Blogger Kevin, at 12:46 PM  

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