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Friday, October 15, 2010

Interview With Streamy Award Winner Mark Gantt

"The Bannen Way killed it at the Streamy Awards and went on to win four awards, and has attracted over 14 million views."

Read the full post:


  1. To be fair it is important to note that according the Newteevee the analytics used in the 14 million only indicated that the videos had begun to play on a page that had autoplay activated. This raises the question of whether or not the claimed views are even remotely accurate. To date neither Sony/Crackle or the Bannen way has clarified this unfortunate situation but until that happens the media should be extremely careful about quoting a statistic that could be highly misleading.

  2. The bottom line is they cheated to get those 14 million views. What's worse is that the industry continues to kiss their asses for it.

  3. Bannen Way should just release the "real view" statistics based on complete views so that we can all see whether or not the Sony/Crackle claim of 14 million views was deceptive or not.

    There has been so much discussion of "fraudulent view counts" that you would think Bannen Way would be first in line to set the record straight and avoid any appearance of impropriety.

  4. The views aren't why the show was in the spotlight or even why it did so well at The Streamys, it was because of the top notch production and execution from all the players involved.

  5. The show itself was extremely well produced and one would like to think the views were in fact real.

    Bannen Way deserved views.

    However that does not mean the views were real and the more people who treat the Sony/Crackle claim as legitimate the more harm it does to Bannen Way.

    Clarifying this situation would actually be in Bannens best interest. Even if it only got 10,000 complete views it would not detract from the show.

    What does detract from EVERYONE who produces a web series are claims about views that are probably just not real especially when such claims are repeated over and over in the media WITHOUT QUESTION as they were here.

  6. I'm curious why people are so worried about the view counts? I understand we don't want fraud (although EVERYONE exaggerates), but what's your main reasoning here? For future advertisers to create rates for CPMs? I'm not sure I get it. With Pink we've had around 10 million views (or more) across multiple sites - the main ones being YouTube (where you can see the numbers) and Hulu (where you can't see the numbers), but besides "bragging rights" it really hasn't done anything for the show or me as the creator...

  7. Blake: thanks for teeing this up.

    The idea behind supporting an industry standard for view counts is a solid one.

    Unfortunately, I am not the one who should explain this to you.

    I will shoot a link to this thread over to Anchor Cove's resident expert. Perhaps he will graciously explain it to you.

  8. It's really not all that complicated:

    Without a robust metric, the industry can never be taken seriously by advertisers, investors, etc.

    Pretty much anyone with any kind of business sense. And money.

    The people with money are grownups and they are going to be very reticent to invest capital in something that is so blatantly bogus. The MBAs laugh at this stuff, then nervously advise investing funds in something else.

    The industry is shooting itself in the foot. Despite new media's disdain for traditional media, and all that goes with it, Capitalists are the people who have the potential to make new media reach its potential.

    Without a metric, it sullies the viability of even a quality production like BW and gives rise to the deluge of Utter Crap that pretty much rules the roost.

  9. I'd be surprised if The Bannen Way was watched by over 50,000 real people. Gather a group of 50 people together, and ask them which they've heard of: 'The Guild' or 'Bannen Way' and I wouldn't be surprised if they only picked the former.

  10. While I do get the advertising component what I don't get is the seeming disdain for The Bannen Way and Sony. They are cleary not the only ones who don't share their numbers. Should we have a Neilsen type metrics for advertisers to see? Yeah, I'm cool with that. But this idea that Sony and Bannen are trying to deceive folks I don't get (did they exaggerate? probably.). The biggest shows out there on YouTube, etc. use autoplay (including Pink). What I definitely don't like are the places that use autoplay on non-video sites and the shows just "autoplay" in the corner (like ads) while you're not even watching. This is not, however, to my knowledge the case for Sony or YouTube. Again, I'm all for industry standards but this attitude that The Bannen Way and Sony are the bad guys is utterly ridiculous.

  11. I completely agree. All web producers put out bogus numbers. The whole system is flawed.

    Until they fix it, I see the medium doomed to be the "D" leagues of entertainment.

    Picking on BW in particular is just silly and is probably done more out of jealousy at it's success than for the pursuit of equity.

  12. Sony is the one who originally made the 14 million view claim in a press release. That claim was questioned by many in the community because it seemed to fly in the face of other observations that had been made.

    NewTeeVee looked into the claim and via an independent verification company they discovered that what were claimed to be views were "play starts" on a home page that has massive hits. This is quite different from auto play on a YouTube partner site which only gets traffic that is looking for that particular show. Sure you could trick Youtube and that may have been done from time to time, but that is an entirely different issue. We actually "monitor" many series via Tubemogul to watch the "pattern of views". By doing that you get an idea of whether or not the views on a youtube channel are legitimate or are being produced by some trick. From time to time we have actually published such data.

    We have also questioned other web series portal sites. For example some producers who have their shows on Koldcast have made claims about views. When asked for independent verification Koldcast has indicated that they are honest and do not lie. This does not obviate the need for independent verification.

    Does a show need huge view counts before it is considered good? Certainly not. We watched Pink and enjoyed it long before it had massive views. In fact we would contend that Pink was better suited than Bannen Way to the short web series format we are used to today. However Bannen Way was a good series and deserved views. What is not clear is that they actually got them and Sony is not making the situation any better.

    Sony is a huge company in the entertainment space and it would be nice if they set an example. Instead they appear to think they can throw out claims and have them believed without question. They are not God.

  13. Mark and Jess could do us all a big favor by asking Sony/Crackle to release the full analytics and "real view counts". It does not matter if they are 10k or 10m. What matters is that they are legitimate views which probably means the viewer should have watched at least 50 percent of the video or preferably the entire thing. For Sony to expect us to accept "play starts" from a home page with massive hits and where autoplay is used to boost views is not only insulting it debases every other claim they make.

    There is a relatively easy way to use a statistical survey to test the Sony claim. It would be nice if those at the IAWTV who are pushing for "standards" would actually do things like that and put companies like Sony on notice that their claims will be put to the test. Perhaps that is the only leverage we have with companies to ensure that IF they make claims, the claims have some basis in reality.

    Bannen Way is an important show because it received a lot of media attention. As part of that the number of 14 million has been used to suggest commercial viability. I fail to see how Sony is being single out. They put them self in this position by making the claim and now they are being asked to substantiate it.

    Pink currently has 6,495,288 views on YouTube. We did not randomly take Blakes word for it. It is right there for us all to check. If we want to see the Guild views then simply go to Bing.

    For all who have not made their data transparent we have asked for independent verification. The problem is that many media sources just recite the claim made by Sony and it is a massive claim that simply defies reality.

    If Mark and Jess want to come forward with full metrics for completed views of their show on Crackle we will be only too happy to publish them.

    Bannen is a good show and if it had not been taken off the web (and geoblocked while on the web) we would have encouraged everyone to watch it right now. But, it is real views we want......not deceptive claims. If Sony can demonstrate that Bannen Way has 14 million views as they claimed then bring it......

    As for "pay to play shows" those have been extensively discussed elsewhere recently so this thread should be taken in the context of the larger discussion about view fraud that has been going on. However just because Sony is an important company to many producers in the space does not mean they should or will get "a pass" on this issue.

  14. "Picking on BW in particular is just silly and is probably done more out of jealousy at it's success than for the pursuit of equity."

    Who else has made a claim of 14 million views that are clearly autoplay starts? It was Sony who threw out this number and it is a big number. Now they are being asked to prove it. How is that anything to do with "jealousy".

    We would be thrilled if the 14 million number was real. It would be a real sign that this longer format of show resonated with viewers and perhaps suggest that others should try it. However the claim turns out to be nothing more than autoplay starts. What we need in order to determine if the longer format works or not are the real numbers.

    Certainly Bannen Way showed that you can produce a slick series on a limited budget. However the problem EVERY web series faces is one of marketing and getting views. Did Bannen get them. We really have literally NO idea how many full views Bannen got and there in lies the problem. People are making assumptions of what works and what does not work based on what is most likely a bogus claim.

    Certainly their are skills that Mark and Jess can point to in terms of making a product and for that they are to be admired. However to consider autoplays on a page with huge hits as "marketing" is an insult to the word. To claim that it is just "jealously' is equally biased and without basis.

  15. Here are links to the discussions about the larger issue of view fraud:


    To those who think Bannen Way, Sony or Crackle are being singled out they should be aware of the entire discussion, not just this particular aspect of it.

    The reason this thread is focussed on Sony/Crackle was the fact that in the article the 14 million claim was once again made without ANY qualifier to even suggest that there is a problem with the 14 million number. We are just setting the record straight and reminding everyone that this 14 million number does not reflect actual views...... its simply reflects view starts on a home page with autoplay enabled. As such the number is essentially meaningless and it would be helpful if all those who cite it made that perfectly clear as we did here in the first comment.

  16. No surprise, cg has no answer to that...


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