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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Web Series Brand Auction

Early today, Space Truffles announced that it had partnered with Brand in Entertainment to produce the first ever web series brand auction. What is a brand auction, you ask? Also, more importantly, where can I get some tasty space truffles? Well, according to BIE’s press release, the auction organizers “will invite professional representatives and advertising agencies to bid on exclusive packages to feature their services and products among a variety of media platforms.” In other words, advertisers will compete for the right to advertise in certain projects. Two of the web series involved in the auction are Pink the Series and After Judgment.

Founded by Gennefer Snowfield, Space Truffles is a specialty shop specializing in branded entertainment and web series promotion. On her website Gennefer wrote, “…what I’m most excited about is how our participation in this event will help further advance and legitimize the web TV category, demonstrating the high production and narrative quality against traditional, mainstream media also being auctioned. It will also serve as further testament that investing in web series is a viable tactic for advancing marketing objectives…” Figuring out a viable means of funding web series has been an on-going issue. Perhaps this will be a first step towards advertisers being more willing to invest in the medium.


  1. This has 'waste of time' written all over it.

  2. When will this website learn that nobody cares about this crap.

  3. who the hell wants to ADVERTISE on Pink? Waste of money. They don't even generate THEIR OWN revenue, much less offer some to someone else.

  4. "When will this website learn that nobody cares about this crap."

    well, anon, what the hell are we supposed to post? (one answer would be nothing, i know :-) ) its easy enough to scroll past articles not directly related to lg15.

    i think its amusing. the concept of webseries being revenue generating vehicles really took shape after lonelygirl15 got big.

  5. @milowent There could have been more coverage of the meepup, that was the biggest thing this community has done in years. Also, more videos of what the community is doing. All this random stuff just pushes the good stuff off the front page. I don't care about reise or compulsions or any of these other random webshows. It is called LG15 Today not Random videos from the Internet Today.

  6. If you want the latest on what's going on with LG15 I suggest http://inside.lg15.com/

    Have a nice day!

  7. When will this website learn that nobody gives a damn what anon thinks?

  8. Hey, anon, blogspot registration is free.
    Don't like what's put up here? Be proactive and make your own fucking blog.

  9. Okay, wow! Well, between this post and the one about Umbrella, I think we can conclude people don't like articles with P-Monkey pictures. I don't know why there is so much P-Monkey hate, but I think it is misplaced, P-Monkey is all about love.

  10. I just don't like this article because the entire idea of a 'brand auction' is the most retarded idea I have ever heard of, and reeks of being a huge ploy to make money. So...apparently web series like 'Pink' can't generate their own revenue, so they're 'auctioning' their BRAND? Why in the hell would you 'auction' something that makes no money?

  11. Now you know how we feel about you Anonymous.

  12. To the anon above the last anon,

    Did you read the article? They are not auctioning off their 'brand'. What they are doing is holding an auction where companies will bid for the right to brand integration in the respective properties. Also, the auction is not just for web series either but for several television shows and movies, I just mentioned the web series because well I write about web series.

    It actually is a great way for web series to make money, assuming people actually bid on their projects, and could be a step toward monetizing web series.

  13. the concept of the auction seems destined to fail, honestly, but its interesting.

  14. I agree that it will probably fail, but I find the process of trying to make web series profitable fascinating.

  15. Pink was an excellent series. Probably one of the best done so far on the web as a "web series". If this project can help bring the show to more viewers to enjoy then that is something we should celebrate.

    If it is not handled well and the branding is overly intrusive within the entertainment experience then perhaps that is something we should be concerned about. However to object to creators trying to find a way to fund projects seems to defy logic......especially since we all want Eqal to find a way to fund lonelygirl15.

  16. As for the content of LG15 Today, anon, you might notice it also says "The community" and "fast breaking news direct from the Breeniverse" at the top of the blog. What this means is that as a collaborative project "LG15 Today" brings you the stories people are talking about and that are important to the entire community that has grown out of the original lonelygirl15 experience. Today that goes far beyond just the LG15 Universe and this was in part due to the number of totally independent series that sprang out of this community, or that community members have worked on, or taken an interest in.

    From the standpoint of any independent series producer the big picture of marketing and funding a show are extremely important. With that in mind we encourage coverage of those areas because they provide producers information directly relevant to the creation of content that will directly benefit this blog

    If you prefer to only read information related to the "Outbreak", "The Last" or "TSIY" we have provided you with 3 links right at the top of the blog that will filter out just the information you are interested in.

    Likewise there are other topics for those who are interested in other specific areas of coverage.

    Of course we hope you will just scroll down and enjoy all the content. Typically we try hard to ensure that a story stays on the from page for 24 hours which seems a reasonable target. If it is a heavy news day with a lot of articles we actually increase the number of posts as we did for "Party in the Breeniverse"

    There were actually a series of posts about the event on LG15 Today. However, if you feel there should have been more then this is a collaborative blog written by you the community so you are more than welcome to sign up by sending an e-mail request to [email protected] We welcome all authors and would be thrilled to read about your take on "Party in the Breeniverse"

  17. I guess I have a different perspective then most people here since, I have never seen an episode of lonelygirl. I found this site because of an early story about Riese the series and have since enjoyed reading the various stories about web series. I read tubefilter, mashable, and newteevee as well but I like the take this site takes on series in that it is more from the fan perspective and aimed at viewers rather than insiders, even though I have noticed a few of the big names in web series have commented here.

    My understanding is that lonelygirl has been over for over a year so I don't know why people would want only lonelygirl articles.

  18. Thanks for covering the auction story, and staying at the forefront of breaking web series news.

    In response to some of the comments, the biggest hurdle that web series face is discovery. Most consumers don't even know web series exist, or due to the proliferation of really poor content in the name of web video, people don't equate web programming with quality production and narrative. So, when I learned about Brand In Entertainment's inaugural brand auction, who would be showcasing major television and film, I thought this would be an excellent way to give credibility to quality web entertainment by featuring it alongside mainstream media, the likes of Showtime's 'Weeds' and Keanu Reeves upcoming movie, 'Henry's Crime.'

    I don't have a magic ball to predict the outcome of the event, but getting these web series in front of key brand decision makers and ad agencies, who will have an opportunity to directly review and interact with content that they may not have otherwise known about, is already a big win.

    In light of that, to me, it's a success just having these series featured in the event -- especially since BiE was originally only going to include web extensions from major TV shows. So, however small, this is a victory for independent content creators to get the exposure they deserve, and if it generates funding for the properties, it could lead to the monetization needed to keep web entertainment thriving, and ultimately, bring all of you the series that you want and enjoy.

    Hope to have good news that you can report next month!


  19. Discovery is a huge problem and anything that helps give web series credibility is likely to help with funding. It is hard to see how it would hurt.

    We are stuck in a chicken and egg situation where you need money to produce and market a good show but advertisers want to see large views before they pony up. Just getting a few series up and running with some funding would help raise the tide for everyone.

    Good luck!!!

  20. Exactly! (and thanks!)

    While I don't believe that views alone are the true measure of success when it comes to web series, impressions are still the number one metric for brands. So, increasing awareness and penetrating the mainstream market, is critical to build audiences needed to secure ad dollars.

    Like everything, this will be a learning experience, but I'm optimistic that we're on the right track in linking brands to digital entertainment, and between this auction opportunity and continued high profile exposure through efforts like the Streamy Awards, I am excited for how 2010 will take shape for web video.

  21. Yea, views alone are not a good measure of the value of a web series as a "vehicle" for a sponsor, but they are a pretty important starting point.

    We saw with KateModern that if a good show is placed in front of an audience they will watch it, creating an environment where a sponsors message can be delivered.

    After that the ability of a message to move the viewer to action is up to the skill and creativity of the integration.

    The problem is that most shows do not get that kinda of exposure and to drive the early discovery often takes a marketing budget which most web series do not have (at least without the assistance of a sponsor such as a portal).

    Hopefully by matching the right brand sponsor with the right show all this can happen seamlessly.

    Also if web series want to compete, they are going to have to learn how to put as much effort into marketing as they do into production and a little funding will probably help with that.

  22. The marketing element is critical. Most content creators think that if they develop a strong enough series, and produce it, the viewers will come, but even with distribution through channels like Dailymotion, Babelgum and Koldcast, quality content doesn't get explosive numbers. It takes time and money to build audiences, which is why, as you pointed out, brand sponsors can help.

    Most of what I'm focused on is not just securing brand dollars to fund shows, but allocating them wisely to create supporting campaigns designed to get in front of an audience where the content will resonate and drive some sort of action for the brand.

    Striking the balance between entertainment and business value is no easy task, but with a few case studies of brand-funded content that delivers solid creative AND a return on investment for the brand, we will be able to develop scalable models that make web entertainment a viable business case, instead of just a hobby or side project.

    Thanks for the great discussion!

  23. The advertising industry is very interested in this stuff because they know that viewers tune out to traditional advertising. Today the best ads have some sort of "entertainment appeal" that highlights the "value" of their product. Even with that, many humans still skip ads and hence entertainment properties offer one viable solution to ad agencies.

    Building a sustainable audience is still key. What we tend to see is that front page placement and other techniques tend to drive views but do not always "build communities" or lead to "subscription views" on sites like Youtube. Until you have a sustained audience you need to keep "priming the pump" and that draws money away from other productive uses.

    I believe it was on one of the recent web files that it was said that if it looks like "TV" then it should probably be on "TV" (this would include TV-centric web sites like Hulu.

    It is probably where a show has some unique offering that would not fit the TV model that the web has the most potential and also the biggest opportunity for brands to target "niche audiences".

    So the question becomes how big does a niche audience need to be before it becomes of value to a brand? More or less than 500,000 views per video? A smaller number of views would seem to be of little value if you assume any brand involvement can leave an impression on say 1 - 5 percent of the viewers.


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