The Truth Hurts – Video Series are Fantastic Marketing, Sometimes Poor Revenue Sources

You can only say that NewTeeVee’s posting on “How Not to Get Rich Quick; Create a Web Series” is a 100% accurate. Not many people know this but to make money on web video using standard practices is very, very difficult, even if you have millions of viewers. As they put it:

In a moment of rare (but appreciated) Internet candor about money, Yuri Baranovsky, creator of the hit web series Break a Leg, lays out exactly how much moolah his efforts over the past two years have yielded him. Short answer: bupkiss. Gawker quoted him as saying:

…until the Internet can produce any real amount of money for good creators, there’s no way it will ever be the future of TV as everyone in “new media” exclaims. The purpose of entertainment and art isn’t to get smaller, quicker and catchier; it’s to push the boundaries, to grow, to teach and to create. With no money and an endless stream of throw-away content made for a dime and worth about as much, the shows that can challenge network TV will eventually get grabbed up by those networks or they’ll just give up and go on to greener pastures – like carpentry and porn.

So, are we rich yet? Hardly. But we’re waiting for your call, Mr. Guffman.

There are some people making money on the web; the Ask a Ninja guys reportedly pulled in $100,000 a month for their show. But aspiring web creators should heed Yuri’s warning and hang onto their day jobs.

As Daisy Whitney of TVWeek adds:

Online video producers have a ways to go before they can support themselves on ad sales alone.

While advertisers are expected to pour $1.4 billion into online video this year—up from $775 million last year—that money isn’t yet trickling down in a meaningful way to episodic Web series, so online studios are either supplementing their income by providing production services or they’re riding the venture funding wave.

The bottom line: if you’re a New Media Tastemaker and you want to stay in the black — with or without video content — you’ve got to think long-term and way out of the box (or just have fun at what you’re doing regardless of the money).