Web Indies Still Looking for the Money

There are a couple of posts out there this week that look at just what, if any, money independent web content producers are making.

Over on Gawker they talk to Yuri Baranovsky, the writer for Break a Leg, an original web comedy produced by the guys at For Your Imagination.

“Here’s how it all breaks down: with over 2 million views on YouTube, we’ve received roughly $1,600 from their Partner Program. We also over half a million views at YouTube competitor Blip.tv, worth a whopping $100. Finally another competitor MetaCafe featured us on their front page and with nearly 100,000 views, we made $500 – which is great, except the only way you’ll ever get that many views is if you win a contest (like us) or your show is primarily about how round and pretty the female breast is. Plus a year later, MetaCafe still hasn’t paid us.”

At first glance that seems like very little money for so many views and it is, kind of.  The thing is, these are cumulative numbers for multiple episodes.  Before real money can be made these shows need to be getting at least 500,000 per episode.  At least that puts them into the low-end cable numbers.

Over on TVWeek they compare early-adopter and cash-success story Ask-A-Ninja, high-end vloggers BeetTV and life-caster iJustine.

The short story is $100,000/month for Ninja, $15,000/month for BeetTV and $1000/month for iJustine.  Each of these projects has a different set of costs so it is not clear how much they are actually putting in their pockets.

Any way you cut it, the web content game is not a get-rich quick scheme.  However, there is tons of opportunity out there and we’re only seeing the beginning in terms of people trying to tap the market.


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