Image via Wikipedia
There is a really insightful piece over on SAI in which the producer/creators of the relatively popular web series (about 100,000 views/week across all platforms) DadLabs explain the real economics behind what they’re doing.
“Right now, they’re grossing something like $5,000 a week in advertising and sponsorships ($50 CPM), and another $2,000 a month from merchandise sales, for a total of $22,000 a month. Half of Dadlabs’ ad revenue come from products the dads endorse on the shows. In May, the guys took in $15,000, net of FYI’s cut, and spent $25,000 to run the business. They’re financing the deficit with funding from friends and family.
Where does the money go? Most (70%) went to salaries: three full-time employees (the Dads), two “almost full-time” shooting/production people, and one part-time writer. They rent a warehouse on the outskirts of Austin (20%), and spend some money (10%) on props and other equipment. The guys are about to take another $300,000 from a local investor”
The most telling part of this for me is that, in truth, this isn’t bad for only 100,000 viewers/week. There isn’t a TV show in the world that could survive on so few viewers. This is the biggest hurdle for serious web content – unless you can generate viewer numbers that equal or better TV, and do it consistently, there is no reason for advertisers to help you get rich.