Let’s face it – it is not easy at all to keep an audience coming back for more. Even major TV programs, complete with critical acclaim and plenty of marketing, can’t make the cut (I’m looking at you “Pushing Daisies“).
For episodic web shows this can be even harder. Sure, you loved episode one of that new webseries but it was 3 minutes long and now you are suppossed to wait a week or more and then come back and check for episode 2. Not a very appealing proposition and a major reason, I believe, that many webshows fail to get out of the gate and see massive downturn in viewership after the first episode.
Now, a few of the bigger players in this game, WB.com and Sony’s Crackle.com are both releasing series with “full seasons” available for immediate viewing. That means, if you dig episode one of “Children’s Hospital” you can sit tight and watch all ten of them. Same goes for “That Guy” on Crackle.
It will be interesting to see what impact this has on overall viewership. Knowing all the episodes are there and waiting is a lot like having a good show stacked up on TiVo – you know it’s there waiting when you are ready to watch. Maybe you will watch just one episode or maybe all ten but either way you know they are there.
Additionally, by releasing multiple episodes at once we get to decide how good the show is, not just the premise, which is all one can really hope to get if there is just one episode to see at launch. It is, perhaps, too much to ask of your audience to commit to a new episodic program based on one 3-minute episode.