Is Television Still the End Goal?

/ Jan 28, 2014

end-goal still tv

Before the rise of digital content, life for creators was a lot more simple but a lot harder: If you wanted to tell stories in a visual medium, your only real option was to head to Los Angeles or New York and work your way up the traditional industry’s ranks — and maybe, just maybe, lucking into a job making television or film.

Now, of course, the options are a lot more wide-ranging, but the path to success is much less clear. And television, meanwhile, hasn’t gone anywhere — it’s still a tempting option for creators. But is it the ultimate goal for producers?

The answer is no for Believe Entertainment Group co-founder Dan Goodman, who is happy working in the digital space, producing series like “The LeBrons” and “In the Booth” (featuring DJ Tiesto). “Trying to be flexible and minimal is the spirit of what we think digital business is all about,” he said via phone.

That flexibility means that Believe can target its programming — and where that programming can be seen — in a very specific fashion. “It comes down to the audience that we’re going after and working backwards from that,” Goodman said. “We start with audiences that we think are very active and sought after and where we can fill a gap, then we have the opportunity to take it anywhere we want.”

This is why “The LeBrons” currently runs on Xbox, while “In the Booth” was distributed on YouTube. “We don’t place any bets, and try to partner with all the biggest players out there,” he added.

For the past few years, Funny or Die has worked to expand its brand to television — currently, it has several original series airing on Comedy Central (“@Midnight”), FuseTV (“Billy on the Street”), IFC (“The Spoils of Babylon”), and elsewhere.

However, television is just one outlet, and is not the core of its business — that, according to FOD president of production Mike Farah, is still the website and mobile site, and the short-form videos hosted there.

And there are advantages to staying in the digital world. “Things in Hollywood move way slower than they should,” Farah said in a sit-down interview at the Funny or Die offices. That, plus the audience Funny or Die has built online, keep the company invested in both sides of the equation.

That audience loyalty is something YouTube director of content partnerships Malik Ducard has observed as well. “Regardless of where you’re creating your fanbase — there’s always going to be that loyalty to where the fanbase is created and developed,” he said via phone.

But that doesn’t mean exploring television isn’t a bad idea. “I’d say that it goes back to the creator,” Ducard said. “We’ve got great creators who started on television who are expanding with the platform, and we’re proud of that. There are also creators who have created fanbases and expanded to television — we’re proud of that and supportive of that. We don’t see it as either/or — we see it as an ‘and.'”

And as Goodman pointed out, the rise of smart TVs is changing the game — if the point is to be able to watch something on your television, there are no shortage of ways to bring content to the big screen. “The smart/connected TV conversation really drives the prominence of digital content. There’s a lot of conversation around mobile devices, but the real profile of shifting comes from TV,” he said. “A lot of that focus becomes about watching behavior — television will be a lot more than a cable plugged into the back.”

Does that mean we’re headed for what Farah referred to as a world of content “smushed together”? Perhaps, but that day is still pretty far away.

Because of course, there’s one factor that makes television an attractive prospect — getting paid. “People make a lot of money with those structures in place,” Farah said.

“It would be nice to have a hit TV show and syndication money,” Goodman said. “But the path to doing that in the traditional world is fundamentally different from our process.”

However, as the business models become more stable, digital content remains a viable option for producers — and potentially a lot more rewarding than airing on NBC.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Facebook Says It’s Sorry It Vastly Overestimated Video...


Pilgrim Media Group CEO Craig Piligian (‘The...


Heroes or Rats?: YouTube Unveils New Program for Creators Who...

Vessel says it's doing well in its first month

Why Verizon is Pursuing Vessel, the...

Industry Tickets Selling Fast!
Click above to lock in your registration for VidCon 2015!

How Canvs Media is Harvesting Emotional Insights on YouTube,...


Marlon Wayans Getting ‘Naked’ for Netflix with Regina Hall


HuffPost RYOT Launching Virtual Reality Comedy Series and News...


YouTube Launches #voteIRL Campaign Targeting Digital-First Generation


How Top YouTubers (incl. Tyler Oakley & Meghan Rienks)...


Charlie Sheen to Star in Crackle Feature ‘Mad Families’


Gunpowder & Sky Buys Distributor FilmBuff As Vision for...


Toy Freaks Top Viewed YouTube Channel in August According to...


Emmy Wrap-Up 2016: Jeffrey Tambor (‘Transparent’)...


Twitter Scores 2.1 Million Viewers for Thursday Night Footall Kickoff


Vloggers Not Unique Snowflakes: 90 Million Flag YouTube Videos...

Mode Media

‘Billion Dollar Startup’ Mode Media Shuts Down


Who Is Winning The Marketing Revolution And Why?


Netflix Orders ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ Series...


What Is ‘Swedish Dicks’ and Who Is Selling It?


How GMC is Using the AOL Series ‘Seamlessly She’...


Liberty Global to Put Netflix on Set-Top Boxes in 30 Countries


Getting to the Spine of VR’s Monetization Challenges with...


Meredith Hosted Its Own “Front” Stacked with 20 New Series


Verizon and Hearst Move and Seriously.TV Under...


Twitter Launches Live Streaming Apps for Amazon Fire, Apple TV...

YouTube Community

YouTube Fights Back Against Social Media Rivals with Community Feature

Casual Hulu

Vimeo Opening Television Store with Lionsgate Content, Launching...

A Perfect Day in LA Tastemade Jaunt VR Virtual Reality

From Donuts to Malibu, Tastemade and Jaunt Get Immersive in...

Defy Media

Defy Media Close $70 Million Series B Funding Round

YouTube Space LA Halloween Set 2016

YouTube Spaces Team with Jason Blum (‘The Purge’)...

Yahoo Esports

‘Yahoo Esports Live’ Serves Up Reeses Puffs with...


Univision and Lionsgate Team for SVOD Movie Service for U.S. Hispanics

People Entertainment Weekly PEN

People/Entertainment Weekly Ad-Supported OTT Service Preps for Launch

George_Kliavkoff Jaunt VR

Jaunt VR Hires Hearst Exec George Kliavkoff as CEO

Making a Murderer Netflix

‘Making a Murderer’ Scores for Netflix at Creative...

Future Man Hulu Josh Hutcherson

Hulu Orders ‘Future Man’ Series Starring Josh...

Heirloom Paten Hughes Tom Wopat Vimeo

How an Actress’ Real-Life Tomato Farm Inspired the New...

Robert Redford and Jane Fonda Electric Horseman

Netflix Rolls Camera on Robert Redford & Jane Fonda...


Amazon Greenlights Docu-Series on Tennis Star Novak Djokovic

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler 2-4-15

It’s Apps or Else: FCC Chairman Wheeler Clarifies Rule...