I’m Ajay, I created Stareable. I’m also a huge tv nerd. What’s good? What can I tell you? ASK ME ANYTHING
When did Stareable go from an interesting side project to think about to a full blown business?
Hey Ajay! waves Thanks for taking the time to talk to us for this AMA! Really appreciate the service you and the Stareable team provide web series creators and industry folk like myself.
We started the project in the summer of 2015. I had the idea and starting polling friends to see what they thought and if they would want to work on it with me. We started small - looking at what else others are working on and how we could add value or do things differently. Then there was a month just brainstorming names with available URLs. Over time, it picked up speed, taking up more and more of my free time. Eventually, about nine months ago, I was completely obsessed with the project/company and at the point where I just couldn’t maintain a day job any more. No regrets - this is the hardest I’ve ever worked but the most professionally satisfying thing I’ve ever done.
what’s the next cool thing you guys are working on? or is this forum the focus for now?
Hi Ajay! Can you please explain why you hate yellow backgrounds?
In all seriousness, I’d love to hear what first attracted you to web series and the first great ones you remember watching.
Thanks Chris! If you could change/improve one thing about what we’re doing, what would it be?
I love Chelsey Saatkamp, and I just need the world to know it.
feeling is mutual
From your experience, what have web series creators who’ve had their shows hosted on Stareable said about the service, primarily as it relates to growing their audiences?
I love television. And web series, to me, are just independently-produced internet television shows (often waiting to be discovered). I never realized I was watching web series until I started working on Stareable and found out it was the term. I just knew I thought these shows were brilliant. Early favorites - Between Two Ferns, High Maintenance, Comedians in Cars, Teacher’s Lounge, Colin Quinn’s Cop Show. I’m sure I’m leaving shows out.
Thanks Ajay. I think while Stareable has done a great job of assembling web series in one place, it would be great for you and the team to work with show creators on audience growth, outreach and promotion. Or, at the very least, the community forums can provide tutorials and info on those aspects of web series production and distribution.
I’ve read the articles that Bri wrote on “how to make a web series” and they are incredibly informative, with tips and suggestions I know I could have used when I first began working on my show. Thanks for writing and posting those, Bri, and thanks for making these AMA/web series chats possible!
Hey Sam! For us, the forum really encompasses what we’re realizing needs to be the focus for the company and where we can add value - we want to create a community and create connections within the industry. We started by focusing on creating connections between creators and audiences. But we’re realizing we can also connect creators with each other - so they can learn and collaborate. We can also connect creators with more traditional television companies or different internet platforms or various monetization strategies. It’s about deepening the way that we all engage with each other so independent creators don’t feel isolated or without resources.
While comedies tend to be the most popular web series out there, how can shows from other genres successfully adapt to short form storytelling?
You’re welcome, Chris! Maybe I should do an AMA… that said, I’ve got a few posts about promotion and outreach (below), and I’d love your input on other articles we could put together for you, or details you think we might have missed!
That would be great! Thanks Bri for sharing those articles!
First of all, thanks so much for Stareable!!! What are the biggest challenges you and the company face?? And what can we do to help out?
I think creators tend to relate with our goals of helping shows get discovered and helping cut through all the noise and clutter on places like YouTube. There’s an appreciation that the site only curates episodic content and that they can use it to discover other great shows and learn about the work of their peers. We’re certainly not where we need to be in fully solving those problems (which is why we’re always looking for advice on how to improve!). But it’s frequent positive feedback we get.
Fo’ sho’, and do let me know if you think there are things I haven’t covered! What other articles would be helpful to you and the creators you know?
Any articles relating to writing for web series, as well as overseeing production from a distance (i.e., like if you’re working with people in multiple cities, as I’ve been for my series). I could certainly contribute my thoughts on both issues, and I’d love to hear from others who’ve had experience with those aspects of production.