Release All At Once Or One Place At A Time?

(Jonathan Hardesty) #1

I’m starting to do a little research in advance of production for S2 of Flagon and I’d like to bring this question to the group at large and get some perspective on this. With the media landscape of today, it would seem like the best option for releasing a new season of content would be to just put it all out on every service at once since our show is small.

The other way would be to push everyone to one place first, and then expand over time to create a sense of exclusivity and to kind of guide the viewership of the show. Example: putting S2 up on a place like first and then a week or two later releasing on Youtube, and then…and then…and then…

What say you guys? Did either of the above options work for you? Did they not? Is there a third, fourth, or maybe fifth option for something like this?

(Bri Castellini) #2

@Brad_Riddell I think Chicago IRL talked about this last week!

Also tagging @jonathankyall @gmcalpin @kmd @OSTSG @Meg @NerdsOfTheVerse @ghettonerdgirl @mintypineapple @RDRICCI @tastewithkevin @danielmhart @Dan_Sherman @Sandwich_Fam @SecretLivesPS @Alex_LeMay @HackettKate @Marina_Tait @cagesafe @mdec24 @mkatiehunter

(Meg Carroway) #3

Hm. I don’t know! I think unless you’re uploading to a super legit place like Hulu or Amazon or something, it doesn’t really do you that much good to say you’re putting your show on Seeka or another small time place because not as many people will have accounts/ be prepared or able to watch it there. So maybe YouTube first because it’s easiest to promote and then try to get it on other distributors later? Because most of your marketing will be when things come out and it would be a shame if the bulk of marketing is done against links that don’t work.

I do like weekly schedules though because I like having a thing to look forward to every week on the day I’m used to. As opposed to binge releases

(Gordon McAlpin) #4

I think it totally depends on your format and story. Mine are all self-contained. So even if I could release more than one on one day (which, with animation… will never happen), it doesn’t really benefit me in the same way that a semi-regular, ongoing update schedule does.

If you’ve got a real story with a beginning, middle, and end, and it’s more of a serialized arc than an episodic series, it probably makes more sense to let bingers be able to watch it at their own pace.

(Jonathan Hardesty) #5

Huh. I wonder, then, if maybe releasing the binge-able version in one place first to guide people in one direction, and then have a weekly drip of one episode at a time elsewhere? Example: Putting all of Flagon S2 on Seeka to binge watch, but then having it be a weekly release on YT?

As someone also in animation, yeah, more than one a day will be impossible unless I make everything at once and…well…that might not be the best idea. :stuck_out_tongue:

(Melissa Malone) #6

We are currently in the same boat so not much help unfortunately! We are trying to decide if we should do an Amazon release in addition to our current Seeka/Youtube platforms. I have been sending almost all traffic via ads, etc to Seeka for multiple reasons- now you don’t need an account, it’s available on Roku/Apple TV, it looks gorgeous there and… well… I just like the Seeka crowd as people… lol.

(Bri Castellini) #7

Wait really? They implemented that?? I didn’t even know! That’s amazing!

(Bri Castellini) #8

The one thing I still want from Seeka in the immediate is access to backend stats. I have no insight into if pushing to Seeka links as opposed to YouTube is doing anything for us- the only time I can tell we’re doing ok is when they do monthly roundups and release the top ten shows on the site.

(Melissa Malone) #9

Yeah they did away with it kind of recently… lol

(Gordon McAlpin) #10

Megan Gedris’s comic Spectacle is serialized free online after it’s released as a longer (paid) digital comic on Comixology. If you do offer a bingeable version on one site but serialized elsewhere, that might be the way to go.

(Rodrigo Diaz Ricci) #11

My experience this past year has taught me the following and may be able to help you in some way:
1- Only if you have a contract of exclusivity you can leave your series in one place.
2- Release the complete series. I saw this method in a web series called My Roommate’s An Escort and it worked wonders for them.
3- See the social networks that work best for your series and work exclusively on them and not waste time on others. (For example, Twitter, Instagram ‘work well’ for me)

(Bri Castellini) #12

“exclusivity” aside from contracts just means you’re only releasing it with one place. So technically you could say a web series is “Exclusively distributed on YouTube” without needing a contract (or for a non-exclusive contract on a platform like SeekaTV, by virtue of not uploading the series anywhere else despite being able to, you can say “exclusively distributed by/premiering on SeekaTV”)

(Amen J.) #13

I primarily posted on YouTube and I personally thought it was fun to release an episode one week at a time. What I did, however, that I think was a good approach, was partner with a local community magazine/blog, so that they were promoting each episode along with my social media feed. I also posted a blog on that site to go with the theme of each episode. And, finally, before I went live with the episodes I had a release party and I think that is the best form of engagement at the end of the day, even for web series. It also helped me get front page news coverage in the city.

(Sandwich Fam) #14

This is an interesting discussion!

We distribute “exclusively” on YouTube for now, mainly because it’s the platform we know well and can just focus all our audience traffic on going there. We’re making our series Marked as we go so by default it’s one episode at a time.

BUT, if we were to do another release on another platform, maybe once all episodes are complete, we’d probably add some sort of exclusive, unpublished content just for that platform. Maybe bonus scenes we’d cut out from the YouTube release, maybe extra bloopers, new content of some kind. That would really make each new platform release newsworthy and get attention from your fanbase.

For us, it’s all about marketing. How can you make each release unique? How can you generate more excitement, even among those who’ve watched it on another platform?

Hope this helps!

– John & Lena

(Marina Tait) #15

I’m new at this too so very interested to hear what everyone else has to say.

We released simultaneously on YouTube and Vimeo. And quickly discovered that I was aiming all my promotions at sending viewers to YouTube because it’s the biggest, the place where everyone goes. Our series is on Vimeo but hardly anyone knows it’s there. It just seems more efficient to spend time & energy on sending viewers to one place, rather than multiples places.
(It looks better on Vimeo, so I will send someone there who I want to impress with the look.)
All our episodes were already finished when we released, so we did an episode a day for a week. Spreading your releases out over time fits with the YouTube model, which is all about supplying your subscribers with more content over time. We aren’t really doing that. There won’t be new content until we can put together another season. The way we released didn’t make much sense because we didn’t have very many subscribers yet.

My two cents - Marina

(Miceal O'Donnell) #16

I don’t know the statistics when it comes to other platforms, but I think it is worth looking into the algorithms that would drive each of them. For Youtube, however, you will end up with more overall views if you release one a week, as consistent uploading (day and time) is part of the formula you need to satisfy for your content to be pushed to the top of the suggested videos column. Other aspects are percentage/time of each individual episode watched, and whether or not someone jumps to another one of your videos of jumps to another channel (which is why tags and playlists are important.)

(Gabriel Reiter) #17

My series is 6 episodes and reaching the end of post, so we’re debating this very topic. It’s a serialized show so we are leaning towards releasing all 6 episodes at once. Then I think we’ll try to promote each episode once a week through social, kind of splitting the difference that way.

For those of you that released all episodes at once on YouTube, what’s your drop off been like? I’m worried that since my show is longer (12 min) episodes, people aren’t used to binge watching on YouTube so they’ll watch 1 episode at a random point in the day and then click on something else forgetting to come back…

I agree with some other posters, I don’t see the value in posting in multiple places because to me the game is all about aggregating view counts.

(Bri Castellini) #18

The drop off is always significant in a playlist, even for really popular people. Waaay more people will give a new series a chance than will stick with it all the way through- that’s just the nature of audience. Your first episode is also usually the most frequently linked on websites, in press releases, etc, so people will land on that one first regardless, making it inherently higher in view count.

(Allen Landver) #19

@everyone Thanks for this discussion! Has anyone released a series on Facebook yet? The platform doesn’t have the most sophisticated way to showcase episodes, but if you’re promo-ing on a Facebook page, it’s a super easy way for people to watch the series “in-platform,” right? Is it worth sacrificing some of the more sophisticated platforms like Youtube, Vimeo, or Seeka for this ease?

(Gordon McAlpin) #20

My show is technically on Facebook, and the last couple of episodes did way better there than on YouTube. But Multiplex 10 episodes are standalone jokes, not a continuing story.