Releasing a web series across all platforms, good idea or not?


(Ian David Diaz) #1

Hi again everyone, I have two questions, (again LOL), my first is, since this is my first web series and now I have a distributor and they want to release it simultaneously on all platforms, Youtube, Amazon (as a short), Roku, Vimeo, etc, etc, is this a good idea, does anyone have experience in this? My second is since my series is very short, each episode is 5 minutes long and there are only 5 episodes, should I release all five on one day or release one each week? What about the time difference, should I pay more attention to the UK time, (as I’m from the UK), or US time. I was told the best time to release your web series is when everyone clocks off after work, a lot of people watch stuff on the subway, on their cells on their ride home.

I’m planning to release Rebecca Gold (my series), at the end of September. Your thoughts would be much appreciated.

LOGLINE: A Gay, lonely, geeky, highly skilled assassin goes rogue when she encounters her high school crush.


(Arthur Vincie) #2

I’m of the opinion that the Netflix model rules - release it all at once. Also, I think if you release on multiple platforms you expand the number of possible avenues that people will see it. The advantage to the distributor is that one marketing/ad campaign covers everything and they’re done.

I do know folks who focus on one platform only, either because it makes getting viewer metrics a ton easier (it absolutely does) and you can point to said platform’s metrics as evidence of success (rather than having to aggregate data and guess where you don’t get any data from platforms). Also, in theory getting a lot of eyeballs through one platform will prompt said platform to give it a boost.

I think you have some advantages - you have a genre piece that also fits within the LGBTQIA demo, so you have multiple ways to market it (and there’s a lot of crossover). So whether you paste it out everywhere or just on one platform, the key thing is to have a plan to get people to click click click to where it’s streaming, in as frictionless a way as possible.

Hope that makes sense/helps.


(Ian David Diaz) #3

Thank you so much Arthur this helps a lot.


(Bri Castellini) #4

Actually next week’s Forget The Box podcast will talk about this very question! Spoiler alert: the guest is all about multiple platforms, because if you can show decent viewership across multiple, it proves you have value across multiple markets (as different sites/platforms have different viewers)


(Ian David Diaz) #5

Cool, I will look out for it, Thanks Bri as always.


(Jonathan Hardesty) #6

I would also offer that you release all the episodes at once. For me it’s about the audience’s attention span. There’s always a significant drop-off from the first episode to the second episode, and from the second to the third as people kind of forget that a webseries exists. I experienced this with my series Flagon and my other series Sausage School. The initial release did gangbusters, and then each successive month we released there was less and less of a response.

Granted, some of that was because we were a monthly instead of a weekly release, but I imagine from then to now even a weekly release would be enough to encounter that same drop-off.


(Bri Castellini) #7

So I’ve only ever done weekly releases of all my shows, and while there’s always certainly a drop off after day 1, I find it’s far easier to promote consistently and reach new folks if I have a new thing to promote every week for X weeks of episodes. Plus, the drop off after episode 1 happens even in binge-release. More people are going to watch the pilot/initial link than anything else, and I haven’t seen data that suggests it’s statistically significant from a weekly release model so far


(Jonathan Hardesty) #8

Hrm. I guess I’m a bit skewed on that with our monthly release schedule back in the day. :stuck_out_tongue:


(Ian David Diaz) #9

Yep, that’s a big question, release it all at once or weekly? Hard to know what’s right, a 5-part, 5-minute drama involving a lonely assassin. Releasing all the episodes at once might be the answer, who knows eh?


(Dakota Cardinet) #10

I try to release bi-monthly, and my first video got almost 500 views, second got about 280, third about 120, so my views have dropped drastically but on the plus side, my watch time increased drastically. This is on YouTube. Watch time is far more valuable than views because it shows your audience that actually likes your show instead of just ad clicks.

As per your multi platform, I’d say release on YouTube frst for about 2 weeks to a month, then release on other platforms. This will help build to youtube monitization.

If your show tends more towards adults, then I suggest the TV method of getting the series completely done, then releasing the show one week at a time. Adults tend to be far busier, and can’t bing-watch as younger audiences.
Hope this helped!
-Zombie Hat


(Ian David Diaz) #11

Thanks, Dakota, as I said it’s hard to know what to do.


(Ian David Diaz) #12

Bri, did you release your new web series, Sam and Pat are Depressed simultaneously on all platforms, and if so what platforms did you target and why? If you didn’t I’d like to know that too.


(Bri Castellini) #13

I premiered Sam and Pat once a week for the first nine weeks on SeekaTV because I liked the idea of not having to say YouTube in context of my new show (YouTube has a lot going for it but you can’t deny that there’s a less-than-good reputation of people who make YouTube content). I premiered the show all at once on YouTube about a week or two after the finale went to SeekaTV, as I’d already uploaded it, set up the end screens, and closed captioned everything. I decided against putting it on Facebook because I really dislike Facebook and didn’t want to bother (I do have the first episode up, with a link to the rest of the season elsewhere), and I DID put it all on Vimeo until I saw how expensive it was to host that much content on my account and had to delete all but the trailer so that I wouldn’t lose access to the short film on that channel with way more views.

YouTube was a no-brainer because that’s where people understand how to consume short form content, plus I was putting the series on a channel with a short film covering similar themes that had done really really well (also about mental health, also a slightly strange comedy, also with an asexual female lead) so I had an existing (if small) base of folks.

Seeka was just an experiment, and because it was the only place I was putting the series initially, and because Seeka had a vested interest in people watching on their platform, because all our views were on their platform at first they promoted for us, made a newsletter about our premiere, mentioned us in several successive newsletters in the rankings of which shows were most watched on their site, etc. At the time, you had to make a Seeka account to watch, which definitely hurt us initially because people would get confused or suspicious about making a new account, but now, it’s free to watch without an account so I think season 2 will be much more successful there. It’s also nice to have an easy-to-remember-and-say URL- seeka.tv/samandpat is way easier than https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8vN9T_Gey8&list=PLPby6EKJQWLJMVevXz_1TXruKcod80wOs

SeekaTV is also just good folks who really care about their creators and I believe in them as a company.


(Ian David Diaz) #14

Thanks, Bri this is very helpful.


(Bri Castellini) #15

Somehow, @SnobbyRobot got into my brain and his latest article very much talks about my struggle with our season 1 premiere due to Seeka (at the time) requiring viewers to make an account to watch the show, rather than them being able to just click a link and start watching. Worth a read as you consider all these different angles!


(Ian David Diaz) #16

Hey Bri here’s a question, did seekaTV let you know how many views you got on their channel?


(Bri Castellini) #17

Not exact numbers, but I know they’re working on expanding their statistic visibility to creators on the platform, and to also let us see which devices are viewing our content most (desktop, mobile app, Roku app, etc). @georgereese?


(George Reese) #18

We’re implementing the ability to report everything direct to your own Google Analytics console so you can track traffic from your web site and across apps and devices. And, if you are on other platforms that will send to Google Analytics (only YouTube does, AFAIK), you can compare traffic across platforms and see what type of viewers to target on each platform.

But it isn’t ready just yet.


(Ian David Diaz) #19

Oh okay, because I’m guessing, that’s really important for the filmmaker to show sponsorship companies/funding bodies that it’s a success right?


(George Reese) #20

We are able to provide that data on an on-request basis to any show that needs it at any time. That’s just obviously a pain in the butt for everyone.