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Friday, May 30, 2008

Reasons Why You Can't Just Post Your Videos and Make a Living:

Was it Gandhi who said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world" ? I want the world to be silly and fun but I also like dark and scary like what Chris Rule has done with the above Mary Poppins Trailer.

French Maid TV is the most fun I've ever had as a producer. I enjoy everything about it except maybe some aspects of Ad and Sponsorship sales but even that can be fun.

In the past I would attend events and I would kind of mumble the name of my production company that no one had ever heard of. Now when asked what I do I relish in the enjoyment of reading the face of the person who asked me as they process the deadpan delivery of my elevator pitch;

"I do a series of online videos where we take products and services that appeal to young men and have French Maids explain how to use them in a "PG-13" - Austin Powers kind of way."

A silly smile comes over their face before they say something like, "That's brilliant." or "That's hilarious." or "That's going to be hugely successful." (Ah, from their mouths to God's ears.) I then proudly hand them my French Maid TV business card and watch them smile and laugh.

Sure all that and any press I get is great for my ego but you can't pay the bills with compliments and press clippings. As I've said before, I really enjoy producing French Maid TV, the only thing that could make it better is if I had a steady stream of sponsors or could just post my videos and make money. Unfortunately that has not happened yet. Why? There are a few reasons:

5 Reasons Why You Can't Just Post Your Videos and Make a Living:

1. The Marketplace is not developed yet.
There are no "Dating Sites" where sponsors and advertisers can easily find content that they want to advertise on. Don't worry they are coming.

2. Big Advertisers are Cruise Ships and Independent Producers are Speed Boats
According to one of Televisions unsung heroes Lee Hunt, who once said something like, "Television Networks and Studios are like cruise ships that plot their courses a year in advance and creative service companies are like speed boats that service those cruise ships." The same is true of online video producers and large advertisers. Viral Video producers want to get paid now. Advertising agencies and large sponsors pay 30-90 days after every quarter. It's hard for independent producers to float the dept of production for that long and it's hard for big companies to change the way they do business.

3. Playing by the Rules Hasn't Paid Off Yet
Sites like Revver and Blip.TV have been the hopes of Independent Producers. Just upload your videos and get paid 30 days later. These sites carefully screen for copyrighted material but other sites who didn't screen for stolen video and music managed to gain the market share and were purchased by companies with deep pockets. Unfortunately because of their size Revver and Blip.TV haven't been able to get high paying advertisers on a consistent basis yet but they might - so keep your fingers crossed.

4. Scale and Reach
Independent video producers don't reach millions of viewers on their own and large advertisers don't want to deal with a bunch of little mom and pops. However, during the Home Video craze the movie studios did deal with small and medium size distributors who dealt with Mom and Pop Video Stores so there could be some opportunity here.

5. Video Producers Aren't Ad Sales People
Creative people look at the word "SALES" as a four letter word. The funny thing is creative people love the word "PITCH" which is just a different word for sales but for some reason creative people have a hard time coming to Jesus with this. We want agents and sales people to do that for us. Well, there ain't enough of the pie yet for that unless we band together and hire a sales team.

All that said I am trying to create the world I want to see as a independent online video producer and I'm testing it out with French Maid TV. I feel very close to having it working so that I can make a living off of it. Once I have that machine (that uses the best monetizing tools the Internet has to offer) up and working I plan on launching new videos that have nothing to do with French Maids. Video that tell stories that make people laugh and videos that tell stories and scare the crap out of people. I also plan on making my video money making machine available to my friends. Once we have it working for a small group of us I'll roll it out to carefully chosen strangers.

Hopefully together we will have scale, reach and be able to post our videos and make a living or better.

1 comment:

rafi said...

Fantastic. Sign me up.

My attempts to land a sponsor for our latest video can only be described as an Epic Failure.

But the dream lives on...