It use to be that I would meet with studios, networks and Web 2.0 companies and they would tell me that they were willing to pay me to come up with an original idea, write it, shoot it, cut it and then deliver it to them with the copyright that they would own forever for the whopping large sum of $2000.00 per episode.
Well I can safely say that I never signed up to accept such a lucrative deal and I'm really sorry I didn't because the people that did take those deals are rich and famous now and that could have been me.
Oh, wait, there isn't anyone who took those deals who is rich and famous now. I was confused.
Now I remember, the content that the studios, networks and Web 2.0 companies created for $2000 per episode were so successful that they just keep showing them online hundreds of times - some of them thousands of times and advertisers paid millions of dollars to have their products advertised hundreds and in some cases even thousands of times.
Oh, wait, that didn't happen either. Sorry my mistake.
Okay now I really remember. They paid a couple thousand dollars and they got a few thousand views and they didn't hire those content creators again. But the good news is that now they are looking to pay, license or do a rev share and for a little bit more than two Grand.
I can't really go into details cause I don't want to screw things up and maybe by being such a smart ass about this I already am but I did want to share that I'm seeing a slight rise in the price that people are willing to pay per episode for online videos.
For a long term relationship to work there needs to be a "Win Win" situation where both sides are benefiting from the deal. If one side isn't getting something eventually they will walk. Maybe that's why we have so many divorces in America?
Even though some of us have been at online video for over 8 years now - Wow, I can't believe it's been that long - we are still in the early days of this new Industry. (Remember TV took over 25 years to really get off the ground.) Companies need to test the waters and see what they can do for minimal investment until someone starts making money and then they will copy that success. Unfortunately the market share for eyeballs continues to become more fragmented but viewer habits are still forming and that could mean that you and everyone else will start going to your favorite video site to check on new videos every day. I check my email every morning but I don't go to YouTube or other sites till later in the day. I do try to watch the evening news that I've Tivoed every night but I don't yet watch it online.
None the less large companies are looking to spend more money now on more emotionally compelling videos that will bring viewers to their site or make them stay longer once they are there.
How much more are they willing to pay?
Well, based on meetings that I've had and conversations that I've had with other people I'm hearing that companies are willing to pay $5000 to $20,000 per episode for exclusives or acquisitions. I wish I could share specifics with you but I don't want to screw up anything for myself or for others. I just want to let you know there is hope.
What do I mean by hope? $20,000 isn't going to make you rich but if you can get a five episode order, keep your costs low and create compelling content that will keep them coming back for more you can make a living. AND if you fund the creation of the content yourself and license it instead of sell it you can then license it to other markets for more money.
Lower your head, watch your step, and enjoy the rest of your day in online video.