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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Are You a Sell Out?



Guest Columnist Daisy Whitney posted today on NewTeeVee that, "There is a sense among the web video cognoscenti that you’re a sell-out if you aspire to make the leap from the web to TV. It’s the same mentality that dictates it’s hipper to only follow indie music than to admit you might like a tune from — gasp — top 40 radio."

Content creators shouldn't worry about TV or selling out. They should worry about what is best for the brand they are creating and what is going to give them the most happiness - unless of course they are happy being miserable - which some people are.

TV doesn't always mean your going to be rich. You could get a bad TV deal. (Ask A Ninja did. They backed out of a bad TV deal.) You could get a good TV deal. (Andy Samberg did.) You could get a TV deal and then watch your baby die in TV development. ( Did that happen to you Ze Frank?) But chances are very good that if you get a TV deal your show will be canceled. ( I think 60 minutes has not been cancelled yet but almost every other TV show has.)

Right now we have a window of opportunity here for content creators. I don't know how long it will be here or how much money you can make or how much happiness you can find but this is the first time in history that one person does have the opportunity to build a global one man brand. (or in Daisy's case a one woman brand.)

Are you a sell out? Does it really matter?

If you are lucky enough to be presented with a TV deal there are a few things you should consider: Is TV right for your brand? How long could it last? Are there other TV deals that would be better for your brand? Are other deals better to start with ? Is a book deal? How about live events? Do you have brand permission from your audience to do these things or something else?

And most importantly "How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll Center center of a Tootsie Pop?" I never made it without bitting. Does bitting make me a sell out?

3 comments:

redcloud said...

I hope people ask themselves, "Does this deal let me do what I love, as much as possible, for as long as possible?" Because that's what makes life worth living. Don't ya think?

Todd said...

You cited Ask A Ninja, but didn't provide a link - Mr. Nicols writes frequently about "Web-to-TV sell out" subject: http://kentnichols.com/2008/01/02/david-cross-sold-out/

I would also mention TMZ, a recent web-to-TV success story.

Selling out is all relative I guess, I know several very talented people who make videos and distribute them via the web, all classic "starving artist" types. I would hope their creativity gets recognized and they make the jump to broadcast TV just so they can get something to eat...which brings me to the cliche I wanted to add to the discussion here:

"If a man steals a loaf of bread to feed his starving family, is he a thief?"

Daisy Whitney said...

I think your questions are terrific and definitely what creators should consider if offered a deal...