Well at the pace that the market is changing, I think it is safe to say that web series and TV series will at some point simply blur because the platform of access will become one. It is no news that the challenge right now is figuring out how to monetize the Internet, but when that line blurs, I think that question will partly be answered since what might survive from TV is indeed its business model.
On that thought, as we develop Over Lunch the web series, the first question I ask myself is what differentiates a web series from a TV series content wise. Besides the obvious time frame, TV works in slots with commercial breaks and, since we assume that the fast and competitive Web must hold much shorter attention spans, it works with 0-15 min episodes and no commercial break, but what else is different? Well the instant feedback from audience, one might say, but unless you are working on a real-time show with open conversing platforms (i.e. Interactive Transmedia storytelling), than what is the difference between a TV show that gets twitters and Facebook comments and a web show that also gets twitter and Facebook comments?
Which led me to further research and one further conclusion: if we want to make a web product that is sustainable and one we can create and attach some sort of value to (audience for example) than we pretty much fall into the same foundation work that anyone developing a TV show starts with. Who are we targeting? Who is our audience? What are the marketing possibilities? How is this particular show authentic, refreshing and unique, yet exactly like something already out there that works well? I find myself using words such as “franchise”, “springboard” and “brand” – essentially TV jargon – even though they are still in my own head and I haven’t yet uttered them in a meeting, which is coming up this week.
After I have answered these questions, will I continue with the actual writing of the series. So, I’m not sure it is the best way to go, but I am treating the creation of the web series much like the creation of a TV series, but in a smaller scale. So I guess the question is not if the web series will become the new TV series, but if the TV business model will merge over to the web and how could it shape up the landscape if it does.