Cracking the Web Series Code & Online Soap Operas
While US media companies have only just begun to move into original narrative content for the web (examples include: The Lake from the WB and Foreign Body, available on numerous platforms including BlipTV), Univision has been aggressively producing original web telenovellas for a while now. In a June 8, 2011 blogpost for digidaydaily.com, Mike Shields recapped several of the lessons Univision has learned while building-out their profitable online storytelling platform.
Here is a summary:
1) Get Real Stars (or the children of real stars)
2) Familiar Genres Are Your Friend
3) Build In Interactivity and Other Web Features From Day 1
4) Get Advertisers Signed on Early and Weave Their Messages Into Your Show’s Storylines
And, perhaps most importantly,
5) FIND AN UNDER-SERVED AUDIENCE.
Which begs the question: Where are the Great New English Language Online Soap Operas?
Traditional American broadcasting companies are cutting back on soap operas - looking for less expensive content for daytime. This strategy has left the true fans of All My Children and One Life to Live bereft. While it may no longer make economic sense to produce big-budget legacy soaps for broadcast - there is obviously a core audience that is still hungry for that form of narrative content. So...
Who is going to make and market the first financially successful web-soap? Who is building an interactive drama (for the web) that appeals to the audience that loves their "Stories?"
Thanks to marketing-maven and trend-spotter Sheri Candler for the link to Mike Shield's post.