NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Only a year ago, Los Angeles-based improv artists Douglas Sarine and Kent Nichols were out of work and nearly destitute. Today, as creators and operators of the "Ask a Ninja" website and podcast, they run an expanding media property selling ad space at $50 CPM to companies such as Sony and Warner Bros.
Their story provides further insights to evolving business of consumer-generated content. While in New York to meet with ad agencies last week, the pair sat down for an Advertising Age interview.
Last year, after fruitlessly trying to sell a ninja movie script to Hollywood, the duo decided to produce a snippet of content themselves, offer it directly to consumers for download and see what happens.
3 million visits a month
Today, the venture has become much more than a simple podcast. Messrs. Sarine and Nichols have together produced 47 four-minute "Ask a Ninja" podcast episodes that average 200,000 U.S. downloads a week. Askaninja.com, where fans can watch video versions of the Ninja, pose questions and buy branded Ninja gear, has 3 million visits a month. And Ninja has been quoted on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives regarding the net neutrality issue and delivered an official movie review on NPR.
According to podcast advertising rep firm Podtrac, and 57% of the audience is between ages 19 and 34 and 83% is male.
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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to Douglas Sarine as Douglas Saline. We regret the error.