Web Series 'Fred,' 'iJustine,' 'FreddieW' to Grow Distribution Through Blip.tv Deal
In a deal meant to grow revenue and audiences for web series such as "Fred," "iJustine" and "FreddieW," Collective Digital Studio, the digital arm of entertainment-management company the Collective, will bring its hefty roster of web talent to Blip.tv's multi-platform distribution network.
As part of the partnership, Blip.tv will manage the distribution of Collective Digital Studio's content across its site, iTunes, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Roku, Verizon FiOS, TiVo, Sony TVs and elsewhere, and will lead its ad sales efforts on those fronts.
Also part of the deal are two new original series for Blip, one animated series based Lucas Cruikshank's popular "Fred" character and a "FreddieW" show from creators Freddie Wong and Brandon Laatsch, with both series still in early development.
The series on the Collective's roster that are already monetized through advertising on their individual YouTube channels will continue to be monetized that way. This new deal will create more revenue streams by selling ads against other distribution channels.
Blip.tv, launched in 2005, has a 14-person ad sales team and works with brands such as Procter & Gamble, General Motors, Starbucks, Reebok, Samsung, AT&T, EA, General Mills and Microsoft. It hosts more than 300 million video views per month and splits advertising revenue evenly with the producers it hosts.
Evan Gotlib, senior VP-advertising sales at Blip.tv, said this deal will be great for the company, as marketers have been wanting to buy more media in and around new web series. "We need more programming," Mr. Gotlib told Ad Age . "Advertisers are saying, 'This is working, we want to spend more money.' This is going to really help with that ."
He said the Blip.tv team will be able to cultivate new opportunities for the content creators as well, by driving bigger deals, higher CPMs and more integration.
For Mr. Wong and Mr. Laatsch, whose stunts and special effects on "FreddieW" have launched them into the upper echelon of viral-video celebrities with more than 250 million views in the year since starting their channel, this will mean pushing for bigger video concepts.
"The process we go through is identical to feature film, but [it's] just two minutes of it. And for just us two, that 's huge," Mr. Wong said. "If we want to do more with it, it's not possible to do it alone."
With possible integration deals looming, there's the ever-present worry of whether adding more advertising and brands to the mix will mean losing touch with the audience. It's a worry Mr. Wong and Mr. Laatsch dismiss. "Any integration we do would need to add more to [the content]." Mr. Wong said. "It should say, hey, because of these guys, this content is bigger, cooler, better."