A while back, I wrote an article for Gawker talking about our overall earnings from Break a Leg and how hard it is to maintain a full cast production with the current Internet model. The problem is, not only did the article get blown out of proportion, but everyone jumped specifically on how much I said we made from YouTube. A fact that is now spreading like wildfire and making it sound like we don't appreciate what the company has done for us.
Here's the lowdown.
YouTube has easily been the most supportive video service to us, rivaling even our great friends at Blip.tv. They've featured us constantly, they've promoted our work, they even called us down to their headquarters to ask us for suggestions on various things. At least to us, they've thrown off the cloak of corporation and been very, very personal and supportive of our work. In fact, YouTube has made a very, very conscious step forward to promote better material, they've been featuring shows like The Guild, Life from the Inside and so on -- they're committed to showing good content. They're also, like I say in my article, the only game in town as far as making money. While we've made a couple of grand or so, there have been other people who make $10,000, $15,000 a month -- and those numbers are huge considering that you're making that money completely independently, with no network or anything like that behind you.
That said, the point of my article is being completely ignored. The Internet model is not ready to handle content that rivals television. Why? Because that content can't be self-sufficient, unlike one-man, Ask a Ninja-type shows.
Am I complaining? No. Am I saying that we made Break a Leg as a cash cow? No. Am I saying YouTube is a bad company and doesn't support us? No. This has nothing to do with YouTube. It has to do with the current Internet model. If anything, YouTube is the only company that has at all helped us pay off some of our costs, as I say in the article -- YouTube is the only game in town.
Again, the point of the article was this -- to the people who say the Internet is going to replace TV? I say, no, the money isn't there. Can you make money from the internet? Oh, absolutely. Catchy sketches, fun, easy-to-shoot videos, shorts, etc. -- those can bring it some great money. A full production with a full cast? Not so much. Is that YouTube's fault? Not even a little.
I'll step off my soap box now.