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Recap Episode Strategy

November 15, 2008

Recap/catch-up episode strategy is a topic I’ve been thinking about for a while now. Because our plot develops over time, it’s important to make sure that new viewers are able to get up to speed quickly. Otherwise, they come in the middle of the series and 1) have no idea what’s going on or 2) have less interest in picking up a new series in their viewing habit.

Now that we’re on episode 14 already, I have to imagine that not every new viewer is necessarily going to go back and start from Episode 1. In fact, I know this isn’t the case because if you look at our numbers, our more recent episodes have higher viewership than a lot of the episodes near the beginning and middle. Theoretically, the early episodes would catch up in views if people were starting from the beginning.

So I’ve decided that we’re going to have two short breaks and use this time to release recap episodes for the benefit of new viewers. The first one will be over Thanksgiving and the second one will be over Christmas and New Years. People tend to catch up with family and friends over the Holidays so it makes sense to pause plot progression when less people are tuning in.

There’s always the risk that we’ll lose some momentum by breaking for a period of time. That’s why subscribers are so important because youtube will automatically remind them to watch the new episodes. But I think the breaks are worth the risk, because it also gives us time to bring in new viewers to the series and get them up to speed before our plot really starts to crank. And in my mind, the worst thing we can do is to burn through episodes without growing the base.

The other benefit of having these recap episodes is it gives us a chance to thank our current viewers who have been interacting with Hayley. Hayley will voiceover her thanks, and we’ll insert a screen that lists the names of the contributors/supports of the show.

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