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Week 6 In Review – The Hayley Project

November 16, 2008

Quick update this week.

Stats

  • Nearing 18,000 views
  • Broke 300 subscriber mark
  • Average daily views have slowed down and our most recent Episodes 13 and 14 under-perform Episodes 11 and 12 in viewership. Hopefully, this is not indicative of a flattening of growth

Other learnings/developments

  • The character Herman/Slade has made his presence felt on the comment boards and it’s helped drive more interaction
  • We’re having some success in a virtual storyline playing out on the comment boards between Hayley and the viewers. This is one of the things we wanted to be able to do with our twitter feeds as well (real-time developments). Hayley has asked the viewers how she can obtain her best friend’s PDA to look for clues. This interaction is great for two reasons. First and foremost, it increases the level of engagement within the storyline and characters. And second, it makes the episode comments page more “sticky” and drives viewers to visit it more frequently than just when the episodes are out
  • There’s a gray area between “spam” and “direct marketing.” Spam is a violation of youtube TOS. However, in order to get noticed, its important for the character Hayley to reach out to viewers who might like our show (e.g., LG15 fans). It’s a tricky line but without such an approach, there is no viable strategy in getting THP awareness out. You can’t just sit around and hope that word-of-mouth will work. You have to be proactive about it
  • If you’re a webseries just getting started, I would advise you to get your trailer out as soon as possible and work to increase your subscriber rate immediately (e.g., network, friend people, etc). This way, when you launch, you already have a built-in viewership. Our mistake was releasing the trailer too late with not enough time to grow an intial base of users. Quite frankly, there is little risk for a new non-partner account to be aggressive in marketing, even if it borders on “spam”. The worst thing that can happen is the account is shut down (you don’t want to lose partner status though, so this only applies to normal accounts). If your series hasn’t launched yet, then being aggressive early is probably a smart move. Once the series is about to launch, of course, I would pull back on any kind of marketing that could get your account in trouble. Again, the idea here is to build up subscribers and get buzz going on your series before the regular season begins. Similarly, this is one of the reasons why a lot of series do “soft launches”.
  • In my previous post, I mentioned that we’re going to do two recap episodes. We’re filming the first voiceover with Rachel today
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