Tech Beat: Website gives viewers the power to greenlight
A new website lets users decide which ideas should be made into TV shows and which get cut. YNN's Adam Balkin filed the following report.
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When you watch TV how do you decide what each channel is going to show? Well, unless you happen to be a TV executive, you don't. But a new website called Mobcaster is trying to change that. It's allowing small, independent TV show producers to make pitches on the site to you, me, anyone willing to listen in the hopes that you or me or anyone will like the idea enough to donate money to it in order to help get it off the ground.
"You can see shows in a couple different phases. You can see shows in just concept form in funding for their initial pilot episode, you can see shows that have their pilot episode and now are fundraising for their season and eventually you'll see shows in full seasons funding for subsequent seasons," said Aubrey Levy of Mobcaster.com. "You'll get a two-and-a-half minute pitch video, you'll get some descriptive information about the show, rewards they're providing in exchange for funding, and then the call to, if you like this please come fund it."
Those rewards for funding range from things like your name in the credits, your name being mentioned in an episode, to creative incentives like the producers coming over and building a treehouse in your backyard. The site is free for viewers and content creators to use. Mobcaster makes its money if a show does well enough to sell ads. It then splits that revenue 50/50 with the producers.
So could Mobcaster be on to something here? And could this potentially be the way even big time studios in the future decide which shows are picked up, all by allowing you to decide? Some say it's possible.
"It's entirely possible though is seems sort of like a stretch because at least in the next decade or so the networks have a monopoly on those other shows. They are the ones that promote the shows it's difficult for any small show to get attention," said Kate Ward of Hollywood.com.
Incidentally, if TV execs just decide to use this website as a way to find new ideas and a show does get picked up by a network, Mobcaster says, another revenue stream, it will get a small slice of that payday.