[Editor’s Note: I’m extremely excited to announce the very talented Nicholas Carlton – creator of the critically acclaimed web series, OzGirl – will be reporting for Tubefilter from the Land Down Under. He’ll be covering all things related to online video in Australia on the regular. Be sure to subscribe to keep up to speed with what’s happening in web series overseas.]
Paramount Digital Entertainment partnered with RedLever’s Sydney office to bring Sprite on board as the show’s sole sponsor. Joost, which was purchased by RedLever’s parent company Adconion earlier this year, will distribute all 10 episodes of the first season through its destination video website (yes, another one) as well as through custom iPad and iPhone apps.
Additionally, episodes will be distributed through Adconion’s advertising delivery network which boasts 310 million global impressions daily, according to its website. The ad delivery network was previously reserved for the display of static banner ads, but now houses rich media widgets which expand upon mouse roll-over to display videos – a method described by RedLever as “push” distribution.
The launch of The LXD in Australia represents a model that RedLever will hope to repeat. Managing director Sam Smith says, “With its enormous success in the US and passionate fan base, The LXD also offers a great platform for forward thinking brand Sprite to reach a highly engaged audience.”
RedLever, which describes itself as “a state-of-the-art creative production house specializing in high-quality, branded online content…and targeted distribution,” is currently preparing to target advertisers in the new year with the launch its first slate of local Australian series catering for a range of demographics. Its position as part of the Adconion Media Group means it will continue to leverage off of the Adconion ad network as well as Joost for content distribution.
As with film distribution, a key part of web series profitability is shaping up to be in the form of territorial sales. With mechanisms such as geo-blocking in place, producers will be able to fully capitalize on their product around the world.
In June this year, Sony launched Crackle in Australia, a move which acknowledges the growing international demand for web content and sponsorship of such content. Australian audiences could soon be facing an influx of web content, with Fairfax Media recently launching video portals on The Age and Sydney Morning Herald websites, featuring episodes from television shows such as ABC’s The Gruen Transfer – complete with 30-second pre-roll ads.
As the local market for web video grows in Australia, so does the demand for content on an international scale, marking an exciting new phase in web series distribution. A similar shift occurred in Hollywood a decade ago when international box office receipts started to overtake domestic receipts. Today, almost all major films are produced with an international audience firmly in its sights.