Goodnight Burbank is back. The popular long-standing faux news web series from creator Hayden Black has been releasing 20 new episodes under a slight spinoff dubbed Goodnight Burbank: Hollywood Report.
The only problem is, unless you’re hanging out at Babelgum on a regular basis, you might have missed it. In fact, you can’t even watch it on the show’s own well developed site.
There’s nothing wrong with exclusive distribution deals, in fact there’s a growing belief that in fact may be the only way to secure maximum value for video content. The Guild’s recent renewal of its exclusive deal with Microsoft which locked it up on its triumverate platform – MSN, XBox and Zune.
Where it goes too far is the complete lockdown of all episodes and content, including any trailers or promo clips. Frankly, it’s what’s held up our coverage here on Tubefilter of the new episodes. We tried many avenues to get embeddable episodes to include in our coverage and still none were made available. From what we’ve heard we weren’t the only site trying to get an embed code.
Whatever the language in the contract with Babelgum, it has crippled the creators’ ability to promote the series in the way they have excelled at – through blog outreach, social media sharing, email and the like. The hijacked YouTube promo clip above isn’t available on Black’s cellmate27 YouTube page and is from some unrelated account.
I asked veteran web video creator and blogger Tim Street, creator of French Maids TV and CEO of Ape Digital, about this issue. “With geo-protection there’s definitely a monetary stream, and the distributors have a right to keep it at their site if they pay for it,” he told us. “Where they are being idiots is not creating a promo or trailer where people can share it and promote it.”
Photos by Wm. Marc Salsberry.