Tights & Fights, this week’s show featured on #WebSeriesWednesday is part of the whole sudo-superhero genre that is becoming ever popular these days. The show is a sort of sketch comedy stretched out over multiple platforms, which brings up a lot of interesting questions about monetization & fan experience.

Make a Ton of Stuff

Tights and Fights has A LOT of videos on their youtube channel. I’m not even sure exactly how many but there are hundreds. Most are just a few minutes long and feature just one character ‘video blogging’ their side of the story. Each character gets their own channel, bio page and social networking presence (on facebook & twitter). And when I say presence I mean it – these characters are seriously online.

The series also has its own social networking site for people who want to be super heroes or super villains to connect with each other for the purpose of, you know plotting the destruction of the world, or saving it. The site is geniusly called capester.com and I took the opportunity to join up myself.

 Is the Snobby Robot good or evil? You decide!

Of course the series would not be complete without its own comic book available for sale as well, not to mention t-shirts and mugs.

Sell Me My Leisure Time

This is the first series I’ve stumbled across that is truly an experience. It is in no way similar to a film, it is something that a fan could completely immerse themselves in.  And this is what web producers need to be competing for and monetizing – time.

You make a 90 minute movie you have 90 minutes of each viewers attention. What if you could turn those 90 minutes of attention into 9 hours of attention, or 9 days worth of attention? The beauty of this strategy is that you don’t need to make a super expensive 216 hour movie – you just need to find ways of keeping people engaged outside of the meat and potatoes of your production.

This is sort of the ‘cost leader’ strategy of web production. You make a ton of content at the cheapest possible rates and try to monetize every last minute of it for every last penny you can get. I’m not sure if Tights & Fights has been able to implement all of this yet, but with time I think this can be a self sustaining model for web series – provided the show continues to create content that people enjoy.

Some Risks

The new media landscape is still something akin to the wild wild west. There are not yet any serious rules around and there are many out there who are trying to take advantage of this. One of the risks seems to be with youtube’s piracy filters and the complete lack of oversight that seems to go along with them.

Tights & Fights is one of those unfortunate groups who has currently lost their right to monetize their videos, due to frivolous copyright infringement claims. I see this happening more and more as groups have discovered that there is no cost to making these claims, only the ability to reap the benefit of other peoples work – ironic really. It is to the point that I think most producers should be questioning the benefits of hosting their expensive productions on youtube when there are other options without such significant downside.

So you guys should go check out Tights & Fights over on their website http://tightsandfights.com They have tons of videos there and they are about to release a whole bunch more. And for those of you with greater aspirations check out http://capester.com and find out if I am good or EEEEEEEVILLLL!!!!!