There was a bit of an uproar in the web series community last week when Blip, one of the primary distribution channels for web series creators, initiated an application process for producers eager to become part of the network.

Before this announcement Blip had been an open network, allowing anyone to create a channel and post content. For many this is the allure of web producing – being able to simply create a show and put it out there for people to find, skipping pitch meetings, networking events and not having to worry about what other people think about the project.

Let’s look at this from Blip’s perspective though. Every year the number of independently produced web series is going up and in turn the web viewing audience is becoming more segmented. The more segmented an audience the more difficult it is to monetize.

Youtube has embraced this trend, allowing thousands of hours of uploads per second and monetizing based on the sheer mass of its user base. Still, content is getting lost behind the giant wall of cat videos, something that led to the creation of Blip and Youtube’s move towards partnered channels in the first place. For Blip, the new application process is the next step in differentiating itself from its biggest competitors and staying relevant as a destination for viewers and producers alike.

Application Step 1

This isn’t just a problem for platforms though, series creators are the ones with the real challenge. Even the best shows have to fight for every single viewer, while competing with the countless alternatives provided by others. For every creator who doesn’t want to care about what others think of their project there is another creator who realizes that what others think is a vital component to the sustainability of a show, or a career.

As we speak I have dozens of emails in a folder from people asking me to check out their show. I try to get to all of them eventually but it’s a challenge, and I never know going in whether or not I’m going to watch something absolutely brilliant or some eighth grade class project someone’s mom thought was brilliant.

As more people make shows the best ones are getting even better, the overall skill level is increasing, but the number of entries needing a lot of work are growing as well. With so many options even the best shows are struggling to survive.

Blip is probably the single biggest player that is solely in the independent web series arena – the health of the web series community is of paramount importance to the company’s survival. By limiting the number of shows on its platform to just the best ones it allows the company to invest more resources into those shows, and in turn for those shows to be more successful.

Sure it might hurt to have your idea not make the cut, but it’s not like Blip is the only game in town, and it’s not like you hadn’t already given a lot of thought about going with Youtube anyway. For those of you who are selected you will likely find Blip to be a much better platform for your show than it was just a couple of months ago.