So if you clicked on this headline in the hopes that I was about to drop ‘that one weird thing’ that prevents people from watching your series – prepare to be disappointed. I mean I hate to let you down but the truth is, there are a ton of reasons why people don’t watch your web series, or your indie film, or your vlog, or whatever interesting shit you do that no one seems to care about.
I know this seems harsh, and this is a harsh subject, but it’s something you are going to have to understand if you are going to find a way to navigate this savage industry. Let me give you some examples – so, someone tweeted me a link to their new show yesterday and rather than watch it, I decided to stare at the ceiling (I was tired). Another time my phone went off in the middle of a root canal – I might’ve watched that one actually, but I couldn’t bring myself to write anything about it because I couldn’t help but associate the show with pain, discomfort and not realizing drool was running down my chin until it was too late.
You see, all the cards are stacked against you. You already know you are competing against Netflix, but the real eye opener comes when you realize you are competing against naps, trips to Costco and paying attention or not to your wife.
Now there is a purpose to this article beyond things that just can’t be helped. There are reasons, real reasons, why people choose to watch one thing over another. You probably already know them you just haven’t really thought it all through yet. You were too busy putting together that great idea you’ve had forever. Meanwhile I’ve been sitting here at my computer watching all, or rather a good percentage of the stuff you guys send my way.
What this article is, is an introduction to a series of articles on every single reason someone decided not to watch your show. Now, I’m not going to explain to you why every Thanksgiving Aunt Sally lies to you about having watched your latest short film. I’m no psychic – but what I will tell you are the 15 different reasons why people don’t watch. Every ‘no’ vote can be chalked up to one of these reasons.
Before I get carried away let me be clear, I’m not going to be writing 15 articles on this… now maybe if a publisher approaches me and wants to turn this series into a book I will consider it (depends on the up front cash money!). But until then, for the sake of all of our short, online, attention spans, I have categorized these ’15 Reasons Why’ into 5 tapes, err, articles.
One might wonder, why 5 categories? Maybe I like the number 5? Maybe I wish I could be 5 again? All possible, but as far as I could tell, of those 15 reasons, most of them seemed to speak to a few (maybe 5?) larger, broader issues. And for you, industrious indie producer, it will be these 5 things that need to be planned for, ahead of time, if you are going to be successful in your quest to find an audience.
So, I recommend that, in order to be successful, every series should address every single one of these reasons. The shows who not only address all of them, but who address them well will be big winners. I know for many of you some of these might feel impossible, and if you find yourself in that group, at the very least make sure you develop a plan based on each one of these articles.
So let’s jump into it shall we? There is no real order to these, as they are pretty much independent of each other, so feel free to read them in any order you’d like. But do consider, if you are reading them ‘live’ as I post them, not all of the articles are going to be posted at once. Despite all evidence pointing to audiences preferring to binge, for this series I have opted for the week to week model. New articles will be posted every Tuesday, and then discussed as part of #WebSeriesChat on Twitter the following Wednesday at 11 AM PT.
Now check out the playlist: