The team behind Wallstrip figured out how to make entertaining Web video about business when no one else was trying to do it. Their next trick: Making entertaining Web video about news and politics, when pretty much everyone else is trying the same thing.
The Wallstrip guys — Adam Elend, Jeff Marks and host Lindsay Campbell — are rolling out Moblogic.TV, a six-day-a-week show, tomorrow at South by Southwest. They’ve shown us some samples and they’re pretty cool: Rather than asking Lindsay to talk about stocks, which she probably didn’t care about much to begin with, she gets to talk about news, which she does care about. And she gets to do lots of man/woman on the street interviews, which she’s good at.
But the basic model is the same: Shortish — up to about 2.5 minutes or so — and cheapish — Adam and Jeff says each show costs between $700 and $2,500 to produce — original Web content. The same thing the guys were doing when CBS bought them last year for about $4 million.
Wallstrip is averaging around 750,000 viewers a month, but the guys think the new show will tap a much broader audience. They’re not selling ads for the new show yet, but when they do, they plan on doing it via product integration, not conventional pre-rolls. If all goes well, they may roll out a couple more shows by the end of the year.
The bigger question: What does CBS plan to do with a small company – now around 16 people — that makes web video? Digital boss Quincy Smith says that deal was meaningful for CBS — “2006 was the year of experimentation. We’re not just touching our toes in the water anymore.” — but is also clear about the big picture: CBS isn’t going to shift its core focus from making and distributing broadcast TV shows. We’re not quite sure where that leaves the Wallstrip guys — there’s a lot of talk about “infusing their DNA” into CBS, which confuses us a bit — but we’re happy to watch their stuff, regardless.
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