Web series

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A web series is a series of web videos . Individual episodes are referred to with the suitcase word webisode . These are usually fictional stories from different genres. Short episodes and opportunities for interaction with the producers or the protagonists of the story are characteristic. The episodes can be accessed via download or video stream ( webcast ) regardless of time via the Internet.

Commercial web series serve different purposes. In many cases, companies use the stories as a platform to advertise their products and services, for example through product placement or advertising . However, producers are also increasingly relying on web sponsorship .


The consequences are adapted to the reception behavior on the Internet and usually last between 4 and 15 minutes. However, there are no defaults, so its length can be tailored to the scope of the story.
The Internet as a medium makes it possible for the recipient not only to watch passively, but to actively intervene in what is happening in the series. In some web series, you can follow an individual storyline or communicate with the fictional protagonists. Other web series incorporate user-generated content or make it possible to influence the further course of the plot and the script.
Production costs
Even high-quality web series are usually produced more cheaply than television productions.


lonelygirl15, one of the first web series on YouTube (2006)

Bullseye Art produced the first webisode in 1995. However, the animated series, which was produced only for the Internet, was discontinued soon afterwards. Thespot.com also attracted attention early on, primarily because of its interaction options; from 1995 to 1997 the web series had over 100,000 views a day in some cases. Nevertheless, web series were exceptional.

The increasing number of broadband Internet connections made it possible to send multimedia files over the Internet in the early 2000s. With the establishment of the first video portals such as Vimeo (2004), Dailymotion and YouTube (both 2005), web series gained popularity. The video portals were initially perceived as platforms for self-expression. One of the first web series on YouTube was lonelygirl15, in which Bree, a 15-year-old girl, started talking about her life in 2006. The series appeared like a normal vlog , over time it was learned that Bree was involved in a religious cult. After lonelygirl15 had become the most subscribed channel on YouTubes and had already achieved great popularity, the YouTube community found out that lonelygirl15 was a fake and that Bree was actually the actress Jessica Lee Rose . Regardless, the producers continued the web series for several years.

The importance of web series has increased since around the end of the 2000s. The first web series festivals are being held, and established television awards take web series into account (see section Festivals and Awards ). Well-known directors like Bryan Singer and actors like Julia Stiles , Jennifer Garner and Tom Hanks are now working on web series. Large companies produce web series with larger budgets, such as the US $ 6 million Cybergeddon web series in 2012 or Halo 4 - Forward unto Dawn , which was produced for nearly US $ 10 million. Some web series made it to television. TV series use webisodes to keep viewers interested over air breaks. The differences to TV series in cost-intensive web series are disappearing more and more. Since 2011, the video-on-demand service Netflix has offered its subscribers online in-house productions that also have more of the characteristics of television series.


Advertising and marketing

Commercial webisodes are usually available free of charge to Internet users. Some of the operators try to earn money with advertising before or after the episodes as well as product placement in the show. Another possibility of commercialization is the marketing of products. This was practiced, for example, in the Deer Lucy series distributed by Bild.de. Users could order the actors' clothes online from Otto-Versand , which acted as a cooperation partner.

Little is known about the commercial success of ad-supported webisodes. Observers assume that the series have so far - if at all - achieved only low sales with advertising. “The newly discovered industry lacks clear business models and standardized formats. And so far it has also lacked viewers, ”said the New York Times in August 2008. Due to the low production price of the webisodes, however, it is possible to work profitably with individual niche productions for a special audience.

Some factors have made it difficult to monetize through advertising:

  • There is a lack of reliable measuring instruments for quotas.
  • Many viewers do not have an overview of what is on offer due to the lack of a program guide.
  • Many operators do little or no advertising in order to increase awareness.


Especially in the USA, some companies have series produced to advertise their products. For example, the Californian company eHealth Inc. invested around 500,000 US dollars in the series Am I covered? In Germany, Otto-Versand and the record company Warner Music participate in the Deer Lucy series in an unspecified manner .

International market situation

In the USA in particular, the trend has become mainstream. Michael Eisner, the former head of the Walt Disney Company (1984–2005), founded the production company Vuguru with his company Tornante on March 12, 2007, which produces content exclusively for the Internet. Successful series such as "Prom Queen", a web series that has already generated more than 20 million views in America, and The All-For-Nots come from his production forge . Other companies dedicated to the potential of new media include Katalyst Media, a production company owned by Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg. Her latest project is the comic strip web series Blahgirls .

National market situation

In Germany, too, such videos are now mostly produced between two and five minutes long. The best-known formats in Germany include Tiger - Die Kralle Kreuzberg (Desire Media Filmproduktion), Moabit Vice from Vice Productions GbR, They call us Candy Girls (MME) and the web documentary Bubble Universe (fullscrn film UG).

Other productions are Deer Lucy , a cooperation between Bild.de and Otto Versandhaus, produced by MME, Pietshow (Grundy UFA & StudiVz) and Preußisch Gangstar , a spin-off of the feature film, from MySpace & MME Produktion.

Platforms for web series on the net

In May 2009 3min.de, the first German web series portal, was launched. The portal was produced in Berlin and was a product of Deutsche Telekom. In contrast to other video portals, 3min.de deliberately avoided user-generated content; all formats were professionally produced and available in high resolution. With an average length of three minutes per episode, web series and other short content were offered on the channels series, comedy, lifestyle, sport, music, games, cinema and short films. 3min.de was free for users. It was financed exclusively through advertising. The offer was discontinued at the end of May 2011.

Internet sites showing web series

Underground movie
Germany's first web TV soap Sex and Zaziki by U-Film Produktions GmbH has been running since June 16, 2007 . Located in Düsseldorf, the series is about three young men and their escapades with women. In 2008, the 20-part web television series received the "Future TV Award", which was presented for the first time.
On November 14, 2007, the first of two seasons of the web series “Heroes of the Campus” for the student portal Schneckenhof.de, which was launched in 1999 by students from the University of Mannheim for the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region, celebrated in the CinemaxX Mannheim and on the student portal Premiere. The fictional, 12-part comedy series about a chaotic student flat share was inspired by the stories compiled by users of the portal. The series was directed by Niels Reinhard .
The web TV soap They call us Candy Girls has been running on MySpace Germany since May 19, 2008 . The series, set in Berlin, revolves around four young women and their lives between dance floor, relationships, love, lies and the big city scene.
On Tuesday, October 28th, 2008 the Pietshow , organized by Grundy UFA and studiVZ Ltd. produced web series, online. The series tells the story of Piet - film student and series junkie - who moves with his buddy Nick to a scrapped old apartment in Berlin-Kreuzberg. Piet accidentally falls through the wall at the housewarming party. This creates a hole that is now a passage to the neighboring apartment. It quickly turns out that Melanie and Jessy live there. The four come to terms with the new "living situation". The second season of the Pietshow has been appearing on the video portal 3min.de since February 20, 2009 .
On January 26, 2009 started on BILD.de the new Web TV show Deer Lucy . In 20 episodes, the format tells the story of the young singer Lucy, who moves from Zwickau to the capital Berlin to conquer the music world: as an intern at the popular pop and indie label Deer Records . The five-minute episodes show the 20-year-old's experiences with the tough music business, the discovery of their own talent and their first confrontations with love, life and their own self.
The first season of the mystery web series “Apartment666.com” has been running here since May 24, 2009. The visitor to the site ends up in an abstract, fictional space consisting of real elements of the location. In the center of the room, one of the characters from the episodes is randomly loaded and caught in the loop with short and bizarre movements. The visitor can step through a door to the left or right and land again through a three-dimensional tracking shot in an identical room with a new figure in the center. The characters themselves lead to individual episodes, which in different sequences automatically lead to further episodes. There is no beginning and no end. Background information on the production and the location is documented in an accompanying weblog.
In mid-March 2010 the web series Jabhook started , which deals with the lives of two fictional boxing promoters named Highroller and Tank. In addition to their real boxing event NOTRB and the short rib boxing club , the two of them mainly take care of fast cars and light girls. The exclusive deal with the pay TV broadcaster BBN is therefore completely out of hand. The main roles are played by the actors Daniel Wiemer and Raphael Rubino . Other roles include Anna Angelina Wolfers , Hans Martin Stier and Markus Klauk . The series was written and directed by Christopher Becker and Daniel Rakete Siegel . Stephan Schiffers , Paul Pieck , Nicole Kortlüke and Jens Nolte also belong to the staff . The web series is produced by the Cologne company A³ GmbH, under the direction of Sönke Andersen and Frank Dahlmann.

Festivals and Awards

The first web series festivals have been held since the end of the 2000s, and web series have also been included in established television awards. In 2009 the International Academy of Web Television (IAWTV) was founded, which awards Streamy Awards in several categories for web series. The Los Angeles Web Series Festival has existed since 2010 and the HolyWeb Web Series Festival since 2012 . In 2013 the London Web Fest and the Melbourne Web Fest followed . The Chicago Comedy Film Festival has had its own category for web series since 2013.

The Producers Guild of America takes into account producers of new media when awarding the PGA Awards through the New Media Council founded in 2001 . At the 2006 Daytime Emmy Awards , the Broadband Awards were the first awards for Internet broadcasts. The Writers Guild of America considered when awarding since 2008 "New Media" Writers Guild of America Awards .


See also


Web links

Individual evidence

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