So here we are. We’ve released the first 5 episodes of First Dates, meaning that we are halfway through the first season of our first web series. While I still owe plenty more behind-the-scenes details about the writing of the series, casting the series, producing the shows, marketing the show and working with all of the wonderful people that I got to work with throughout this process, I thought I’d briefly table that for some numbers on the show and give you a little look into the facts surrounding a web series.
Fact #1: The trailer is somewhat likeable
A running theme throughout this post will be the fact that we think our web series has the potential to reach a relatively big audience; however, even while we still have a long ways to go before we reach our goals and all of the people that make up our potential audience, we haven’t done that bad. Just 5 weeks into the debut of First Dates, I can tell you that our trailer has garnered over 21,000 views. That is the most viewed video on our YouTube channel, and we can thank many of our friends and family for helping us get the word out to as many people as they did. Giving you some insight into the analytics, I can tell you that 59% of those viewers were female (thank you, ladies), and 37% of those viewers were between the ages of 25 and 34 (thank you, peers). As one might expect, our quasi-romantic comedy with a female lead resulted in a trailer that ladies were more likely to favor, and an even closer examination of the data shows that females 13 – 17 really enjoyed the trailer, which means we may have to watch the cursing going forward!
Fact #2: We’ve got 72k lifetime views
Getting 72k views isn’t much in the grand scheme of things, but for us, that’s a very promising beginning. Listen, I had nightmares about whether this project that we poured months into making was going to be watched by more than just my friends and family. And while I continue to email the folks at YouTube everyday to make sure there isn’t some glitch in my reporting that’s causing a drastic over-counting of views, I’m happy to say that I don’t have that many friends, which means that the 72k views that we’ve gotten span way beyond my inner circle. If you’re reading this blog, that means you’ve likely contributed to those 72k views, so thank you for your help!
Fact #3: People are very nice…or are they
I have no problem with criticism. Sure, my natural reaction to it is to be defensive, but that feeling is usually fleeting for me. I tend to let the initial blowback smack me in the face, but that often just wakes me up, and allows me to see the forest through the trees. And while more than a few people have shared some negative sentiments about the web series, the overwhelming response has been positive. Certainly, in person, folks have been nothing but kind–afterall, I’m significantly bigger than most of immediate friends. But online, where anonymity is cruelty’s best friend, we’ve faired okay. Again, there has been the occasional bad comment, like this, which read:
“I have to admit this does a huge disservice to black women by depicting them as vain , desperate, and overly materialistic. Lacking in any real depth or complexity and overall dependent on group think for every decision that they make.”
But that aside, the feedback online has been great. Including great comments like this one that said:
“That was absolutely hilarious! The outtakes . . . – stomach and cheeks hurting from laughing. I’m torn – I can’t wait for the next episode vs waiting for 5 or 6 episodes so I can binge watch!”
And obviously, I wouldn’t state the positive take on our web series without actual facts to support such a stance. Of the 361 likes and dislikes we’ve received over the lifetime of our First Dates YouTube channel, we’ve gotten a mere 6 dislikes.
Fact #4: People watch us unlike the trends would suggest
I work in ad-tech, which means I’m constantly having the word “mobile” drilled into my head by everyone around me every second of the day. However, when I look at how people watch our web series, turns out that 53% of our views come from people using their computers….only 33% of our views come from mobile devices. Now, I do think that the skew towards computers comes from the earlier views of the series, specifically with the trailer, but still, it’s not like I targeted people on their computers in any of our marketing our advertising. If anything, I tried to market to people on mobile devices. Still, people seem to like getting mid-form content on their computers. Even more divisive of that opinion, 2.3% of our views are from people watching our web series on their televisions! While that runs contrary to the trending habits of millennials, it makes me extremely happy that thousands of people have watched something we have made on their television.