Sue Turnbull’s talk ‘Getting your fan base – the value of web series in creative economies’ reviews the history and evolution of web series. A web series is simply described as a series of scripted or non-scripted videos that are released on the internet, and each episode is called a webisode.
David Schwartz from Huffington Post presents three categories for comparison.
The first is vloggers (from YouTube for instance), secondly commentaries or tutorials (the how-tos and reviews) and finally narrative web series. The narrative web series also differs from platforms such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu as a web series must start from the Internet and are typically produced by young adults from an unprofessional background that produce aiming to achieve professional standards.
An example of a successful web series Turnbull presented was Wastelander Panda. Such web series begins from a small fan base, that contributes to the crowd funded money, ensuring that all the money is used for the screen. There is much value in web series since its content is mainly produced by young adults, thus fresh concepts ensure cultivation of great talent pool for the art society. Festivals are organized, thus a platform of exchange and training workshops allow for more innovative challenges. Aside from the producers, the benefit for the consumers means easy online accessibility, as well as genres that are not completely accepted on to screen worldwide, such as gay and lesbian dramas.
Thus invites the question, how well is web series a successful platform for animation?
There have been a rise in popularity for these particular animations that comes to mind: Happy Tree Friends and Salad Fingers over the past decade. Research based on animated web series is limited, and it has not been well recognized as these live action web series are. Yet, similar to live action web series, to achieve popularity in animated web series, there is typically an usual element to the plot. In live action web series, a mix of comedy and fantasy has been the most popular, within the animated web series, comic uncanny has been the most well known.
Perhaps there can be potential innovative cultivation through this platform of web series for animators to discover thematic ideas to generate public interest and even public interaction that fuels the turn of events within webisodes.