Online video is growing up, and so are the young video stars who first found an audience on YouTube like Fred (Lucas Cruikshank) and iJustine. Both are part of the Collective Digital Studio, a talent management company of sorts for Web video stars. Today, the Collective is announcing an exclusive distribution deal with Blip.tv on behalf of its video artists, who can opt into the deal. Other Collective video producers signing up with Blip.tv include The Annoying Orange and Freddie W.
The addition of the Collective’s videos to Blip.tv’s arsenal is significant. Blip.tv is currently serving about 300 million video views a month. The Web shows that the Collective is bringing to the table attract about 200 million views a month. There is some slight overlap, but Blip.tv CEO Michael Hudack expects the deal will help Blip cross the 500 million views per month line by the end of the year.
Blip.tv will manage the distribution of their videos online to their respective YouTube channels, to Blip.TV, and to Websites which it will create for each video artist if they don’t have one already. Blip.tv will also sell video advertising, which it will split with the producers and the Collective. (The typical split for Blip.tv is 50/50). The better video shows Blip.tv can secure, the higher it can charge advertisers across its network.
The deal is in keeping with Blip.TV’s recent redesign, which positions it as a video destination site where people can find the best original Web series. The video shows will exist on YouTube, Blip.TV, and custom sites for the shows. The more places they can be found, the better. Although most of the views will probably continue to be on YouTube, which is increasing its focus on supporting networks such as Blip.tv.
These videos are still pretty cheap to make. “It depends on how much you pay yourself,” says Freddie Wong. Cruikshank says his budget per show is about $5. “If I need a prop, I go to the dollar store,” he says. But now there will be an animated version of his show, which will cost quite a bit more to produce.