Every year, television networks acquire the rights to more than a hundred shows. Each network shoots an average of 40 pilots. 25 of those shows make it onto their schedule and are aired, but historically only five find enough success to secure a second season. Furthermore, a pilot can cost millions to make (see Game of Thrones).
“There is a big need in the television space to make it easier to get new TV shows made,” Mobcaster CEO and co-founder Aubrey Levy told me. “I am a writer/actor, and I have pitched a lot of shows, running through the insane process that goes along with trying to pitch – which is especially difficult as a new writer without a hit show. I was one among a massive number of content creators.”
Fed up with the insanity – and advertisers dictating what survives and what doesn’t – Levy and Sander Kooijman (a writer/producer) co-founded Mobcaster, a new media company that crowdfunds pilots online, aids physical production and provides a digital platform for distribution.
“We’re now at a day and age when the cost to produce something is not super expensive,” Levy continued. “Audiences are also dictating what content they want and how they want to receive it.”
At Mobcaster, there is no issue of whether or not the show has an audience – because it has already been funded by people who want to see it get made and who then watch it once it’s made.
“It’s our goal to help a show get created and monetized as best as possible,” said Levy. “If a show gets exposure and can jump to a network, we are thrilled for them. We are making it more efficient, but we’re not destroying the players. Everyone benefits from our process – especially networks. There’s already an audience, it’s already in a plug-n-play format, and it’s costing a fraction of the cost to develop it themselves.”
Proving their model works: a whopping $74,000 was raised for a show called The Weatherman (the entire season was funded). “We produced amazing content for a fraction of the cost and thousands upon thousands watched the pilot.”
Mobcaster currently has 4 shows in funding, and there’s a deep roster of content that is gearing up for a funding campaign. Stay tuned for more!