MySpace Debuts $3 Million Web Series: Electric Farm's 'Afterworld'
The photo-realistic, post-apocalyptic animated series follows a man who wakes up to find that the majority of the population has been wiped out. Viewers can follow his cross-country journey to find what's left of his family via an interactive map on the show's Web site. They can also interact with series characters--who will all have their own MySpace blogs--as well as suggest plot twists and solve puzzles.
"The idea was to create a new hybrid medium for entertainment using these different forms of technology so that fans can get their daily snack of entertainment when and where they want," said Brent Friedman, one of the writers of "Afterworld," as well as a principal in Electric Farm.
Some of the two-to-three minute episodes premiered earlier this year on Budweiser's Bud.tv, as well as on Google's YouTube, where they reportedly drew more than 1 million views.
MySpace will need to sustain viewers to generate ad revenue, but Electric Farm has also sold international TV, Internet, gaming and mobile rights to Sony Pictures International, which helped finance the project. As such, Sony is developing a mobile game based on the series for release next year, and also airing 13 half-hour episodes on the Sci-Fi Channel in Australia.
While rival Facebook has garnered industry attention through opening its API and reportedly developing targeted ad options for marketers, MySpace continues to monetize by drawing in original content like "Afterworld" and "Prom Queen," the teen soap opera backed by former Disney executive Michael Eisner. MySpace had more than 28 million average daily visitors in June, compared to Facebook's nearly 15 million. "We're confident this [original content] is going to be an enormous success," said Jeff Berman, general manager for MySpace TV.