Books to TV/Film, sure no problem. Books to Web video series? I can’t see why not. That’s exactly what Alloy Media and Marketing are working on at this very moment. If you don’t know who they are it’s no surprise, but they’re the force that was behind the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and its sequel as well as Gossip Girl on CW and a host of other properties (Rosell, Samurai Girl, etc).
Their properties might not appeal to you if you’re not a young girl, but there are a lot of young girls out there and they too need their specific content. So what better way to get it to them than through a web series.
The new web series, Private, is set for distribution on the very appropriate site Teen.com (also their property). They’ve got plenty to work with considering the book series has 11 volumes to date. Plus they’ve also got four major sponsors that will receive ad and product placement (Johnson & Johnson, Neutrogena, O.B. and Carefree). We’re told the product placements will be organic so as not to draw away from the show’s content. Considering the products in question, that seems wise. They’re going to do it in 20 episodes of 4-6 minutes. That sounds short but they believe it to be the optimal length. If the story is good though I could easily watch a 15 minute video online (like Wormtooth Nation). It will cover the first four books and will have a complete story arc. The main character Reed Brennan’s first year at Easton will be covered.
It truly is ingenious. They have been splitting profit on small and silver screen productions of their properties for some time, so why not keep it all for themselves and just aim for the large audience on the smaller screen? With big name sponsors on board and a long history of successful TV, book and film properties it’s the right move in my opinion.
Plus, it could open the floodgates for tons of premium online video content based on all sorts of other properties and that means more for us to watch and more for advertisers to advertise. (and more writers who will see their written word transformed!) Increased profits all around and a side order of pat on the back please. All eyes in publishing are probably closely watching the progress being made at Alloy on this and its success or failure will probably decide budget reconstructions at a half dozen companies as they scramble to do the same. Luckily for Alloy, the line begins behind them.