Kaboing TV and Frog in a Suit
It’s been almost a year since we launched Kaboing TV, and there have been a few inquiries into what the status is of both Kaboing and Frog. I have tried to explain where we are, but it seems to still be a grey area. I’ll try and elaborate. My pride sometimes fights again’st the need for full transparency.
The idea for Kaboing stemmed from an idea to bring original cartoon content to audiences via the web, from creators that may not have gotten through the door at a TV network. I’m still convinced that the web and TV will continue their merge, and as you can see from You Tube’s move to fund original content, it’s where things are going. It was never a money making venture for me, but I felt with ad revenue or subscription base, I may be able to support my family and help the animation community bring projects to fruit.
After the kickstarter drive, I started watching ad revenue ( CPM’s Cost per 1000 impressions) drop due to influence from the big boys. I had meeting after meeting with investors and ad people trying to get them to come on board. Some nibbled, but only if we agreed on owning all of the properties that appeared on Kaboing. Since I promised that this would be an alternative to the network model, that was not a place I could go.
Most meetings were concluded with “lets see where your traffic comes out.”. Well, I poured all the kickstarter money into making the episodes ( as well as twice as much of my own money) and had little left for marketing. Most of the industry itself turned thier back on the project as ludicrous . My only hope was great traffic numbers to bring in more money for new episodes.
It didn’t happen.
At the same time, another project ( which would have funded more Frog in a Suit shorts) with a media giant, hit a snag in the negotiations and I wasn’t willing to lower the value I felt the property offered. The deal was way too lopsided. I still own Frog, but there are a few people attached to it still, that I would have to spend legal money de-taching them. I’ll still produce cartoons, and hopefully more shorts and story vehicles. Frog in a Suit is not dead.
With me out of money, Kevin Johnson stepped in to keep it going while we figured out what we were going to do next.( For which I am grateful). I had to start focusing on filling the bank account again. It’s been a struggle, but as I said before, “The road through hell is paved with good intentions.”
I love the indie showcase to call attention to talented new filmmakers, and I love that my friend John Dilworth lent his support putting “Dirdy Birdy” on there. We are still reviewing submissions, but are at a crossroads.
I’m a little confused by the internet audience when my daughters show me a you tube video of a unicorn shitting rainbows that has a few million hits, and we have not even broken 6 figures. I had one investor say ” Just make a cartoon with a Dick talking, you’ll get a million hits. Puppetry of the penis. You know.”
I’m happy that the annoying fruit guys are getting their break via the web, as did “Adventure Time” ( which was originally paid for by Nickelodeon, and let go, and Fred Seibert brought it back with the power of the web). When the value of what is offered for entertainment on the web is worked out, it will find more revenue stability. It’s still a mighty force, but it’s shaking up the music and visual arts business with value issues.
I’m so grateful to all of the kickstarter supporters and all those who have supported my work now and in the past, but we needed more eyeballs watching what we were doing. If it was because of the quality of the shorts I produced, I will take the blame for that. It was what I could do with the money we had. Some of the industry has put me in a penalty box because of the Kaboing project ( as well as some animation fans) but that was the risk I took. I still stand behind it, and I can’t think of things I would have done different with the information I had at the time. In hind sight of course, but not with what I was working with at the time.
I hope that fills you in. Kevin Johnson, Suzanne Kasch and I are still figuring out where to go next. Even in the phase we are in now, the site costs money. So we need to figure it out.
Thank you for all of your support.