Ask a Ninja Makes $300K

Update: John Battelle, chairman of Federated Media, emailed to deny that any payments have been made to Ask a Ninja. Our sources maintain that a portion of the ad revenue guaranteed by Federated Media is to be ‘floated’ up front to the Ask a Ninja team so that they can focus on creating new episodes. The deal is worth at least $300,000 a year if Ask Ninja maintains and grows its current level of popularity and viewership.

Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine, the dynamic duo behind the web’s most deadly source of advice, Ask a Ninja, have struck gold with a Federated Media payday, which includes a $300,000 upfront payment along with 60 percent of ad revenue(see clarification above), according to our sources. In a phone conversation today, Nichols declined comment on the monetary terms of the deal beyond confirming what’s already been reported by Heather Green at BusinessWeek.

A $300,000 payment alone makes Ask a Ninja (which we profiled in December) the best-paid online video show in the business, topping the $250K Andrew Michael Baron says Rocketboom made last year.

Nichols was happy to disclose that he and Sarine relied on the “business expertise” of United Talent Agency, which negotiated the deal. If the numbers are correct, and assuming that UTA gets the standard “ten points” (10%), it’s also a $30,000 payday for Brent Weinstein’s team. It’s a promising sign that emerging internet talent will reap rewards for their hard work.

In Nichols’ words, business folks are finally realizing that web video sites “can be profit centers.”

Federated Media also provides advertising for NewTeeVee.