Exposure: The Non-Monetary Benefit of Making Web Content?

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There are plenty of people and companies who have gone broke hoping to make a profit in the online video world, but there are also plenty of success stories. Monetization, though, is only one part of that.

Yesterday, for our sister site GigaOm Pro (subscription required), I looked at the various options for online video creators who seek to generate funds for their content, including in-video advertising, multiple platforms, product placement and micropayments.

The one thing I forgot to mention in my GigaOm Pro piece, though, is this: Expecting to make a profit shouldn’t necessarily be the primary goal, especially for relatively new creators. Last night I participated in a panel at Web TV Workshop with Compulsions creator Bernie Su, who when asked if he’d made back his personal investment in the Streamy-award winning drama, said no.

Su quantified the amount he’d invested in Compulsions as being equal to “a low-end car — but a new car” (thus, somewhere in the approximate range of $15,000-$25,000). However, while the show only made “a couple of hundred bucks” from its revenue sharing deal with distribution partner Dailymotion, he considered the investment he made worthwhile, thanks to the attention his work has gotten, and the doors it may open for future projects. “Compulsions has given me a long-term brand as a writer/creator of intense and sophisticated content for the web, from there I’d say the sky’s the limit,” Su said via IM this morning.

If you asked some of the web video stars who have been making the rounds this pilot season — not to mention web celebs like Felicia Day — they’d probably agree. More people explore the potential of this space as a way to generate revenue — but the value of eyeballs is still important to consider, even if it doesn’t fit on a balance sheet.

Related GigaOm Pro Content (subscription required): A Guide To Online Video Monetization Options

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