BlackBoxTV Going Live Just Another Game Changer


The thriller anthology series BlackBoxTV has been steadily pushing the web series world’s boundaries since launching last August. Today, for example, it’s stepping away from the realm of fiction this week for a little field trip to Iowa.

Not the sunny cornfields of Iowa, though — the Villisca Iowa Ax Murder House, where eight people were murdered in their beds in 1912. Beginning this afternoon, BlackBoxTV creator Tony E. Valenzula and Jessica Rose (of lonelygirl15) will tour the house for 24 hours, with their adventures live-streamed through Ustream.

This is the second live stream that BlackBoxTV has done, and it will become a monthly occurrence for the show according to producer Jenni Powell. As of about two hours into the experience, more than 1,800 people were watching on Ustream.

Black Box‘s live efforts come on top of an open casting call for future episodes, conducted on YouTube (s GOOG) and decided by audience vote, as well as the release of its eighth episode, scripted by Compulsions creator Bernie Su and featuring an inventive use of subtitles.

In short, the show has continued its early promise of combining YouTube-style interactivity and user engagement with high-quality production values. And that seems to be paying off: On YouTube, BlackBoxTV is the 57th-most subscribed Directors channel of all time, and episodes easily clear six-figure view counts.

Like any anthology series, some installments of BlackBoxTV are stronger than others. But it’s just exploding the possibilities for how web content can engage with an audience.

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Chris McCaleb

Matt- that’s considerably more live viewers than Kevin Pollack’s Chat Show gets, and they have celebrity guests. Pretty wild for a generation that barely watches anything live, even on TV.

Matthew Arevalo

I’m curious as to what the production team would consider a ‘success’ in the amount of viewers/traction something like this gets. Is 1600-1800 viewers at a time the expected, below or higher then what was thought. I don’t really anticipate any public reply, I’m just thinking out loud as I don’t know where to find metrics to point to is this good, great or not that great.

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