News today that Bebo is at it again - with the promised third in their series of online dramas just recently commissioned.Head of international, Joanna Shields's, has made this third commission in the space of just over six months.
The third series (which follows Kate Modern and Sofia's Diary - which goes live early in the new year) is called "The Gap Year". It will feature six Bebo users chosen to travel the world completing a series of challenges while interacting with Bebo's audience.
According to a piece in today's Guardian ...
... an estimated 25 million people have watched each day's four-minute episodes of Kate Modern - with each episode costing £6,000, a fraction of a conventional TV drama budget.
Consider also that each of Kate Modern's six advertising partners - brands including Microsoft, Procter & Gamble and Orange - have paid up to £250,000 to have their names integrated into the storyline, and it becomes clear why Bebo is now committed to extending this production finance model across other originally-commissioned content.
Interesting times and a novel new approach. The issue for so many brands, however, is that so much of this user-generated content has to be aimed at such niche audience groups. Making something that is compelling, different and at the same time appealing enough to large enough numbers is the tough act that activities like this one will have to square for it to really take off.