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Barter Syndication & The Indie Bible
Old 07-01-2010   #121
LarisaNaples
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Default Barter Syndication & The Indie Bible

AuralStageStudios, you beat me to it!

I tend to agree with most of your responses to Jack Ward's analysis of barter syndication. Much of the issue has to do with a willingness to do the hard work of making sure one's approach to writing and production are thoroughly professional -- whether monetized or not. Screenwriter John August wrote a delightful article about this very issue, a while back, called, "Professional Writing and the Rise of the Amadeur" which is well worth a read. But I digress.

Jack made one really key point, which it the main strategic obstacle I've been struggling with:

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Also, if you're wanting to go the Satellite Radio route, be prepared to have at least a hundred hours worth of shows to offer. Lots of people come up to them with a dozen, two dozen hours, and they say "No". They need large blocks of time to fill, and they want shows that can be original through their drive time.
This is why I look at making shows that are 15 episodes long or 20 or 30.
Because 15 episodes turns out to 3 weeks Monday to Friday a different show every week.
J
<snip>
Even with non-satellite radio, I fear the shear volume of ripping-good material that one would need to produce, on an ongoing basis, would be prohibitive for a one-man/one-woman shop. Forget the acting, sound recording, and editing bits for a minute, and just consider the script-writing. It is still prohibitive to think that one person will be able to write it all, and have it still all be great. And great it must be, since ADs cannot rely on the screen-charisma of popular actors, or cool visual SFX to carry us past a bit of bad writing. That is why weekly TV shows typically have one showrunner with a dozen-odd reports (who are also professional screenwriters) working to produce that one script per week. I also fear there will be no argument that will convince a radio station to air one's work, if one cannot reliably fill at least a weekly slot.

So, there we are.

Query about one other thing:

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There are also numerous independent owned stations, especially in larger communities, since there are more subgroups that call for them. There exists also public broadcasting and streaming radio which have large followings and independent owners. For more info here, check out The Indie Bible.
<snip>
Can you tell me more about this Indie Bible? Does it have enough to offer between the covers, for those of us who are not musicians, but AD writers/producers? If so, what?

Thanks!
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Old 07-02-2010   #122
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Can you tell me more about this Indie Bible? Does it have enough to offer between the covers, for those of us who are not musicians, but AD writers/producers? If so, what?
Sure thing, Larisa.

First off, the Indie Bible is primarily a resource for musicians. Most of the content is geared to that end, and while the information might be useful to the AD community, it is likely not worth the price tag unless you produce music content also, which is why I keep a copy at hand. What the guide does have to offer is articles on marketing (many of which are transferable to other media), constantly growing lists of independent and local radio stations and a very large section covering streaming radio stations that handle various content.

To that end, most of the information is available elsewhere if you know where and what to dig for. For me, it is a convenient all-in-one reference that I have to keep on hand anyway. For the money, I would more likely suggest the
Sound Effects Bible Sound Effects Bible
by the legendary Ric Viers (okay.. legendary if you're a sound geek, like me) and
Practical Recording Techniques: The Step- by- Step Approach to Professional Audio Recording Practical Recording Techniques: The Step- by- Step Approach to Professional Audio Recording
by Bruce and Jenny Bartlett (which was assigned to me in college, and hasn't left my side since.)

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So what about the brand?
Old 07-02-2010   #123
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Thumbs up So what about the brand?

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Screenwriter John August wrote a delightful article about this very issue, a while back, called, "Professional Writing and the Rise of the Amateur" which is well worth a read. But I digress.
I second that recommendation. It's a great piece, and really distills what I want to do with audio theatre and related endeavors.

So it sounds like several people are very excited about the possibilities of monetizing content. I do like the idea of the barter syndication and I think it could work with some effort.

Moreover, I'm thinking the type of audio theatre troupes that would be willing to work to produce the paid-only content would be up to the strict guidelines of the form.

The daunting goal would be getting enough content for launch. I knew it would need to be a lot (i.e., a dozen or more companies promising XX hours of content now and then XX a year thereafter).

The other thing this raises is if this would be marketed and sold into syndication as a show/conduit/package that itself is branded. It seems like it would need to to attract buyers, not unlike Sirius/XM's Sonic Theater.

How many people are interested in a Sonic Syndicate?
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Old 07-02-2010   #124
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I'm interested, but I'm far too new to audio theatre. I only have the one completed piece, at the moment, so I can't really be a player as far as this co-op idea goes -- at least for now. Talk to me in a year. ;-)
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Old 07-02-2010   #125
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I'm in the same boat. Not launched yet, but working to do so later this year.
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Old 07-07-2010   #126
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I'm interested, but I'm far too new to audio theatre. I only have the one completed piece, at the moment, so I can't really be a player as far as this co-op idea goes -- at least for now. Talk to me in a year. ;-)

Actually, that is the perfect point to start talking, as you don't have to completely shift gears.
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Old 07-08-2010   #127
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Actually, that is the perfect point to start talking, as you don't have to completely shift gears.
So... how many companies are interested in working on content for a co-op in the next year?
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Old 08-04-2010   #128
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So... how many companies are interested in working on content for a co-op in the next year?
Heh. It would seem you have your answer.

As for me, I'm going to make some noise either way.

Matt
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Old 03-11-2011   #129
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I always love to collaborate. I love the idea of the co-op. There's all kinds of pitfalls that usually come down to different ideas... and frankly some big egos.

If you look at some of the attempts just to provide some services to aid audio drama folks and create a bigger community and how they are often dismissed you can see that sometimes the best of intentions just don't always work out.

Often times its not because of that though. Just honest difference of opinion in the style of the acting, the formatting of the way the audio drama is produced, and in the quality of the recordings and how much (or how little) the sound effects are included within the show- hell even music can become an issue.

When co-opting... and trying to look at bundling works as a group, there's a huge question of quality and the like.
I'd happily throw open my anthology series "the Dead Line" as an umbrella that people could write and produce under for one big series. But there are caveats as to what kind of stories hit even that, and of course levels of quality that I feel I need to raise the bar for myself to hit, let alone anyone else.

So, it becomes a real struggle. Unfortunately.
But a great conversation!!!
J
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Old 03-27-2011   #130
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I love collaborating. It's always amazing what new ideas someone can bring to the table and how the material can be interpreted in new and unexpected ways.
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