Syndication Idea v. Syndication Investor

The Pixel Pintura, a YouTube user, sent an interesting comment on my YouTube channel about my Family Pants syndication idea.   I couldn’t answer it entirely in the small YouTube comment box, so I’m posting an explanation here.

Basically Joel said the Family Pants online syndication idea sounded good and wondered why I wasn’t doing it.

There’s been a few ideas so far on making money with online cartoons:

1) Find a sponsor like TV.
Say, Pepsi pays for a Family Pants cartoon provided in the middle of it they stuff a commercial.  This works, but more successfully on TV.  So why would Pepsi bother messing around online?  Now the harsh reality.  The internet is not TV.  It may look like TV, but it’ll never be TV.  Stop trying to think it will be TV!  It’s like trying to make the book publishing industry like the radio industry.  There might be cross overs… a radio personality writes a book, or books about radio personalities, but the industries are different and always will be.

2) Have people pay a tiny fee to see the cartoon online.
Most people pay enough for broadband to begin with.  Would you pay 10 cents to see a Family Pants cartoon?  I’ve had a hard time getting people to pay for a Family Pants DVD.  I’ve recently I’ve offered it for free on YouTube, hoping to gain interest.

3) License cartoons online.
You, the viewer doesn’t pay.  Sponsors like Pepsi doesn’t pay.  Instead websites pay for “instant content”.  Let’s face it, making web sites more attractive costs money.  Instant content is a logical and cheaper solution.  These days the websites who are looking for “instant” content and get “user generated” content.  So say I make an application that allows YOU to make Family Pants cartoons yourself.  Poof!  I get 100 cartoons done for free and with little effort!

But having other people make cartoons is not what makes being a cartoonist fun.  I want to do it!  So my idea was taking a comic strip syndication approach.  Make the cartoon.  Sell it cheaply, but many, many times.

The question is Joel, is online animation syndication not around because it’s a bad idea?  Or is that because nobody important has invested in the idea yet?  Lots of fine human beings like yourself have said, “Hey man… that sounds pretty good!”,  I’m still looking for investors!

Anyone have a rich uncle?


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One Response to “Syndication Idea v. Syndication Investor”

  1. Joel Chua Says:

    Thanks for the well thought out reply Dave. I can see the trend you are describing.

    Short of suggesting that the cartoonist have the cartoon brand as a game where the licensee can insert their company’s logo in-game….

    It’s possible to syndicate a particular comic strip title (or just licensing a single strip) and having user generate content.
    It is being applied on Garfield and Dilbert. On Garfield you can create your own Garfield comic. Dilbert goes one step further (or backward, however you think of it) by allowing the user to come up with just the punchline at the last panel.

    As for animation… imagine Joe’s Diner licensing one Family Pants cartoon, putting it on their site for visitors to write or record their catchiest punchline for the cartoon, and then offering a special deluxe dinner for the voted winner each month!

    And electronic greeting cards a form of syndicated animation are they not?

    Licensing animation is much more appealing if the licensees can personalize t in particular ways. Display their business name, drawing visitors with new content, getting visitors to patronize their business yet again.

    Visit this video (time 2:30) to see how Disney personalized an entire video from user-generated info.

    Be sure to visit to see the actual form. I hope that inspires you to something similar for Family Pants.

    (btw, the link to your Family Pants video is going to my practically naked youtube account!)

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