What is web series? History, Origin, and Popularity of web series
Web series are now very popular all over the world. Its field is outside the conventional television system. The characters in the web series are a bit different from the usual serial dramas or movies.
Web series videos are made in short episodic form. These episodes are then released on the video streaming site in the form of a series. Each episode is made in such a way that the viewers do not lose a single moment of attention. This is why web series are so popular. In general, web series are more popular among young people.
OTT and VOD platforms have made web series especially popular. The OTT platform is not an open environment like YouTube. To enter it, you have to open an account, you have to take membership with money. Then you will have the opportunity to see the topic of choice. In the digital age, there is a huge potential for over-the-top (OTT) platforms. Let’s find out, what is a web series? As well as web series history, origins and development.
What is web series?
A web series is a collection of scripted or non-scripted online videos, mostly in episodic form, that are published on the Internet and are a subset of the web television medium, which first appeared in the late 1990s and grew in popularity in the early 2000s. The word “episode” or “webisode” can be used to describe a single episode or “webisode” in a web series program.
Web series can be accessed on a variety of formats and computers, including desktops, computers, Ipads, and smartphones in general. They are also available for viewing on cable.
A Brief History of web series
In the mid-nineties, New York-based producer Scott Jacqueline came up with the idea for the web series, The Spot. It was the first episodic online story. Originally it was a web-based story series. Built at California Beach House. The series ran successfully for two years from 1995 to 1996. The story spreads by presenting the daily life of a group of young people to the audience. Where their sex life was also revealed.
The series won the Webby Award. But the way Scott brought the web series to the fore has also changed. There is a flow of events, including the involvement of media giants. As a result, Scott Jacqueline dropped out at one point.
Bullseye Art was one of the first online publishers to produce animated webisodes in the same year. Porkchops, Internet the Animated Series, and Rat Chicken were among the first webisodic series created by Bullseye Art. Miss Muffy and the Muf Mob, a success for Bullseye Art in 1998, contributed to a development deal with MTV. Bullseye Art also produced Space Dog, which was used on Atom Films and became a hit. The Magic Butter web network currently hosts the original Bullseye Art content. In 1998, the Stella Shorts, perhaps the first comedy live-action web series, premiered on Heavy.com and Comedynet.com for the first time.
From the beginning of the zero decades, web series began to become more popular, especially in the Western world. The Japanese anime industry started airing original net animation (ONA), a form of original video animation (OVA), series on the Internet in the early 2000s. Infinite Ryvius: Illusion (2000), Ajimu (2001), and Mahou Yuugi (2000) are early examples of the ONA series (2001).
MSN Video, which included the original web series Weird TV 2000, was released by Microsoft in 2003. (from the creators of the syndicated television series, Weird TV). Weird TV 2000 showed hundreds of exclusive MSN Video shorts, comedy sketches, and mini-documentaries. So many independent web shows, most prominently Red vs. Blue, became prominent between 2003 and 2006. (created by Rooster Teeth). The series was self-distributed through YouTube, Revver, and the Rooster Teeth website, and earned over 100 million views during its run. Sam Has 7 Friends, which aired in the summer and fall of 2006 and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award, was taken down from the Internet after Michael Eisner bought it.
The Malan Show, Bravo’s first weekly web series, premiered in 2008. It was about Malan Breton, a New York City fashion designer who was attempting to establish himself as an independent designer. The Los Angeles Web Series Festival was established in 2009 as the first web series festival.
In 2013, the only OTT platform, Netflix, won the 65th Primetime Emmy Award for its series. At the time, three series, House of Cards, Arrested Development, and Hemlock Grove, were nominated for the honor. This is the first official recognition of the web series in the world.
Beau Williamson’s House of Cards, an American political thriller, tells the story of ruthless political reality, abuse of power, and betrayal. The series has won numerous awards.
Of the other two, Arrested Development cannot be called a web series, as it aired on Fox TV. However, Hemlock Grove is a web series. It was broadcast on Netflix. These three were built in America. The story of Hemlock Grove centers on a poor area where many people lost their jobs due to the closure of factories and the spread of the murder of two young women in that area.
There are several awards for excellence in web series production that has been developed as of 2016, including the Streamys, Webbys, IAWTV, and Indie Series Awards; there are also other web series festivals, most notably in Los Angeles and Vancouver. Web series and streaming video competition categories have been added to several international award ceremonies, including the Emmy Awards and the Canadian Screen Awards.
The popularity of Web Series
As always, English web series are popular all over the world. A few names can be mentioned. Such as Friends, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Seinfeld, Sherlock, The Big Bang Theory, The Sopranos, Arrow, and Dexter. There are also several more series in English. Which have gained worldwide popularity.
The Spanish language web series is probably the most popular after the English language. Such as money heist (La Casa de Papel). Story: Eight thieves seize the Royal Mint of Spain in the guise of Salvador Dhali. From there, the main premise is to implement their plan through the police.
Then there is ‘Elite’. Dispute between two groups over a private school murder. This is the main story of the film. It can be said, ‘Cable Girl (Las Chicas del Carly). The story revolves around the romance of three women in a telephone company in 1920, creating a modern work environment and making friends. There, too, the murder took the whole picture forward. There are love and romance.
There are also several other Spanish language web series that have become hugely popular. Such as Velvet, Paquita Salas, The Ministry of Time (El Ministerio del Tiampo), Grand Hotel (Gran Hotel), The Time In Between (El Tiampu Entra Kastoras), Plastic Sea (Mar de plástico), Morocco: Love In Times of War (Tiempos de Gerra), Merlí.
India is now a huge market for web series. They have numerous OTT platforms. ARRE, EROS NOW, HYFLIX, MUBI, SONY LIV, ZEE5, TVF Play, VIU, Vodafone Play, VOOT, Adda Times, Airtel Xstream, ALT Balaji, Big Flix, HOI CHOI There are many more OTT platforms in India.
An organization called ComScore recently conducted a survey of viewers on 50 million OTT platforms. It shows that the number of viewers who want to watch the web series with money is 69 percent. What else do they want to see? 30 percent said they want to see sports, 35 percent said they want to see original content, meaning self-produced. And 19 percent want to watch movies and 18 percent want TV shows.
However, if we look at it gradually, it is understood that the audience of the OTT platform is increasing. In Europe, visitors were 11.2 million in 2014, 14.3 million in 2015, 17.5 million in 2016, 20.9 million in 2017, 24 million in 2018, 27 million in 2019, and 29.6 million in 2020, which they expect to rise to 31.8 million in 2021.
Let’s take a look at the situation in America alone. The number of visitors was 153 million in 2017, 170.1 million in 2018, 181.5 million in 2019, and 188.3 million in 2020. Also, according to the statistics, most probably in the next two years in 2021 will stand at 193.2 million, and in 2022 will stand at 196.8 million.
Looking at the OTT platform differently, Netflix is at the top in America. The platform has 158.8 million viewers, Prime Video 96.5 million, Hulu 75.8 million, HBO Now 23.1 million, and Sling 6 million viewers in the country. There are now about 60 OTT platforms in the top trade worldwide.
Read More: Types of web series by Genre and Budget?