In the rapidly changing globalenvironment, Media set the level of innovation and creation. Before you getbored of any content or format of media you will be amazed by brand new type ofmedia. With the help of new technologies and freedom of people to show theircreativity media is changing day by day. With society moving into theelectronic age, more people are communicating in cyberspace not only to accessmore information, but also to create a reality of their own. Using media nowdepends on the comfort of the audience. That’s why media giants choose theirmedium and content wisely to match the access and the expectation of theaudiences. The new popular addition of entertainment for this sub-continent bynew media is Web Series. With the emergence of online streaming servicesincluding the likes of Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon Prime, millenials witnesseda major shift in the entertainment business realm.
Even in Bangladesh audiencehave streaming channels like BioscopeBeta and popular YouTube channels like CMVand Dhruba for their entertainment. A web series is designed like atelevision series. But a series of episodes which can be watched on the web.
The term “Web” potentially refers totwo things. How content isconsumed. Where the content originated.If the audience watching a video on his/her computer, iPad, ormobile phone and connected to the web there’s a god chance it’s a web series.
but not necessarily. You can download a feature on the web and watch it on youriPad. Web series is a number of related scriptedor non-scripted videos arranged or occurring in succession,generally in episodicform,released on the Internetand part of the web televisionmedium. A single instance of a web series program can be called an episode or”webisode”,however the latter term is not often used. In general, A web series is simplyjust a series of videoepisodes that is released over time in order to tell astory. Sometimes creators use popular video sharing platforms like YouTubeor Vimeo to host their shows so that they attract as manyviewers as possible.
Web series can be watched on a range of platforms,including desktop,laptop,tabletsand smartphones.They can also be watched on television. The main difference between TV seriesand web series is a TV series usually requires big production costs, celebrityTV stars, and large media companies, a web series doesn’t have to have all thatstuff. As long as you have a camera and a creative idea for a show, anyone cancreate their own show for the web. Some web series shows are created by totalamateurs but creative young peoples who require little cost for equipment andsupport.
TV episodesare mandated due to advertising and range from either 22-30 minutes or 44-60minutes depending on the advertising needs of the network or cable station. Theweb has no restriction because there’s no reason to constrict what is possibleat this point. A few years ago, some important suit-wearing executive at someimportant company decided that attentions span of laptop viewers should bearound 3-15 minutes per episode. Sometimes web series originate on the web andlater that same material is repurposed as a feature or as episodes of a TVseries and sometimes it’s the other way around. Web Series firstemerged in the late 1990s and become more prominent in the early 2000s.
InApril 1995, Rox, a small public access program from Bloomington, Indiana, became the first TVseries distributed via the web, with an episode titled “Global VillageIdiots”(Stelter : 2013). Later the same year, New York advertisingcreative Scott Zakarin persuaded his employers Fattaland Collins to finance an online television drama along the lines of thecontemporary television drama Melrose Place.The Spotbecame the first episodic fiction website, the first web soap opera.Fattal and Collins asked their Vice President, Sheri Herman, to obtain venturecapital to finance it, because it was draining the resources of thisboutique agency. In January 1999, Showtime licensed the animated sci-fi webseries WhirlGirl,making it the first independently produced web series licensed by a nationaltelevision network. A month later, the series, created by David B. Williams andproduced by his Visionary Media studio, premiered on Showtime in a first-eversimultaneous web/telecast.
1 In2000,The Raven started Daytona Beach Live. Thestation showed video about life, events, and attractions in the Daytona Beacharea for up to 17,000 viewers (Cheng:2009). As broadband bandwidth began toincrease in speed and availability, delivering high quality video over theInternet became a reality. Web Central TV, YouTube,Vimeoand Daily Motionlaunched their services to deliver original video. Shows such as Rocket boomappeared and post-dot-com-bust video networks such as ManiaTV!,iSTATION TV and the Ripe Digital Entertainment networkslaunched. In 2003, The Spot executive producer and head writer Stewart St. John revivedthe brand for online audiences with a new cast, and created a separate mobileseries to air on Sprint PCS Vision-enabled phones (Park :2004).
Inmid-2006, several independent Web series began to achieve popularity, mostnotably lonelygirl15 (created by Miles Beckett, MeshFlinders and Greg Goodfried),Soupof the Day (Zakarin and Rob Cesternino), California Heaven(St. John and Todd Fisher), “The Burg”(Dinosaur Diorama) and SamHas7Friends(BigFantastic). These series were distributed independently, often using onlinevideo portals YouTubeand Revver. Allseries acquired audiences in the millions, led by lonelygirl15sover 100 million views during its 26-month run. The series was so successfulthat it secured a sponsorship deal with Neutrogena.
Soup of the Day was later re-crafted andedited as a feature-length film, making it the first web series distributed ondisc by distribution company Echo Bridge Entertainment. SamHas7Friendswas nominated for an Emmy and temporarily removed from the Internetwhen it was acquired by Michael Eisner. March 2006 also saw the debut of GoodnightBurbank (created and (Hayden Black) as a “webisodic” series. Theoriginal series was named one of iTunes best podcasts of 2006. Also hitting thescene during the summer towards the end of the year was FeedMe Bubbe which ended up showcasing that even a Grandmother and Grandson canachieve internet celebrity status. Fortuna TV Channel isthe first web TV in Turkey (Lieberman:2007) In 2007, Beckett and Goodfriedfollowed up their lonelygirl15 success with Kate Modern,a series which debuted on social network Bebo, and took place inthe same fictional universe as lonelygirl15.
Big Fantasticcreated and produced Prom Queen, which was financed anddistributed by Michael Eisner’s nascent online studio Vuguru,and debuted on My Space.These web serials highlighted interactivity with the audience in addition to thenarrative on relatively low budgets (Shields:2007). Established creators alsostarted producing high profile original web series in 2008. Joss Wheldoncreated, produced and self-financed. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blogstarring Neil Patrick Harris and FeliciaDay. BigFantastic wrote and produced ForeignBody, a mystery web series that served as a prequel to Robin Cook’snovel of the same name.
Beckett and Good fried founded a new Internet studio,EQAL, and produced a spin-off from ‘”lonelygirl15″entitled “LG15: TheResistance”. Dedicatedmedia coverage of the web television space debuted with organizations such as GigaOm’s NewTeeVee and Tube filter News. Mainstream press also began converted.
Inthe UK, Kate Modern ended its run on Bebo. That sitealso hosted a six-month-long reality/travel show, The Gap Year, produced by Endemol UK, who also made Kirill, a drama for MSN (Brand:2009).Australia emerged separate market for online series. Most notable was themade-for-MySpaceseries the MySpace Road Tour produced by FremantleMedia Australia. The first series, which ran from July to October 2008 drewthe MySpace audience and the show received positive press. During MipCom inOctober 2008 MySpaceannounced plans for a second series and indicated that it was in talks withcable network Foxtelto distribute series 1 on network television. Additionally MySpace spoke oftheir plans to produce versions of the MySpaceRoad Tour in other countries (Apostolou: 2008).
In 2009, Sony’s online division, Crackle,became one of the few companies who figured out a business model for the Webseries. They did this by treating their Web series like an independent film.First they would fund a low-budget genre movie and structure the script so thatit can air online in 10-minute segments. Later they edited the series into a 2-hourDVD. They sold ads against the first online airing of the content, they mademoney from DVD sales and rentals, finally, they sold both the internet versionand DVD to international markets. In 2009, Sony’s online division, Crackle,became one of the few companies who figured out a business model for the Webseries. They did this by treating their Web series like an independent film.
First,they would fund a low-budget genre movie and structure the script so that itcan air online in 10-minute segments. Later they edited the series into a 2-hourDVD. They sold ads against the first online airing of the content, they mademoney from DVD sales and rentals, and finally, they sold both the internetversion and DVD to international markets. So far, 2010 has seen more expansion,more production and further monetizing of original Web series.
Larger brandsare showing up to the table looking to invest in their own Web series. They’rerealizing that for a fraction of a traditional media buy, brands get to be muchmore involved in a new media production. An annual festival and awardspresentation dedicated exclusively to digital series. The festival justcompleted its 6th annual event in 2017, and always occurs during April in Hollywood, California. Holly Web was thefirst digital content exclusive festival in Hollywood (Payne:2017).
A number of web series incorporateinteractive Web 2.0 features on theirproducer’s websites, the show website, or other online fora. These Web 2.0features enable viewers and fans to post comments online about episodes andlink or “tag” favorite shows, episodes or video clips. Theseactivities help to build viewer and fan engagement. Some producers use socialmedia and social networking websites to market their web series and seek newviewers.
As well, some producers monitor social media and networking commentsas a way to obtain fan feedback on their shows. First emerged in the end of 2016, webseries became more prominent In Bangladesh in 2017. The year 2017 can be markedas a momentous for significant rise both in the quality and quantity off webseries. Web series like Feluda,Baghbondi, List, Admission Test, palabi kothay, Illegal Affairs get instantpopularity among young generation. In 2016 Web Series Kali had a great Impact on the audience because it’s content andmaking. The concept of superhero series has quite a grip on the globalentertainment scene in both big and small screen.
Now they have conquered the streaming-basedservices like Netflix. Both the content and the format were somewhatunchartered territory in Bangladesh, but the sudden types of audience likedthat. But 2017 was by far most promising year for wed series in this country (Rayhan:2017). Anew adaptation of famous Satyajit Ray character, Detective Feluda was the mosttalked about web series of 2017.
Popular actor Parambrata Chatterjee fromKolkata has played the role of famous Feluda, while Riddhi Sen will be seen asTopse. Kandy Productions and TOM Creations have received the rights to work onFeluda from Satyajit Ray’s son, Sandeep Ray. The first season of the seriesfeatured four episodes and the rest of the episodes will be made later inphases. The four stories that the episodes were based on are Sheyal DebotaRahasya, Ghurghutiyar Ghatona, Golokdham Rahasya, and Gangtokey Gondogol. Oneof the hyped thriller web series of 2017 was Baghbondi. This DhrubaEntertainment production have grabbed audience’s attention and brought exposureto the whole team, more importantly the series’ director Vicky Zahed.
SafaKabir has also kept the audience at the edge of their seats along with Baghbondi’s two other leads, Jovan andTawsif. Featuring a bunch of popular Actors, Palabi Kothay was another successful web venture of the yearincluding Mumtaheena Chowdhury Toya, Tamim Mridha, Marzuk Russell, Shamim HasanSarker, Max Rahman, Joynal Jack and Sarah Farhana, among others. Written anddirected by AK Porag and Vasker Dey Jony, PalabiKothay was released under the label of CMV. Masud Ul Hasan was theexecutive producer of the series. Another CMV venture on the list, the seriesfeatures an almost similar cast including Mumtaheena Chowdhury Toya, FarhanAhmed Jovan, Tamim Mridha, Zaki Ahmad Zarif Abdullah, Sultana Rina, TutulChowdhury, Azizur Rahman Azad, Mahmuda Akter Nisha, Pronab Ghosh Nafiz, NazmulAnisur Rahman, and Razib Abu Hosen Fahim.
Scripted and directed by Topu Khan, Admission Test also managed to attractaudience with its adult storyline and has been widely criticised for the samereason. However, the five-episode web series has received wide YouTube view. Theseries List consists of sevenepisodes which was Directed by RB Pritam. Popular TV artists, Tousif and TamimMridha, were also starred in the series. Aside from Naila, film actor TomaMirza also played a role in. Theengaging story has successfully made the audience anticipate for upcomingepisodes and eventually turned out to be a crowd-cheering production.
Anotherweb series Illegal Affairs features Jui Jannat, Kaberi, Mokbul, Shuvo, Kader,Noor and Ayan in different roles. The web series was released under CD ChoiceMusic banner. Directed by Anwar Hossain, the web series revolves around thelives of a newly married couple, Neela and Sagor, who go through a down and outcondition. Meanwhile, Neela encounters Ranjan, a pimp by profession, whoactually targets her and tries to draw her into prostitution.
Mostof the web series contains issues and stories related to young generation, asthe medium of the contents are friendlier for them. For this reason, thecontents were more seductive and controversial. The contents were made foreasily draw the attention of the audience. Issues like psychopath or mentallyill peoples mind games, prostitutions, extramarital affairs, killing, sex gotimportance then the main storyline. Web series are easy to relies any contentas they don’t have any censor issues. For this reason, makes of web series canadd any thing to their stories to draw the attention.
But series like kali, faluda and List had chosen the way of unique concept and making for make agood impression. The benefit of making a web series is maker can proratehis/her imagination without any boundaries of censorship. So sensitive issueslike sexual education, LGBD rights, realistic problems of young generation, newformation of relationships in metro life, overgrowing frustration anddepression in human life can be focus in web series. “The medium isthe message” (Marshall :1964) is aphrase by Marshall McLuhan means Medium embeds itself in any Massage it wouldtransmit or convey, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the mediuminfluences how the message is perceived. We can see the similarities of webseries contents with this phrase. As web media is free to show creativity ofcontent the nature of the shows become more open and bold then the othermediums.
As a promising media web series has great potentialities of extend thetypes of stories and apply new and advance ways of making using current worldreality contents.