Building Loyalty on the Web

Companies rushing to develop original video series for the Web are scrambling to solve one of the industry’s biggest problems: building an audience.

The challenge, which has stumped creators since the dawn of Web video, is getting more urgent as many producers shift their attention from creating one-off viral hits to online video franchises. Media companies and advertisers say they have money to invest, but loyal audiences, while growing, remain elusive.

Sites including Hulu LLC, IAC/InterActiveCorp’s CollegeHumor, Blip.tv and Demand Media’s Cracked.com are trying to draw recurring viewership by enticing users to tune in at a certain day of the week, running TV-like promos for Web shows or cross-promoting series against similar content.

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