Ask A Ninja: The Money Is Good
“Near the top of the pile [of digital video programmers] sit Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine, who have parlayed their ‘Ask a Ninja’ Web program into about $100,000 a month in ad revenue and income from merchandising and licensing….. Mr. Nichols and Mr. Sarine, the ‘Ask a Ninja’ duo, learned all about the threshold between Web video as an avocation and a vocation.
“They started their ‘weekly-ish’ Web show two years ago with about $60,000 from friends and family. Since then, they’ve generated 70 million views on YouTube, AskaNinja.com and other sites. They managed to live on that income, supplementing it with occasional odd jobs. About a year ago, they decided to focus on wringing money from their Web popularity.
“‘You can’t take views to the bank. You need a concrete plan to turn those views into money,’ Mr. Nichols said.”
“So they paired up with video-sharing site Revver, which splits ad revenue 50-50 with content creators, and earned between $40,000 and $50,000 in an eight-month period.
“The pair then signed a deal with Federated Media, which now sells ads for the show. In the last year, the number of ‘Ask a Ninja’ views has jumped from 2 million to 2.7 million per month.
“‘That pays the bills,’ Mr. Nichols said. ‘Advertisers now have a credible way to reach the target demo of young men who have abandoned TV, and we are providing a concrete way to get into those kids’ brains.’
“Companies including SanDisk, Palm, Doritos and Toshiba have signed on as sponsors.”
(FM manages advertising and sponsorships for Ask A Ninja, but FM does not disclose revenue figures for any of its partners.)