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Flash Flood

August 23, 2004

Brothers Gregg and Evan Spiridellis, publishers of JibJab and its ubiquitous This Land is Your Land Flash movie have become heroes on the indie Net scene. Downloads of This Land have been astounding.
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Read – Spiridellis brothers’ JibJab Sprouts Hilarious ‘Talking Heads’[LA Times]


The success of This Land underlines the difficulty of converting online media success into dollars. The Spiridellis were sued by the rights owners of This Land is Your Land. The a:c also has it that the Spiridellis were sued by their hosting company for failure to pay a $200K tab to cover all those downloads. When their site was slammed by traffic, the Spiridellis were forced to move JibJab to AtomFilms for hosting. Furthermore, banner ad revenue is a poor support system for Flash movies. It’s an untenable balance between high hosting costs, low ad revenue, and the need to continuously create new content. It’s no wonder that the likes of AtomFilms and Shockwave always feel they are up against the ropes.
The Spiridellis are heroes because they used the Net as a loss leader and have cashed-in off-line. They did the Today Show/Leno circuit, they’ve committed to premier their next Flash film on Leno, and the a:c has learned that they pocketed a $10M advance from Dreamworks for a feature-length film.
The success of JibJab brings hope to the legions of indie Net companies that were once as obscure as JibJab – sites like RudeMountain, CardboardCastle, The Nasty Man and The HedgeHog, AlbinoBlackSheep, and Goonland. These are companies that will never receive venture funding, that toil in obscurity, but know how to drive Net traffic better than the big guys ever will, and whose only hope for the big leagues is a breakout that will land them on the coach with Leno.

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