If you’re here, you probably like us. We like you too. That’s why we like to keep you guys in the loop for any changes we make.
We figure that even if you’re not 100% behind a given change, at least we’re being direct about it, right?
Now, commodoreHUSTLE. You love watching it, and goodness we love making it. And it’s not stopping, but it is changing. I’m going to do my best to explain how, and why.
So, way back, we started cH for a bunch of reasons. Essentially they run down like this:
- – For fun! (Like most of what we do)
- – To try our hand at longer-form videos (and I think we learned a lot)
- – To unify our “Us Playing Us” videos into a cohesive continuity.
But, to be perfectly honest, a huge reason was:
- – To bring in more viewers.
See, we think we’re really good. I mean, we’re extremely biased of course, but we think we’re one of the best sites doing what we do, and it’s always been sort of apparent that we don’t get as many viewers as we feel we ought to. We love all the viewers we have (you guys!) but more would allow us to turn the site into at least a part-time job for us.
The problem with bring viewers in through sketch comedy is that it’s different every week. We happen to love that, because it lets us be creative and try new things all the time, but with no ongoing plot or recurring characters, it can’t hold an audience week-to-week. And we don’t want to stop doing sketches, certainly. So we started a web series.
But to bring an audience in, you have to be targeting an audience. Every popular web series has an audience, and so does cH, but unfortunately cH’s audience (and one who’s interests we targeted with laser precision) was people who were already fans of LRR. So, in that regard, it didn’t work.
As the series went on, the plot became almost too self-referential (is there such a thing?) and the jokes (while still great!) became more about getting characters to where they needed to be for plot-reasons, instead of character, or even comedy.
I’m saying: We learned a lot.
Something else that cH Season 1 was, as well as fun: a lot of work. A 15 – 17 minute episode every month, as well as three standard videos? That’s a tough workload. Each episode of cH was shot over at least three days, and that’s a huge time commitment for people who (as a reminder) aren’t being paid to do this. It’s also interesting to note that since Season 1 of cH ended, there have been a lot of comments on how the quality of our weekly videos has improved, and I’m sure that’s related to us not feeling completely worn out every three weeks.
Which brought up the question: If it’s not bringing in new fans, and we’re not making money from it, can we validate putting in the huge time commitment to do it?
Considering we now have Unskippable, and ENN (which are projects we actually get paid for) we really can’t. So what does this mean?
Well, we’re not going to stop making cH, certainly. We love it, you love it, it’s win-win! But some changes have to be made.
For one thing, it’s going to be shorter, probably around the 7-minute length you saw in the Season 1 epilogue. Secondly, while it will still retain continuity and maintain the persistent “cH Universe”, the videos will be largely self-contained. I guess they’ll be a hybrid of cH and the “us playing us” videos of previous years.
I know this is going to be a blow to many of you, but trust us when we say that it was a hard decision for all of us, and the subject of several, tiring discussions.
Also, if previous changes to site layout and video content are anything to go on, you’ll get used to it soon 🙂
In addition to the reasons I mentioned above, there’s another big reason not to have a monthly update that’s exceedingly self-referential and 17-minutes long, and that reason is something I can’t tell you about now. Speculate all you like, but I can’t say yet. I will say this:
– It’s a good thing.
– We’re not stopping.
– It doesn’t involve nudity or animals (No promises).
One more thing, sorry for not mentioning all this earlier (I know a lot of you were really looking forward to the next season with readied expectations) but a lot of these things came about recently (especially that last, secret one) and we didn’t get a chance.
Hope that answers most of your questions about the new commodoreHUSTLE. If you’ve still got more, I’ll my best to answer them!