iMedia: Where are the richest opportunities in digital video?
Coffman: We're storytellers, so for us it's about telling interesting stories first. I really like all the indie shows popping up and hope the monetizing of it starts to work better as advertisers and sponsors realize that online is as important as or more important than traditional broadcast.
iMedia: What is the most effective way for brands to get involved in digital entertainment content?
Coffman: I really like the branding model that has been getting more weight lately, as opposed to traditional clicks and impressions. Finding organic and creative ways to integrate a brand into a show doesn't lessen the message of the show as long as it's a natural placement or message. People need to eat, drink, wear clothes, drive cars, etc. Showing a good product in a good light is the same as recommending something you like to a friend, albeit 5 million friends at a time. As long as you pursue that path, the brand comes out ahead and the content comes out ahead.
iMedia: Can you envision a digital FCC? Will digital content be monitored in the same way traditional is at some point? How is it monitored now (if at all)? By YouTube's monitoring system? Web hosts?
Coffman: I'm very progressive when it comes to censorship and "monitoring." I believe the monitoring comes from education and parenting or teaching. Speech shouldn't be censored. (However, it should be noted that I do ban racist trolls from our chat rooms because our chat rooms aren't "public"; we want to give our users a fun experience, and besides, life's too short.)
iMedia: What are the benefits to having online content? What opportunities does digital entertainment provide that traditional can't?
Coffman: Online content is much more readily available than traditional; kids watch while walking through the halls at school; adults watch while at work or while multi-tasking at home. The interactivity and immediacy of online is really magical. There's definitely a convergence happening between traditional and online.
iMedia: According to the DCNF website: "The great divide that separated digital content from broadcast media is shrinking. The time people used to spend watching is now spent interacting and what was a simple search engine yesterday is now a go-to source of news, information and entertainment." How do you feel about that statement?
Coffman: Very much agree. It's a wild, wild world.
View Coffman's next airing of a new LiveSciFi ghost hunt on May 29 and 30 at LiveSciFi.tv.
To hear from more viral voices, check out our interviews with Issa Rae, Erik Hoffstad, and Shawn Kohne.
Lucia Davis is associate editor at iMedia Connection.
On Twitter? Follow Lucia at @iMediaLucia. Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.