The player: Scott Zakarin, founder of Iron Sink, an online comedy network.
The play: Iron Sink produces comedy series and short clips for the Web. Iron Sink makes money with product placement and via a revenue share of ads sold by its distribution partners, which include YouTube, Break, Metacafe, Daily Motion, Sling, iTunes, Blip, Mixercast, MySpace and others. Mr. Zakarin said Iron Sink videos generated 12.5 million views in December.
The pitch: Mr. Zakarin said IronSink stays in touch with fans regularly through message boards and forums on various video-sharing sites. “The characters often call out the fans in the videos and respond to them,” he said. Iron Sink is best known for producing one of the most popular Web shows of all times, “Roommates.” That show ran on MySpace, received 25 million views and was regarded as one of the early breakout Web hits. Mr. Zakarin helped land Ford and Fresh Look Contacts as advertisers for that series.
In the mix: Other Iron Sink projects include “Model Ball” and “The Shatner Project” with William Shatner. The competition for advertising dollars for Iron Sink includes television, magazines, radio and the Internet. Online, Iron Sink competes with CollegeHumor.com, Break.com, Generate, Revision3 and 60 Frames, among others.
The pros: IronSink has landed some early hits with “Roommates” and its work with Mr. Shatner.
The cons: IronSink is competing in a crowded field against well-heeled firms such as Next New Networks and established comedians now working online such as Seth MacFarlane. Standing out from the crowd grows more challenging each day.
Background: Mr. Zakarin created the interactive Web show “The Spot” back in 1995, then went on to work on projects with AOL, Mr. Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, and comic book icon Stan Lee. Mr. Zakarin co-founded Iron Sink in 2006 and now writes and produces many of the company’s Web series.