Having just completed production on the forthcoming DVD release of “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” (available for pre-order from Amazon.com), creator Joss Whedon posted a comment on Whedonesque thanking his fans and giving an upbeat account of the current state of the project’s finances. Whedon writes:
Finally, I just want to say “thank you” to everybody who has supported this venture. We’ve been able to pay our crew and all our bills, which means a lot. What means more is proving that completely independent ventures can muscle their way through the blizzard of big-budget behemoths. (A blizzard of behemoths? Back to writing school, alliteration-junkie!) All that rhetoric about the future of entertainment that flew about during the Strike is still entirely true. We need to find our own way of producing entertainment. A lot of people are watching Dr. Horrible to see if it’s any kind of model — way more people than I expected — and it means everything to me to help pave the way for artists to start working and making a living from the ground up.
A lot of people are watching this experiment in self-production and Web distribution. It’s encouraging that Dr. Horrible as taken off the way it has. As I’ve said before, this project deserves an in-depth case study that details how each of the various distribution methods — iTunes sales, Hulu ad sponsorship, and (soon) DVD sales — have faired in generating revenue.
I hope Whedon will eventually spill all the details about the monetization of this project. (Joss: Did I mention that I cover technology and new media for Knowledge@Wharton, the business journal of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania? Call me. We’ll talk.)
[Update:] I did, in fact, subsequently get in touch with Whedon for an in-depth interview for Knowledge@Wharton. You can read it here: Joss Whedon’s Plan to Monetize Internet Content (Watch Out, Hollywood).
Shortly afterward, I briefly spoke with Whedon again at New York Comic Con: Joss Whedon: Storytelling in Different Media