- Getting Familiarized
- Execs: Funding a Show on Mobcaster
- Starting a Show on Mobcaster
- While In Funding
- Life After Funding
- Mobcaster TV
- Monetization and Fees
- Account Issues
- Contact Us
What is Mobcaster?
Mobcaster is the first crowd-funded online TV channel; a new platform focused completely on finding, funding and broadcasting independent television online.
How does it work?
Aspiring TV creators pitch their TV show concepts directly to the audience. Audience members can then decide which shows are of interest and fund them! Shows raise funding initially for a Pilot episode, and subsequently to create complete Seasons. These shows have the opportunity to then get broadcast on Mobcaster TV where they can be enjoyed for free, while the TV creators can profit from their hard work.
What can I find on Mobcaster?
Mobcaster is the only place where you will find original, independent, true TV format programming. That means all shows on Mobcaster are in half hour or hour long format, just like on TV. Mobcaster does not discriminate on genre, and you’ll find everything from dramas to sitcoms to reality to news. Whatever television you’re interested in, you’ll find on Mobcaster.
Who can create a show on Mobcaster?
In principle anyone can try to fund a TV series through Mobcaster. All we care about is that a show contains no objectionable or illegal content (such as extreme violence or pornography), that a show comes in the traditional half or full hour TV format and that the Showrunners are serious about the show they are submitting to the audience. The Mobcaster team screens every potential show for those three standards before allowing it to go into funding.
What is a “Showrunner”?
Any TV creator who has his or her show up for funding on Mobcaster is called a “Showrunner”.
What is an “Exec”?
An “Exec” is the name for somebody who funds one or more shows on Mobcaster. The power formerly reserved for studios or networks now lies with you!
Why do people fund shows?
Execs fund shows on Mobcaster for various reasons. Lots of Execs feel they want to be more directly involved with their TV shows than traditional TV allows. Others take great pride in enabling budding TV creators to showcase their material. Finally there are Execs who are attracted to the specific rewards of a particular Mobcaster show.
Regardless the reason, one thing is true for all Execs: through Mobcaster they can, for the first time, decide which TV shows end up on screen.
What is “must-complete” funding?
Mobcaster uses the principal of “must-complete” funding. This means that Showrunners set a funding goal for their show which they have to reach (or surpass) within a time frame of their choosing (up to 90 days). If they do, the Showrunners get to keep the money they’ve raised. If they don’t, Execs account do not get charged and the Showrunners receive nothing.
How can I share Mobcaster and Mobcaster TV shows socially?
Each show can be shared via Facebook, Twitter, email and links. Just click on the little icons above the video on any Show Page. You can also choose to follow a show and keep in the loop on important updates by clicking on the ”Follow” button found right alongside the social media buttons.
What is the Mobcaster Messaging System?
The Mobcaster Messaging System is an internal message system that allows Mobcaster members to communicate with each other. It can be used for Showrunners to update Execs and Followers on show progress or related information, and for Execs and Followers to communicate with Showrunners they've supported.
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EXECS: FUNDING A SHOW ON MOBCASTER
How do I become an Exec?
Mobcaster Execs are people who have funded one or more shows on Mobcaster. So in order to become Exec, all you have to do is contribute to the funding of a show on Mobcaster.
Who can become an Exec?
Anyone anywhere! All you need is a PayPal account (note however that Showrunners cannot fund their own shows).
How do I fund a show?
Funding is easy. Just find a show you like on Mobcaster and click the "Fund This Show" button. You will immediately be taken to the Funding page where you enter the amount you want to fund and select the reward you would like in exchange for your contribution. When you have entered your amount and chosen your reward, you click the "Continue To Payment Info" button and you will be taken to PayPal, our payment processor. Here you will be asked to log in to PayPal and validate your payment authorization. You must have a credit card attached to your Paypal account or a Paypal balance greater than the amount you are funding. When you are finished entering your information you will be taken back to Mobcaster. Your PayPal account will not be charged unless the show you have pledged to reaches its funding goal.
What do I need to fund a show?
To fund a show you need a PayPal account with either a credit card attached or sufficient money in the account.
Bank accounts on your PayPal account don’t work to send payment, but you might need one attached if you’re sending a large amount. Attaching a bank account makes you “Verified”, which means any sending limit on your PayPal account is removed, though we still need the credit card attached or PayPal funds to make for the payment.
New accounts usually have a yearly sending limit of $2,000 (USD).
Check your sending limits by logging into your PayPal account and clicking “View Limits” on the right side.
Can I get my contribution refunded?
Contributions to shows that have successfully reached their funding goal are final and non-refundable.
Can I cancel my contribution?
Until a show reaches its funding goal you can cancel your payment authorization if need be through your PayPal account. However, once you've made the funding contribution, the Showrunner is relying on your support, so only cancel if really necessary.
Is there a limit on how much I can pledge?
At this time, the maximum one-time contribution limit allowed is $5,000 USD per preapproval. However, if you'd like to contribute more, just fund again!
You may only be able to pledge $2,000 or even less if your account is unverified with PayPal. To verify your account:
- log in to your PayPal account at paypal.com
- click View Limits underneath your name
- click Lift Limit next to the Sending Limit
- follow the steps to link a bank account
NOTE: Even though a bank account is needed to get your PayPal account verified, we can only take the payment from a PayPal balance or a credit card, not the bank account directly.
When is my account charged?
When you decide to fund a show, you will be giving a payment authorization, through PayPal, for your funding amount. Your account will only be charged if the show you have chosen to fund reaches its funding goal. If that project does not reach its funding goal, your account will not be charged and you pay nothing.
What happens if a show I’ve funded doesn’t reach its goal?
The Exec pays nothing, and the show doesn’t get produced through Mobcaster.
Can I fund multiple phases of one show?
Absolutely! Successful shows could require funding for their initial Pilot, 1st Season and even multiple Seasons after that. Every phase is funded separately and has its own list of Execs.
Is the amount I’ve funded publicly displayed?
No. Some information like your name and the date you pledged will be shown on the Show Page and your Profile Page, but we do not publicly show the amount you have funded.
When I fund a show, what information does the Showrunner receive?
When a show is successfully funded, the Showrunner will see information such as your name and the date you became an Exec. The Showrunner for that show will also get your Mobcaster email address and funding amount in order that he or she can contact you for necessary information to fulfill rewards owed.
How do I keep track of the success of a show I have contributed to?
Mobcaster encourages Showrunners to communicate with their Execs through the Show Page with updates and posts about a show’s progress whenever possible, including when a show successfully reaches its funding goal. Execs can also communicate with Showrunners through the Mobcaster Messaging System, where they can send and receive messages.
Do I have to receive email notifications?
No, you can choose to opt-out of notifications regarding show highlights and updates on your Manage Profile page, but you might miss out on time sensitive show information.
How else can I fund a show other than through PayPal?
For the time being, you can only fund through PayPal, as they support Mobcaster's "must-complete" funding structure.
The show reached its goal, but PayPal is not able to process my payment, why?
Your payment may not be going through for one of three reasons:
- There is no balance in your PayPal account or no credit card attached
- The credit card on the account is expired
- You’re funding a large amount and you have a sending limit on your PayPal account (only an issue for unverified PayPal accounts).
Check your PayPal account to see if any of these are the problem.
If you have a sending limit, see here
(is there a limit on how much I can pledge) on steps to get verified and remove the limit.
Are my contributions tax-deductible?
No, Mobcaster does not facilitate funding for non-profit or charitable organizations.
How do I know whether Showrunners are truthfully representing themselves and their shows?
All pitches and the Showrunners are screened by Mobcaster to ensure they meet our criteria to launch a show on Mobcaster before going “live”. We also encourage our Showrunners to be as transparent about themselves and their shows as possible. However, Mobcaster can make no representation about any show or Showrunner. Mobcaster succeeds in large part because of the honesty of all its users.
How do I know that I will get my reward?
It is each Showrunner’s responsibility to deliver the rewards offered. If a Showrunner has not fulfilled a reward as promised, please let us know – it is our policy to block such Showrunners from using Mobcaster in the future.
How do I follow up on a reward I’m owed?
We recommend that Showrunners regularly update their Execs on their reward status by posting an update on their Show Page or by contacting their Execs directly through the Mobcaster Messaging System, where Execs can also get in touch directly to inquire about reward information.
How can I track updates?
If you are an Exec or Show Follower for a Show, you can select to be notified via email when a new Show Update is posted. This can be selected on your Edit Profile Page under the "Notifications" tab.
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STARTING A SHOW ON MOBCASTER
How do I start a show?
Creating a Mobcaster account: Click "Register" in the top right corner. You will need to fill in your name, email, username, and password; or you can also register through Facebook Connect (located on the same page).
Linking your PayPal account: Click "Create TV" then the "Start Your Project Today" button. You can then enter and confirm your PayPal email address which will link your Mobcaster account to your PayPal account in order for you to receive payments. If you do not have a PayPal account, just follow the link to PayPal where you can register for one, and then return to Mobcaster to enter and confirm it. You will need to have a PayPal verified Premier or verified Business account.
Starting your project: After linking your PayPal account you will be directed to Mobcaster's "Start Your Project" page. Here you will be guided through eight easy steps to create your show. You will have to input some basic information for your show as well as upload your pitch video of up to 3 ½ minutes (or your entire Pilot if you are funding for a season). You will also have to input your rewards. At any point you can save this form and return to complete it later. Once completed you are now ready to submit your show by clicking the "Submit Show" button. The Mobcaster team will review your show campaign and let you know if anything is missing or that you are ready to launch.
Does it have to be a TV show? What about a film or a short web series?
Mobcaster is exclusively focused on TV format content, so film or short web series are a no go.
What qualifies as a “TV show”?
A “TV show” is a show that’s either 22-30 minutes or 44-60 minutes long so that it can fill either a half or a full hour timeslot with commercials.
What is a “Pilot”?
A Pilot is the first episode of an intended television series.
What is a “Season”?
A Season on Mobcaster consists of six (6) episodes. As a result, a show’s First Season on Mobcaster consists of its Pilot and five (5) additional episodes.
Why TV format?
Mobcaster wants to make its shows as appealing as possible to viewers, advertisers and even traditional TV networks. “TV format” allows your show the best opportunity to attract an audience, make money and possibly go on to a traditional TV run.
What is required to start?
Your “Pitch” which consists of:
- Basic information about you and your show- its title, your name, etc. (must be 18 or older)
- Show description
- Funding goal and deadline
- Up to a 3.5 minute video, if seeking funding for a Pilot or a Pilot video if seeking funding for a Season
- Script or treatment (won’t be made public unless you specifically request that it be shared)
- Non-monetary rewards
- PayPal verified Premier or verified Business account
Is there anything else you recommend I post with my Pitch?
Transparency is key when fund-raising for a show. With that in mind, we recommend also posting:
- A budget or cost breakdown – so Execs can see where their money is going
- Script/treatment excerpt – so Execs can get a sample of what to expect from the show
- Any other info about the show or Showrunners you think would be useful
You can easily add these materials during the upload process.
What should I include in my 3.5 min Pitch video?
It’s up to you. The video you use in funding for your Pilot can be a sizzle reel or teaser from the Pilot itself, a direct address from the Showrunners or if you prefer, something totally unique to your show.
Why are Pitch videos capped at 3.5 min?
Keeping pitches short and to the point makes it easier for your audience to get a good sense of your show and its potential.
What video should I use if I’m funding for my Season?
In this case the best representation of your show is your Pilot. In certain, specific cases Mobcaster may allow Showrunners to fund for a season with a 3.5 min pitch video instead of a complete Pilot.
How should I encode my video and what file size should it be?
For the video and audio codec we recommend using H.264 and AAC respectively. However, other accepted video codec's are, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VP5, VP6, H.263, WMV/WMA, and MJPEG. Other acceptable audio codecs are, MP3, WMA, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, WAV, ADPCM, and Uncompressed. The recommended framerate should be encoded in 24,25, or 30 fps. Also the maximum frame size is 1280 x 720.
How many images can I have for my show?
In addition to the video, shows are required to have a still image to go with the Pitch. Only one image may be used as the thumbnail for your show.
What file size should my image be?
The file size should be at least 880x495. The ideal aspect ratio is 16:9. If a photo is a different aspect ratio it is cropped to the middle.
I’m nervous about making my show or script public, I don’t want someone to rip off my idea. How can I protect myself?
and the WGA
Who owns my show?
You do! Showrunners retain all control throughout the Mobcaster process.However, if a show through its success on Mobcaster (if it has successfully funded a season or more) has the opportunity for further production or exploitation (like a network pickup!) or subsequent distribution, Mobcaster then gets to come along for the ride with a minority participation.
If my show doesn’t reach its funding goal do I receive any money?
No. Our “must-complete” funding model means that you only get money if you reach your goal.
What if I raise more than my funding goal?
That’s great! Funds raised above your goal are yours to keep.
Can I change my funding goal mid-stream?
No can do. Once a show has begun funding, the goal is set. So set your goal carefully!
Can I change my funding deadline?
Changing a funding deadline is permitted prior to launching your funding period only. Once your funding period has started, that deadline is set.
Can I change any show information?
Before your show launches for funding, all show information can be edited. Once the funding period starts, however, most information (such as your video, funding goal, etc.) pertaining to the Pitch cannot be altered.
Can a show have multiple Showrunners?
Yes. A show must have at least one principal Showrunner, but more than one Showrunner is permitted.
Can I launch more than one show at a time?
Yes, Showrunners may be allowed to launch more than one show for funding simultaneously, but they will have to get approval first by Mobcaster to do so.
Can I divide the funding for my Pilot or Season into multiple segments and fund more than once for a given phase?
No. You can only fund for each stage (i.e. Pilot or Season) of your show as a whole. Showrunners cannot split up funding for Pilots or Seasons into separate phases for each.
Why do I need to set rewards?
Rewards are a great way to incentivize your audience to fund your show. All Showrunners must offer non-monetary rewards, and are encouraged to make their rewards as creative and unique to their project as possible.
What sort of rewards should I offer?
Something thoughtful and related to your show. Be creative – you can offer almost anything but do not offer money, pornography, drugs, alcohol, guns or anything else prohibited by law!
Do I have to specify the quantity of a reward?
Yes, you need to specify how many of any offered reward you want to give out. There’s no limit though, so feel free to offer as many as you like (and can fulfill!).
Do rewards have to stay the same throughout each funding phase of the show?
No. Rewards are tied to fundraising phases, not the entire life of a show. Consequently, each fundraise you do (for Pilot or for a Season, for example) must have its own rewards. Be careful however, to offer something which you can actually provide (remember you have to physically mail all those posters to your execs).
What should rewards cost?
You set the levels however you want.
Why do I need a PayPal account?
PayPal handles our payment processing and facilitates Mobcaster's "must- complete" funding process.
How do I get set up to receive my funding?
Once you attempt to create your first Mobcaster show Pitch, you'll be directed to enter your PayPal email address or linked to PayPal if you don't have a PayPal account already to create one.
What kind of PayPal account do I need?
To be a Showrunner you need either a verified Premier or a verified Business PayPal account. If your account is not verified, PayPal will limit the amount you can withdraw in a given month to $500, see here
How do I verify my PayPal account?
In the US you can either add and confirm your bank account to your PayPal account or get approval for a PayPal credit card, see here
. Internationally, you can see how to verify your account by clicking here
to set your local country, then click the "Help" button followed by the "Manage My Account" tab.
How do I change my PayPal account settings?
My show was successfully funded, how to I get paid?
Once a funding campaign is successfully completed, PayPal will transfer funds from the Execs' PayPal accounts into your PayPal account, minus Mobcaster and PayPal's applicable fees. At that point you can transfer funds to your bank account, which may take 3-4 days, see here
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WHILE IN FUNDING
Can I change the information about my show once it’s in funding?
Can I change my rewards once I’m in funding?
Once funding has started, the rewards themselves and the quantities of each are locked in. If you want to add further rewards, you must contact the Mobcaster team.
What if I have to cancel my show mid-way through funding?
You’re allowed to cancel your show if need be while it is still funding. Contact the Mobcaster team if you need to do so. We advise Showrunners who wish to do so to be very cautious as taking down their show may hurt their future chances of pitching a show and raising funds from the audience.
If I don’t reach my funding goal, can I try again with the same show?
Not in the exact same form. But you are allowed to re-submit the project with changes. We don’t want to give our audience the same project they have rejected.
What happens if I reach my goal early?
That’s great! Keep going until time runs out; anything you raise above your initial goal is yours (minus applicable fees of course).
What if I can’t deliver the show as pitched?
If your show is still in funding and you realize you can't execute your pitch, you must contact Mobcaster to cancel your pitch and notify your Execs that you are taking your show out of consideration. No accounts will be charged.
Can I donate to my own show?
No, Showrunners are not allowed to fund their own shows.
How is an “Update” different from a “Buzz”?
Updates are posts that Showrunners can send to keep their Execs in the loop on the progress of their show, either during or after fund-raising.
Buzzes are thoughts that Execs and viewers might have on a show that they post to share with other Execs or viewers. Anyone who is an Exec for a show or is following a show can comment on an Update, while any user logged-in to Mobcaster can comment on a Buzz.
Why send updates?
Updates are a great way to keep your Execs and followers involved with the progress of your show, while in funding, production or while streaming. Whether it is to thank them for having helped reach a funding milestone or share exciting news from the set, updates are the best way to keep your audience in the loop and excited about the show. Mobcaster encourages Showrunners to update as frequently as possible.
How is sending an update different from sending a message using the Messaging System?
Updates are for all Execs, Followers and Users to see - they are great to keep people in the loop about the progress of your show. Messaging allows you to communicate more privately and individually with your Execs about issues like their rewards or Exec-only events.
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LIFE AFTER FUNDING
My Pilot was successfully funded! Now what?
Congratulations! Now the funds raised are yours (minus applicable fees), go and shoot your Pilot! Make sure to fulfill all promised rewards and keep your Execs and followers in the loop through frequent updates. Then, when you’re done, bring it back to Mobcaster and fund-raise for a First Season.
My First Season was successfully funded! Now what?
Good Job! Now the funds raised are yours (minus applicable fees), go and shoot the additional 5 episodes to complete the First Season! Make sure to fulfill all promised rewards and keep your Execs and followers in the loop throughout with frequent updates. Then, when you're done, bring it back to Mobcaster to stream on Mobcaster TV.
I’ve shot my Pilot, am I obligated to use Mobcaster to fund my Season?
No, you’re free to do with your Pilot as you like. However, you now have a loyal following waiting for you, so if you come back and fund your First Season at Mobcaster, that audience will be there, ready to watch your show on Mobcaster TV.
How do I fulfill my rewards to my Execs?
If funding is successful, Showrunners should contact their Execs as soon as possible through the Mobcaster Messaging System in order to find out any additional information necessary to fulfill the rewards (eg. mailing addresses).
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What is Mobcaster TV?
Mobcaster TV is our online TV channel that is exclusively dedicated to the television shows that the audience has funded through Mobcaster for a Season or more. It is also the only place to find independent, original TV programming!
What kind of content can I find on Mobcaster TV?
You’ll find various genres of TV programming on Mobcaster TV such as dramas, comedies, reality shows… whatever type of TV show you funded through!
I am not an Exec for any show funded through Mobcaster. Can I view programming on Mobcaster TV?
Yes! Everybody is welcome to watch the programming on Mobcaster TV. Of course we hope it will entice you to start funding other new shows on Mobcaster.
What if I have interest in my show from other distributors?
That's great too! You are free to take your show anywhere you choose but remember, you have a built-in audience already at Mobcaster.
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MONETIZATION AND FEES
What does it cost to view shows on Mobcaster or Mobcaster TV?
Nothing! Browsing and watching shows on Mobcaster or Mobcaster TV is entirely free for everyone
What does it cost to create a show pitch?
What are Mobcaster’s fees for show funding?
Mobcaster charges 5% of all funds raised – only if you have achieved your fund-raising goal.
What are PayPal's fees for payment processing?
PayPal charges processing fees of around 3% of contributions made to successfully funded projects. If a project does not reach its funding goal, PayPal will not charge a fee. For more information see here
How does a Showrunner monetize his or her show on Mobcaster TV?
Mobcaster sells advertising around the series broadcast on Mobcaster TV and all Showrunners of such shows are entitled to half of our net advertising revenue. Because Mobcaster TV is dedicated to audience supported (and funded!) TV, Showrunners will have the opportunity for greater revenue participation than nearly anywhere else online!
If my series gets picked up by a network or another distribution platform, what is Mobcaster’s fee?
We hope all series on Mobcaster go on to highly lucrative runs on traditional TV or elsewhere. If you have funded at least a First Season of a show on Mobcaster and it gets picked up by another distribution outlet, Mobcaster is entitled to certain rights, including a fifteen percent (15%) participation as per the Mobcaster Producer’s Agreement.
What is the Mobcaster Producer’s Agreement?
It's the agreement that Mobcaster and its Showrunners enter into when funding for a First Season that reflects what both are entitled to with the Show on Mobcaster or elsewhere. See the Producer’s Agreement
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How can I create an account?
Either create a new account with your email address and a password or login via Facebook Connect on the Sign up/Login page.
How do I change my account info?
Email, name, photo and all other user info can be changed via the “Manage Profile” page under the “Profile” or “Account” tabs.
How do I manage my notifications?
You can manage which e-mails you want to receive as well as other preferences at your “Manage Profile” page, under “Notifications”.
Can I switch my login info from Facebook connect to a regular Mobcaster account?
Yes, you can manage your login information on your profile account page.
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Send us a message here
Email us directly at email@example.com
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