Scheduled to appear at both the 19th Annual American Black Film Festival taking place in New York City, June 11-14, and Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Summit May 13-15 in Atlanta, Black and Sexy TV co-founders, Numa Perrier and Dennis Dortch, are panelists who will offer insights on how to navigate through and monetize a Web series. The perfect duo to share advice, Perrier and Dortch are superstars— together with their team of Brian Ali Harding and Jeanine Daniels —when it comes to the success of their dynamic brand Black & Sexy, a platform that aims to provide content that represents black consumers searching for images representative of their experience and world.
With unique storylines and YouTube Subscribers in the 6-digit range, their 8.6 million monthly views to content have led to a successful newly launched subscription service that takes the Black & Sexy brand to a pay-per-view design level. Giving a glimpse into the advice they plan to offer at ABFF, Perrier and Dortch talk how facing truths and healthy financial outlooks are key to growing a dream.
Black Enterprise: As superstars in the Web series world, what question are you asked the most about your success?
Numa Perrier: ‘How do you make the money?’ It makes me sad sometimes because it’s indicative of people’s mentality. I love money, but we don’t do this for the money. We do it for the passion. When you’re doing it for the passion and for how you see it affecting the community, and your life purpose fits into it, then the money comes with it.
I understand the question; People need to make money. But it’s really about changing your attitude about money—that will help you define what you should be doing and how it will make you lucrative. That’s the first thing you have to solve. And whatever you do will benefit from the paradigm shift in your mind.
So in your opinion, what’s the key thing people need to know about the route to Web series success?
Dennis Dortch: People are looking for a shortcut to TV and they always run into a brick wall. You have to be committed to the Web world. It’s different. You have to be offering something that’s not currently offered. People are looking for something fresh. People try to find a quick way and aren’t treating the Web as its own entity or animal. They aren’t respecting that.
The launch of your subscription service last month is off to a great start. Talk a bit about that.
Dortch: It’s amazing. We’re glad we did it. This is our first time going for it and we’ve been prepping for a year. We’re still learning as we go along, but just opening the door and saying we’re open for business— taking that leap of faith—it was a little bit scary. Numa has a more fearless attitude, and I’m more calculating. We pushed forward. We’re creative people as well as business people and those two sides pull at us. But in the end you’re talking about affecting people’s emotions. So it takes both sides of the brain and now the eyes are open and we can see how we’re building out this platform and library. It’s been an amazing time. We hit our first goal as far as subscriptions. And now we know we have so much to offer.
For those who have been on the path for years and are having difficulties, what would you say to them?
Dortch: Not everybody’s going to make it. So the best thing is to be honest and say, ‘Am I the right person? Is this the right thing for me?’ And if you can answer the question, the next is maybe I need consultation or to step back for a second.’ This is not easy and if I was doing it by myself, I wouldn’t be as far as I am without my team or partner. I think I have a lot to offer, but you always have to come together like transformers. You build relationships and you don’t know till you’re in it and till it’s done. But it’s just really perseverance. If you really believe that vision, you should keep going.
Perrier: People will say they’re hitting brick walls, but you have to strip it down and say, ‘What am I doing?’ Look at the last 12 months and see what they’re doing. Are they consistent? Have they identified their audience? I’d send them a checklist. And I think you find a lot who are hitting brick walls are not doing what they need to do. I think a lot of people want shortcuts.
The Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit hosted by Nationwide is set for May 13-16, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Expect innovative sessions, high-powered speakers, and an early peek at the products, trends, and services you’ll need to stay ahead of the curve. To register and find out more, visit www.blackenterprise.com/es/. Join us at the Entrepreneurs Summit, Where Innovation and Capital Meet.
Black Enterprise and Film Life present The 19th Annual American Black Film Festival June 11-June 14 in New York City. To register now and find out more visit, ABFF.com. Join us at The American Black Film Festival, the largest gathering for film and TV enthusiasts