Jun Group Continues to Grow

Getting into podcasting is an interesting endeavor to say the least. It has ups and downs, but then again nothing is ever guaranteed on the Internet let alone the field of entertainment.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

Knowing the ups and downs is one way of dealing with the intellectual weather – and not many know this better then Jun Group. They took a chance to produce a show based on people who, at the very least, would strike as a person of interest to any individual.

There was a large controversy surrounding the show called “The Scene.” In particular was the alleged ties between them and Sony. The conspiracy theories hit a peak when episode 9 was released as it depicted the character “Drosan” leaning back to reveal “Sony.” When asked to comment, it was a mere joke and not meant to be taken seriously. If it was a joke, then it backfired in one of the more horrible ways possible.

Six months later, the conspiracy theory climate seems to have dissipated dramatically. To talk about the situation today and the possible future of Jun Group, Slyck was able to talk to “Corey” who is involved in the video production aspect of Jun Entertainment.

When asked about the morale of the team during the height of the rumors, Corey merely replied, “Nah, we don’t care.” Oddly enough this is a very similar reaction from 3D Realms, who dealt with the pressure to release the eternally developed Duke Nukem Forever. One of their comments was how they “developed thick skins” by this point in time.

Corey went on to say, “The conspiracy isn’t truth, but any publicity= traffic and traffic=bigger audience. We just want people to watch.”

It may have been reasonable to assume that the conspiracy theories led to a faster then normal audience growth, particularly because people may be interested in what everyone was talking about. Corey commented on what caused rises in popularity, “Well, whatever traffic the Slyck article resulted in, I guess the only major story that effected our traffic a bit was ’Teh Scene’ (besides the conspiracy) traffic from that, as well as Slashdot.”

There is also the issue of each episode being released monthly. The only other well known group that has had sparse releases in their shows was Revision 3, particularly with the show called “The Broken.” When asked about the possibility of even switching to a bi-monthly release pattern instead of a monthly pattern, Corey said, “Oh, we’d love to, but it’s just a part-time job for us – we don’t make any money making it, so we have to make it when we have the time. We love making the show… but it just takes that long for us to get the writing done and the capturing done…the edit time –> release is short, but everything before that is what takes a while.”

If one is watching the show, they may note an absence of actual physical action. “We thought about having some sort of full action within that show but the reality is I think we’re leaving that format in tact with only some small changes (like what we did with the power outage in a recent episode)” Corey also pointed out, “We have a ton of things coming down the pipeline though, Marcus being the first.”

Corey explained, “We paired with Sprite (their funding) to create a full motion TV show for free.”

When asked what other shows Jun Group plan on releasing, Corey said, “Nothing specific I can tell you, but we’re real excited. Perhaps (as excited when we first announced “The Scene

There is always the issue of sponsorship as well. Some creators like Leo Laporte of TWiT would brush sponsorship off and simply say that they don’t need sponsorship, but donations are nice. Other’s, like Revision 3 seek out sponsorship to help create their shows. So what about the approach Jun has taken? Corey explains about how Sponsorship is handled for the Show “The Scene”:

“It’s open-ended. Since people still seem to enjoy the show, we really have no clear idea how long it will go on.” Corey then explained how the new show worked, “Our other show, Marcus Hates His Job, was designed to be three episodes long.”

Corey then explains sponsorship in general in relation to Jun Group, “The whole idea of a sponsor is to showcase the brand. At this point, however, our main focus isn’t signing up sponsors for The Scene, it’s creating new shows like Marcus Hates His Job. The only sponsor we’ve had for The Scene is a skateboard company called Freebord. The show’s popularity has helped us gain other clients. Freebord had a great experience with us.” Corey went on, “They had an immediate and sizeable spike in Web site traffic. They also had some nice press mentions. Since none of us knew at that time what to expect, it’s not as if we’d set specific success parameters.”

One would think sponsorship has some form of “artistic influence” on production. It certainly seems that way when one watches ‘Marcus Hates His Job’ as every episode shows at least one shot of people drinking ‘Sprite.’ According to Corey, not so, “We write the shows ourselves and nobody else has any say in the scripts or the production.”

Critics also have said that ‘The Scene’ is anti-piracy propaganda. It was so great, Jun included it in their FAQ as a rebuttal to the claims, “The cops haven’t caught Brian yet, have they?” In terms of messages, Corey said, “Our show isn’t about advertising a product – it’s about entertainment. Each time we write an episode, we set out to make it fresh, engaging, and fun. Those are our only goals.” Also, in terms of making any sort of statement, Corey had this to say, “We’re not trying make any kind of statement with the show, or send any kind message. We’re not pro-piracy or anti-piracy. We’re not doing what we do on behalf of anybody else. We just do it because we like it – and because lots of other people all over the world like it, too.”

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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