‘The Little Webseries That Could’: how a 19th century novella engaged young women’s hearts – and social media feeds

TV ratings are almost universally down. The format is suffering from strong competition from the likes of Netflix, Hulu, your uncle’s dodgy Chromecast app, and just good old peer-to-peer pirating. The season premiere of this year’s X Factor – a familiar talent show that usually signals to the TV-watching public that it’s almost Christmas – gathered a mere 6.9 million viewers at its peak. 6.9 million is hardly scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel, but it is indicative of a shift in the way we communicate with our media.

So what if I told you that a small Canadian webseries funded almost exclusively by a tampon brand has generated over 70 million streaming views to date? Chances are you haven’t heard of Carmilla, but the 220,000+ fans who successfully crowdfunded the series’ first feature film can certainly tell you a few things.

The main cast of The Carmilla Movie: (L-R) Mel Callis (Nicole Stamp), Wilson Kirsch (Matt O’Connor), Laura Hollis (Elise Bauman), Carmilla Karnstein (Natasha Negovanlis), Lola Perry (Annie Briggs), and LaFontaine (Kaitlyn Alexander)

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