The Webisode is the perfect arena for the start up director. The budgets are low, the length is manageable, and there are even sites dedicated to finding funding for such things. The best are very good and are being picked up by sponsors, the bad are very bad but that does not mean they don't find an audience. Maybe, in retrospect you might prefer that they did not get an audience. Remember, if you put it on the web, it'll stay there forever!!!
Even so, nobody can complain that they never get an even break. Here the playing field is level. All you need to do is pick up your camcorder and get out there and make some interesting stuff. If you get an audience, then you have financial possibilities opening up for you, and that is what we all love to have. There is no guarantee that it will lead to big blockbuster bucks, but unlike before, your ticket to the lottery is cheaper than it has ever been.
There seems to be four varieties of webisode:1) Those that can be classified as "amateur dramatics" where the main audience are those involved in the production, their friends, their parents, and others interested in producing similar material.
2) Niche market, local productions aimed at a defined audience capturing advertising and sponsorship dollars from corporations who percieve the audience as being their customers.
3) The neophite productions team producing a product for a broad based audience that may or may not help them move into Broadcast TV, or feature films. They would view this as a proof of concept or a demonstration of their talents.
4) The studio made TV show that is being released on the Broadband market either simultaneously with Broadcast or as a preliminary "off Broadcast" release.
All of which are perfectly valid reasons for attempting such shows though one has to be careful and understand which arena you are playing in otherwise one can be disappointed or simply waste time promoting oneself to markets that will never respond. You will know this by the fact that despite whatever brilliance your product has, nobody even so much as gives you a hit let alone sticks around long enough to write a review telling you it sucks.