Ad Age Digital:

A year ago, Los Angeles improv artists Douglas Saline and Kent Nichols were out of work and nearly destitute.

Today, as creators and operators of the “Ask a Ninja” website and podcast, they run an expanding media property selling ad space at $50 CPM to companies such as Sony and Warner Bros.

Last year, after fruitlessly trying to sell a ninja movie script to Hollywood, the duo decided to produce a snippet of content themselves, offer it directly to consumers for download and see what happens.

Today, the venture has become much more than a simple podcast. Saline and Nichols have together produced 47 four-minute “Ask a Ninja” podcast episodes that average 200,000 U.S. downloads a week. Askaninja.com, where fans can watch video versions of the Ninja, pose questions and buy branded Ninja gear, has 3 million visits a month.

Photo by Ad Age.