The short-form serial thriller keeps inching its way toward mainstream consumption, as's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Unbox service welcomes an unlikely entry to its bestseller list. Prom Queen, the high-school whodunit that aired in brief daily springtime installments through sites like News Corp.'s (NYSE:NWS) MySpace, is the 37th top-selling digital download on Amazon.

Why is something that was delivered for free online now being snapped up, in an ad-free full-season set, for $9.99? It may be that Amazon, the exclusive seller of the entire series, is promoting the purchase on its Unbox landing page. It may be that consumers are beginning to approach online shows the same way they do network broadcasts, snapping up full seasons on DVD.

At the very least, this should give other clip-culture scripted hits like Lonelygirl15 and Chad Vader an incremental revenue stream to consider, beyond ad revenue sharing, product placements, and merchandise.

Prom Queen is the handiwork of Vuguru, the Michael Eisner-backed company that also put out last year's Sam Has 7 Friends.

Even though many of the shows air on several video-sharing sites, they usually have a hub. Lonelygirl15 started out as a sensation on Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube. Sam Has 7 Friends had its best following through Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Prom Queen partnered with MySpace to make sure that the social networking site had the latest installments first.

With Amazon touting its exclusive rights to sell Prom Queen -- or charge viewers $3.99 for a 30-day download -- don't be surprised to see others jump on the bandwagon. Exclusive sales through Apple's iTunes, or a freebie stream for Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) subscribers, should be a future staple in the clip-culture revolution.

So go ahead and check out Prom Queen, if you want to watch five nominees stop at nothing -- even murder -- to score the coveted prom-night tiara. However, there's no mystery when it comes to short-form serial thrillers. At a time when content is king, original online video series are being crowned as queen.

Bite-sized snippets of related Foolishness: and Netflix are Motley Fool Stock Advisor stock picks. A free 30-day trial subscription to Tom and David Gardner's investing newsletter will last as long as that 30-day rental.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is ready to officially classify himself as a clip-culture junkie. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story, save for Netflix. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.