Thursday, March 08, 2007

On the Debut of Next New Networks

Bob Pittman (image via cnn)

What is this "Next New Networks" that involves MTV co-founder Bob Pittman's Pilot Group? Apparently, it is being run by a lot of former well-respected old hands at the television business, taking advantage of the possibilities of Web 2.0. From their website: "Next New Networks is a new kind of media company, creating micro-television networks over the internet for targeted communities, bringing together elements of tv programming and internet philosophy to allow viewers to contribute, share and distribute content.

"Our aim is to be of the communities, as each network is populated by key creative people of the audiences they serve. In other words, we want our networks to go where the audiences that share an interest are, whether it's their blog, a friend's profile page, or wherever they go regularly to find more of the things they love.

"We're looking to be available everywhere, from phones to iPods and gaming devices, to whatever the next platform is. Each of our micro-networks consists of 3-11 minutes of content refreshed on a schedule, daily, weekly, or bi-weekly (depending on the network), and offers one or more regular shows."

Sounds interesting. The blog posts are filled with excitement and more than a little trepidation about the "Wild West" aspect of v-blogging, which is a good business attitude to have approaching this ever-changing industry. From Paidcontent:

"Next New Networks will get a lot of mileage with its plans for 101 micro nets in five years but it’s only launching with five. Luckily, it also comes with a pedigree—the co-founders include former MTVN exec Herb Scannell, former Sundance COO Jed Simmonds, former Hanna-Barbera president Fred Seibert—and $8 million in funding led by Spark Capital. Other initial investors included Bob Pittman’s Pilot Group (Pittman also was an MTV exec before AOL) and Christiane zu Salm, founder of German interactive TV channel 9Live. Publicity for the launch included word that more investors-- Saban Capital Group and Benchmark Capital Europe— had joined the first round but Scannell told me that the amount of money raised didn’t increase. The company also announced the addition of Jon Miller, former chairman and CEO of AOL, to the board of directors. Scannell is CEO; the company has 13 employees and some freelancers.

"The first five micro-nets each are aimed at a different niche or micro-niche; part of the start-up’s conceit is that each network is a niche site with its own community. Fast Lane Daily, the latest news on cars; VOD Cars; Threadbanger about DIY fashion; Channel Frederator, cartoons; and PulpSecret, comic book news and culture. Veracifier, a sixth site on the way, will feature a daily show from political blogger Joshua Micah Marshall and his team. The show may be political but NNN execs say the network will not be. (The name makes me think of something amok in Jurassic Park.)

Full story here. (Paidcontent)

And: The "SuperMarios"

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