NewFronts 2013: Blip
Mainly Murder: New. The comedy follows the antics of a Long Island-based "murder mystery entertainment company." Their dream is to make it to the big time, which to them means performing murder mysteries in New York City. Stars Rob Huebel, Tim Meadows, Andy Richter, and Matt Besser. From Principato-Young Entertainment.
Jewelry Star: New. A reality series in which up-and-coming jewelry designers compete to create custom bling (yeah I said it) for celebrities and other high-profile clients. Hosted by Emmy-winning stylist Soyon An, she and her clients will also serve as judges. The show comes from Blip's partnership with BeachMint, a social commerce company that operates JewelMint (over 1 million Facebook fans).
The Great S. Cape: New. Already announced, this superhero series is created, written, and produced by Michael Uslan (The Dark Knight trilogy). Spanning 12 "chapters," the show follows the adventures of Stephan Cape, a skilled magician and illusionist who decides to use his tricks to solve an insidious Hollywood murder plot.
Hipsterhood: Returning for second season. From producer Shilpi Roy, the show is about two Los Angeles hipsters who keep running into each other around their Silver Lake neighborhood, but can never manage to take the next step and actually talk.
The Gauntlet: Returning for second season. A video game competition series that brings in serious gamers and gaming fans from around the country to battle it out in a contest of gaming skills, concentration, agility, and stamina. The show is described as inspired by reality series like Wipeout and The Voice. From Blip content partner, RoosterTeeth.
Marketing, Promotions, and Distribution
"We used to be known as the platform company, we are now truly an entertainment destination for the 18 to 34 year-old audience," said Kelly Day, CEO of Blip, to lead off the company's NewFront. In the past year, the company has shifted its focus to original, serialized programming, all of which is organized into various category-specific channels. Blip content is available on its own website, as well as via a wide array of distribution partners, ranging from YouTube to Roku, Xbox, and Sony Bravia smart TVs. On YouTube, Blip currently operates over a dozen channels, all together reaching more than 4 million subscribers. "It's easy to discover your Blip whenever, wherever, and however you like," said Day. The goal is to offer brand and content placement opportunities for advertisers in all consumer categories.
Production and sales partnership with My Damn Channel: Under the terms of the deal, which was announced about a week ago, My Damn Channel and Blip are co-producing four original comedy series, including new seasons of the aforementioned Wainy Days and Daddy Knows Best. All four shows will be available exclusively on Blip and My Damn Channel for 30 days, after which they will roll out to other outlets like YouTube. The deal also covers select shows from the My Damn Channel library, including Daily Grace. All together, Blip and My Damn Channel are offering a combined reach of 40 million monthly unique viewers. Sales teams from both companies will pitch the new programming to advertisers, as they did during Blip's NewFront.
On top of Blip's distribution capabilities, Day touted the company's ability to incubate "communities of super-fans": "Our audience is highly social, with over 40% actively commenting on or sharing our shows," she said.
"The best time to sell your client's product happens is when the consumer is willing to speak to you," said Jason Krebs, Blip's new President/Sales and Marketing. "That happens a lot on Blip." With that in mind, Day has integrated Blip's ad sales operation into content development, marketing, and distribution.
Another thing you should keep in mind: Kelly Day has already spoken at length about her plansto turn Blip into a multi-channel web video network. In the next year (and maybe as early as this fall), the company hopes to launch standalone, interest-based websites featuring curated programming. These sites would be off Blip and would likely feature their own branding. Day has also indicated Blip's intentions to partner with successful content creators on YouTube to bring their stuff under the Blip umbrella. Which leads us to:
Blip has committed a seed investment into YouTube star Ray William Johnson's (formerly under the Maker Studios umbrella) new production company, Runway Planet, which will produce original series and offer back catalog sales opportunities. The deal also covers development and distribution of Runway Planet content. While Johnson didn't divulge much else from the stage, he apparently has some deals lined up with traditional media and new media companies, some of which he will announce in the coming weeks. For a refresher, Johnson's YouTube reach currently stands at more than 8.5 million subscribers and nearly 2.28 billion total video views on his YouTube channel.