A new video entertainment upstart has launched to fund and syndicate high-grade video content, with an eye toward cultivating bonds with advertisers early on in the video creation process.
Incubated by talent agency United Talent Artists (UTA) and Web-based TV ad peddler Spot Runner, 60Frames Entertainment aims to provide a means for producers to pitch and obtain funding for their original online video ideas. The scope and budgets of 60Frames projects will necessarily be smaller than those of TV productions, but 32-year-old CEO Brent Weinstein says the focus is on creating quality, advertiser-friendly entertainment.
“In a broad sense, one of the pillars of 60Frames is we want to put the creative power back in the hands of the artists,” said Weinstein. “If there’s something they want to explore, an idea that works in the online space, [we’ll support it] as long as it’s something an advertiser can get behind.”
In 60Frames’s $3.5 million initial funding round, ETA and Spot Runner are joined by firms including Tudor Investment Corporation and the Pilot Group. While UTA is involved strictly as an investor, Spot Runner will be actively engaged in repping ad placements for 60Frames programming. Weinstein, who previously led UTA’s digital media operations, said he expects his ties to the talent agency will facilitate a close working relationship between the companies.
Weinstein said 60Frames is open to financing all video genres, including dramatic and educational storylines, but he expects comedic productions will dominate its agenda, given their Webwide popularity today. Filmmaker brothers Joel and Ethan Cohen will serve on the company’s advisory board and create content for it.
60Frames plans to open discussions with advertisers early on in the creative process and to represent ads far and wide on its distribution network, both fairly unique propositions. While it does happen that media producers and syndication firms of varying sizes sell some inventory on partner sites, the more common approach is to adhere to strict licensing rules and leave ad sales to the broadcasters, Webcasters or podcasters, as the case may be.
60Frames doesn’t appear to mind flouting the standard approach.
“At the end of the day both parties should care most about who can sell at a higher CPM,” said Weinstein. “What [advertisers] want is really fantastic vehicles to advertise against, and there’s not much available to them. We’re going to make it available to them, and we’re going to make it available at a much earlier stage.
60Frames has not announced any distribution partners yet, but aims to sprinkle its shows across portals, social networks, mobile outlets and video sites. It’s promising to sell ads both within individual episodes and across series, in addition to sponsorships and product placement. Formats include :05, :10 and :15 spots served in pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll placements.
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