When I met up with EQAL co-founders Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried last September, they mentioned their ambition to turn lonelygirl15 and its interconnected series of “social shows” into a ”Star Wars-type franchise.” I took that to mean developing and nurturing a mythology that’s replete with characters and images ripe for merchandising and beloved by a specific subculture but still accessible to the general public.

Though that hasn’t happened (…yet), EQAL has brokered a different type of licensing deal. It’s one that (considering Jar Jar Binks exists) George Lucas would’ve been smart to adopt, as opposed to his ironclad control over all aspects of his intergalactic baby.

Last week, EQAL announced a deal with Polish producers Agora and A2 Multimedia to create at new chapter in the LG15 universe, n1ckola. Though the content of the show operates inside the world established by lonelygirl15, the production of the 100+ episodes is all being handled in eastern Europe. Agora has the rights to the “lonelygirl15 brand name, logo, plot, characters and mythology,” while EQAL is on board to consult on the “character creation and development, scripts and storyline.”

It’s great news, both for EQAL and for online video.

In exchange for relinquishing a small portion of messaging and creative control, the creators of lonelygirl15 have seized a new opportunity for third-party production companies to buy into the (global) brand. As more lg15 offshoots develop and air online, more individual entities have a stake in how that brand preforms, and more will be willing to invest time and energy to protect their investments.

It’s a great deal for EQAL. The company gets paid to increase their brand awareness and expand the lg15 franchise without having to do any of the heavy lifting. But it’s also good for online video.

These licensing agreements expose the uninitiated to the new entertainment medium. I think Agora would’ve been reluctant to develop its own online original series, but the ability to pay a fee for access to a franchise with a proven track record allows the company to explore the idea of web shows more confidently. It also exposes a new market to quality, online, serial programming. If n1ckola viewers enjoy the show, they’re likely to seek out similar content online.

Plus, as you can see in the n1ckola premiere below, third party production can add value to a brand by altering the aesthetic, giving hardcore fans (even those that don’t speak Polish) a pleasant respite from the norm.

Here’s a translation courtesy of LG15Today:

The Polish as interpreted by Mjuzz (The Polish is at the end of the video)
Okay so firstly that clients say that they won’t pay so she goes to check what’s going on and there’s the talk:{she’s gonna be N, clients – C}
N-Sorry, my friend is a little nervous, but it’s hard to blame him. I’m a manager here, can you tell me what’s your problem?
C-Maybe you can. There’s really a lot of polish people in London, huh?
N-Can you already tell me what’s the problem? I don’t know…Is something wrong with your order?
C-Nooo..not really..not anymore..
N-I don’t understand…
C-Because that order…goes for you, Nickola.
It’s not exact translate but i tried to stick to them as much as i could. Hopes that makes sense ;]

I double checked with my Polish buddy who had this to say:

The translation is fine but the last line is a little off. The guy says to her: “The order… it was for YOU, Nicola!” (as in they ordered her…or something along those lines. I think it’s meant to be mysterious and have a not-so-clear meaning.)

Watch where that intrigue leads with new episodes every day at N1ckola.pl

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