Next New Networks officially announced their “Next New Creators” program today, which works with upstart indie web series and brings them into the NNN mix in a slightly less formal way than some of the network’s originally developed shows. The 4 year-old online TV network—which is really a family of channels like Barely Political, Threadbanger, Indy Mogul, and Channel Frederator—had been working with a select group of shows over the past year in non-exclusive fashion.
Auto-Tune the News, the breakout musical satire series from the Gregory Brothers, is probably the most notable of the early crop of shows to come out of the program, grossing over 35 million views on YouTube and other sites. Other web series like those that were tapped for NNN’s new foodie site, Hungry Nation, were also in the program including Daniel Delaney’s street food escapes on Vendr.TV and Max and Rebecca Lando’s Working Class Foodies and LushLife NY’s 12 Second Cocktails. For Grace Randolph’s Beyond the Trailer (above), the company chose to roll it into their established Indy Mogul channel which averages a reported 3 million views a month. From the partnership, the show itself surpassed 500,000 views a month according to NNN’s numbers.
Essentially the program lets shows that are getting a footing on their own take the next step by plugging into the company’s vast distribution and marketing apparatus. Key partnerships like featured placements on YouTube and Yahoo can help fasttrack undiscovered shows into broader audiences. The have an open submission form on the site for creators to apply for the program, which they say is a non-exclusive partnership. “Next New Creators’ brings creator-owned content into our online TV networks with simple, creator-friendly deal structures,” they wrote on site.
We asked Kathleen Grace of Next New Networks what kind of shows their were looking for. Grace herself is an indie web creator having crafted hipster comedy The Burg and indie rock tale The All-For-Nots with her Dinosaur Diorama partner Thom Woodley.
We’re looking for creators with promise. People that are building their audience, have an outstanding idea or talent and can produce consistently. We’re looking for shows that can match some of our current networks or networks we’re hoping to launch. MovieBuzz with Peter Rallis is a great example. He compliments Grace Randolph’s Beyond the Trailer and has shown he has the tenacity for web video. It’s a tough game. He’s really has honed his voice and built a fan base. I love that with the addition of Peter Rallis Indy Mogul has become a place where you can see the life of a movie from start to finish. From production with Erik, to the upcoming releases and news with Peter, to interviews with young filmmakers with Bobby (and now Sundance!) and finally, reviews with real movie goers with Grace. From soup to nuts we’re covering the art and the industry of movies. I hope to have more of a spectrum like that across our networks and in our future networks. I am also looking to build networks that dovetail with our current roster. Looking at the success of Threadbanger, one of the biggest fashion/style brands online, I want to grow our style brand with a street fashion network. And with this year’s successful launch of Barely Digital, I want to get into video gaming.
And what about scripted web series, are you looking for those too?
I know Next New Networks was built on what are considered “non-scripted” formats, but with shows like Nite Fight, Tech Know, and Bobby Miller’s Reel Good Show we’ve been doing it more and more. Also all of our shows tell a story beyond the simple “how to” or showcasing awesome animation. That is what makes NNN unique- we look for and foster creators who can entertain while doing a how to, showcasing animation, cooking a dish, or briefing you on the latest in cars. Erik Beck shows you how to make a fake tongue, but also follows it up with an original short starring Matthew Fox. So yes, I think with the right talent, mix of interactivity, and if the show resonates with our audience we’re interested. I would be interested to see if someone could come up with a great interactive series that stretches what is traditionally defined as scripted narrative.
SF-based online network Revision3 tried a somewhat similar tactic with its “Revision3 Beta” program last year which was supposed to incubate series that might make the jump to its main network lineup. While the site is still up, there haven’t been any shows make it from Beta to the main lineup. We spoke to Revision3 today that confirmed the program is inactive. They did mention that some of the creators that participated did in fact go on to land jobs in the web video industry from the exposure.