L.A. Startups Look for Online Video Stars

Paresh Dave reported in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times that, “In the eyes of start-up investors, MTV’s ‘True Life,’ HGTV’s ‘Rehab Addict’ and Comedy Central’s ‘Roast’ specials are so yesterday.

“Today’s hot productions are young, edgier and tend to premiere online. They carry the names ‘Human,’ ‘Overhaul’ and ‘All Def Comedy Roast.’

“And the companies who make those video series say they’re just getting started. Last week, four online media start-ups across the Los Angeles region announced a combined $56 million in fresh funds to expand internationally and into new topics.”

The LA Times article explained that, “All Def Digital, Thoughtful Media Group, Kin Community and Woven Digital are exploiting consumers’ transition to digital video subscriptions from traditional pay-TV. They say their shows resonate better with their target group, whether it be millennial men, young women interested in arts and crafts, or ‘urban youth.’

“Financiers include the world’s largest ad agency conglomerate, one of the top officials at media giant Viacom and many other major players in entertainment worldwide. The investors predict bright horizons for the video-centric companies because they’re suppliers in what stands to be a seller’s market for a while.

“Facebook, YouTube, Verizon and Vessel are just some of the entities dangling millions of dollars to jumpstart video productions – and offering more for exclusives. Meanwhile, decades-old media companies trying to survive as entertainment moves online have become potential buyers for the videos, too. That means licensing rights, merchandise sales, events and other offerings have joined online ads as major revenue sources for the start-ups.”

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