PUBLIC ACCESS FOR THE DIGITAL AGE: What do you get when three ex-Vice Media employees start a company?
An independent video-centric platform inspired by the “spirit” of public-access television.
Called NYC.TV, the site, watchnyc.tv, which launches today, is essentially a portal for New York-based video producers to showcase their work, according to cofounder Alexandra Serio, who helped launch and managed global integrated marketing for Noisey, Vice’s music channel, before moving to SFX as director of content development. Serio told WWD that the concept behind NYC.TV is to support local video producers and documentary filmmakers. NYC.TV will provide funding to video producers in exchange for their content. The site won’t monetize the content, however, but use it to draw traffic.
To get off the ground, NYC.TV is raising a seed round that it hopes to close at the end of July. It will also raise money through a Kickstarter campaign that launches today.
Serio said 70 percent of what the site garners from Kickstarter will go to content creators, with the bulk of what’s left going to marketing the site.
Marketing shouldn’t be a problem. Kareem Ahmed, NYC.TV’s cofounder, helped lead global marketing across all of Vice’s properties, before serving as director of audience development and growth strategy editor at The New York Times. Max Nelson, the site’s third employee, launched Vice’s YouTube network as the media firm’s marketing manager. Most recently, he worked as Vox Media’s marketing and network manager for its entertainment division.
Despite its experience, the trio acknowledged that NYC.TV doesn’t yet have original programing. So far, the site has reached out to digital creators and asked them to allow them to promote their existing content on NYC.TV social channels like Facebook, for example.
“Aggregated views will be the metric of success. We will not feature any impression-based advertising [to garner revenue,]” Serio said, noting that at launch the site will showcase videos from Human Rights Watch and an Upright Citizens Brigade alum.
By early 2016, Serio said the site plans to be supported by brand sponsorships, native content and white label production efforts, and eventually set up offices in Los Angeles and Denver to showcase local content from creators in those markets.
“The post-television era is lacking a medium invested in the creative endeavors of local communities,” Serio offered. “NYC.TV aims to fill that void digitally.”