Barry Diller’s IAC pulled from both old and newteevee over the weekend to prepare for a couple of multi-media video initiatives the company will be launching.
On Friday it was announced that CollegeHumor co-founder Ricky Van Veen was graduating to become the CEO of Notional, a spin-off TV production company at IAC that also has some new hires from production company Citylights Media. Notional will create unscripted programming that is topical (read: viral) and leverages Van Veen’s web video experience. From the press release:
“…Notional hopes to bring the DNA of an internet company to an international production company. But unlike CollegeHumor’s young male-focused audience, Notional’s content will appeal to a much broader base. “We’re trying to take what we’ve mastered online – the ability to create attention-getting pieces of content at a low price – to other people and platforms,” said Van Veen.”
We wonder if or how Van Veen’s departure will affect CollegeHumor’s video output. The site has built a respectable roster of talent and seems to have a pretty solid system for churning out video, so the impact will probably be negligible. Though CollegeHumor’s recent foray on MTV with The CollegeHumor Show didn’t exactly become a monster hit ratings-wise. MTV praised the series when we spoke to them in March, but hasn’t yet renewed the show.
Notional will look to create entertainment that “bridges the TV and online worlds.” Multi-platform seems to be the big buzzword with Barry Diller as IAC also announced that Ben Silverman, co-chairman of NBC Universal Entertainment, will be forming a new venture with the company that specializes in cross-media storytelling.
The new production company doesn’t have a name yet, but will supposedly create custom entertainment that works with advertisers from the beginning. Silverman told The New York Times that the new company was like “Warner Bros. meets BBDO.” From the press announcement:
This will be the industry’s first global platform that connects advertisers, distributors and content creators early on in the development process, enabling advertisers to be a partner in campaigns and content creation.
Sounds like just about every other web video production company we know.
Silverman will stay with NBC through September to launch the network’s fall lineup. Jeff Gaspin, who was running NBC’s cable group, has been promoted to chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment.
It all makes us wonder whether splitting up the two very similar announcements was intentional or just a big company not communicating internally about its external communications. Also unstated was whether or not the two will work together.