Blog Post

Six Lucky Videobloggers Set Off on The Gap Year

Bebo, which recently lost its successful web drama KateModern, tomorrow launches a replacement of sorts: The Gap Year. The twist is, it’s a reality show, produced by Endemol.

Over the last six months Bebo and Endemol have whittled down the entrants to six young people who will be sent on six-month trips around the world. Sounds like a pretty spectacular deal to me. The chosen six set off tomorrow. They get a per diem allowance based on what guides like Lonely Planet recommended for the country they’re in. Each person travels individually, accompanied by a cameraperson/director, and will send in one 3- to 5-minute video per week. On Sunday Bebo will run compilations. The show currently disables embeds for its videos, but you can see some samples here.

The travelers’ itineraries aren’t set, but Endemol and Bebo have set up some activities and challenges along with its sponsors: Sony PSP, Trident, Canon (which is providing cameras), The Royal Air Force (RAF), Acuvue, Doritos, STA Travel, and Tourism Auckland and Tourism Australia (who are helping with activities).

The Gap Year is expected to be profitable, based on committed sponsors and a “large-scale” budget, according to Pasa Mustafa, head of digital studios for Endemol UK. KateModern made some $405,000 in its first season, Bebo told us last year. We haven’t heard an update since then.

Bebo’s other original web series, Sofia‚Äôs Diary, has had more than 11 million views and got picked up by Channel Five (though our review wasn’t exactly positive). The site has more than 42 million users and was recently bought by AOL for a jaw-dropping $850 million in cash.