Online video startup Break Media wants to get ahead of the curve on 3-D. It announced today it is investing heavily in the technology with the launch in the coming weeks of a new, dedicated 3-D channel that will be populated in part by a slate of programming it will produce. The company will also seek to aggregate 3-D content from across the web in order to fill out the channel and create a go-to place for 3-D videos.
As part of the initiative, Break’s Creative Lab is producing a lineup of three new original 3-D programs. Those shows include X3D, an extreme sports series, Scare3D!, a horror series full of flying knives, axes and other weapons, and Life in 3D, which seeks to make everyday minutiae more exciting by adding another dimension.
Break is also working closely with advertisers to create videos and branded landing pages in 3-D, as well as 3-D ad units that it will integrate into its in-house ad server. An example of the work it’s doing on the ad front can be seen on this mockup landing page for 3-D Halo videos and on this Comic-con roundup it produced in 3-D that was sponsored by Alienware.
In a phone interview, Break Media CEO Keith Richman said the company was investing in 3-D because it tends to have an early-adopting audience. “We know that over next 12 months they will be buying TVs or gaining interest in 3-D content due to the proliferation of 3DTVs and 3-D movies,” Richman said. Those early adopters who buy into the next technology also tend to be more affluent, which is the demographic that advertisers want to target anyway, he said.
“No one else is really doing 3-D content now,” Richman said. Therefore Break is looking to get a first-mover advantage in drawing consumer interest and in getting the experience necessary to produce compelling 3-D content. That said, that experience won’t come cheap; the cost of producing 3-D video is about 300 percent higher than producing comparable HD video, according to Richman.
While most viewers will be watching Break’s new 3-D content on 3-D capable PCs, the company is working to deliver that content out to television screens through its consumer electronics partners. Viewers can watch Break Media videos in their living rooms through partnerships with TiVo (s TIVO), Roku and Samsung, and Richman sees the company expanding its consumer electronic (CE) footprint over the next one to three years.
For now, though, the focus will be on creating the best collection of 3-D content. “Not everything that works online is going to work on a 52” plasma,” Richman said. “We’re not necessarily rushing to get 50 [CE] deals done. The worst thing we could is put something up that’s not compelling.”
Related content on GigaOM Pro: Are We Putting the 3-D Cart Before the Horse? (subscription required)