Entertainment Studios Entering Online Syndication

Jun 22, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Television producer and syndicator Entertainment Studios plans to give away its content on the Web starting this week, as the studio takes a big step into the online side of the syndication business.
The syndication company, headed by TV personality Byron Allen, is launching a video syndication toolset today for which TV stations, portals and other high-traffic sites can sign up online at http://press.es.tv/partners. Once approved, the partners can then distribute clips from Entertainment Studios’ 15 televisions shows on their Web sites.
The syndicator will offer programming from its library of more than 4,000 hours from shows including “Entertainers With Byron Allen,” “Beautiful Homes & Great Estates,” “Cars.tv,” “Latin Lifestyles,” “Recipe.tv” and “Comics Unleashed With Byron Allen.”
The Web syndication effort is the latest effort by a traditional studio to mine revenue from the growth in Web video viewership. Sony Pictures Television offers shortened versions of its classic shows on MySpace, while Warner Bros. Television Group is rolling out TheWB.com as a site for shows from the now-defunct broadcast network and new original content. Forrester Research says revenues from ads in streaming video should hit $7.2 billion in 2012, up from $471 million last year.
Entertainment Studios wants a piece of that and Mr. Allen said he’s currently in talks with TV stations, video sites like Fancast and Hulu and large portals like Yahoo, MSN and AOL. He expects those various players to begin carrying the Entertainment Studios content in the coming weeks.
When partners sign up for the online syndication, they will receive a simple piece of “Web code” to embed into their Web sites. That code will load the pre-built video player with Entertainment Studios content onto the partner sites.
The content is free to carry. Entertainment Studios is selling the in-stream ads and counts Southwest Airlines as a charter sponsor. The sites carrying the clips can sell ad space such as banner ads around the player. Entertainment Studios worked with online TV technology provider the Platform to develop the player.
The syndication launch follows a Web distribution deal Entertainment Studios inked with MySpaceTV in April to carry 10 channels of content in a revenue-sharing agreement. Mr. Allen said he’s launching online syndication now in response to demand from TV stations. “They are seeing very little growth on TV, but are seeing double-digit growth on the Internet,” Mr. Allen said. “This is a great opportunity for them to have fresh content on a daily or weekly basis.”
The new business initiative demonstrates how traditional syndicators are now using online to add value to their business and to their customers’ businesses, said Will Richmond, broadband analyst who produces the newsletter VideoNuze.com. “[Mr. Allen] is recognizing how the two platforms are interdependent,” he said.


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