Back in June, Blip.tv launched Blip Studios, getting into the original video content game and positioning themselves to work with brands, talent, and independent producers, where before, they only served as a video hosting and destination site. With the new launch, they promoted VP of Content Steve Woolf to Senior VP of Content and President of Blip Studios. We got a chance to talk to Steve Woolf about the new studio, where he believes Blip and online video are going, and how the new studio allows them to work with brands like never before.
Here is the video of this interview, with the transcript down below:
Blip Studios President Steve Woolf on Original Video Programming
Mark Robertson: What is Blip Studios?
Steve Woolf: So, for a long time, Blip has been this platform where we've been aggregating all these shows and we had what we considered, "services of scale" for producers, and it was always about web series. That was advertising, distribution, and a video player and all these things. We never really invested in content ourselves, we never created any of our own content. We just had this amazing variety and this broad group of creators that drove us to hundreds of millions of views.
From our standpoint, it seems like as we move from platform to media property, it's important that we have some kind of ownership stake in content and that we create and own some of our own content. Work more closely with creators. Because one thing that really enables us to do is get them better revenue. We can do brand deals with a much closer relationship with producers and we couldn't do that before.
Mark: With Blip Studios and the new original and premium content you're putting out there, how can brands work with you guys?
Woolf: The good news is that for many years we've had one of the best digital media sales groups of any online video company. So brands have actually been asking for us, "When are you going to be making original content? When can we do deeper things with you? And there have been occasions when we have married brands to creators and done some original branded series or done integration with shows on the Blip Network. But it was always so difficult because we had no way of predicting what our relationship with those creators would be three or six months down the road, which is the typical amount of time it takes to turn around a big deal.
Mark: Independent video producers and those who are just putting their videos up all over the web...can they put their content on Blip? What content are you looking for and how should they work with Blip?
Woolf: Blip is currently an open platform and always has been. We focus only on shows, though, so if you upload a viral video or your director's reel or some family videos, we'll probably send you an e-mail and say, 'Hey, we're glad you came to Blip, but that's not really what we specialize in, so you probably will want to move your videos.' So we actually just try to focus on shows. And as we move forward we may make that much more stringent.
We don't ever want to miss somebody who has an amazing show and an amazing idea, that's the nature of the web. It needs to be democratic. But we also have to make sure, you know, it costs money for bandwidth and it costs money for all the things that go around getting those videos out. So we may make sure that we're getting shows uploaded.
Mark: What's the future for Blip and online video?
Woolf: One of my favorite questions. The answer is, "The industry changes every six months, right? Twelve, eighteen months ago, none of these companies were investing in original content and that's all totally changed. It's the hottest thing going right now. My feeling is that Blip is really going to keep moving forward with original production. I think we're going to see it get much, much easier for Blip shows to get on televisions, and so a lot of the scripted shows where we're really strong, but have small audiences are going to suddenly explode. And we're going to see the same kind of renaissance that we've seen for the personality-driven content, we're going to see that for scripted content.
We'd like to thank Steve Woolf for his time!
So do you use Blip.tv? Why or why not? Let us know! Also, if you're a creator and you think that your content is right for Blip Studios, or if you're a brand looking to work with Blip, you can learn more about their program here - http://studios.blip.com/