While female programming isn't new to online video there's certainly an opportunity to find more niche, passionate audiences and build strong communities. That's exactly what BigFrame's new network Wonderly aims to do with it's emerging multi-platform brand catered to young, creative women.
Audiences and advertisers will find Wonderly refreshing. The content lends itself towards crafts, music, geek and teen angst. You won't find the latest Kardashian news here. Instead you'll find creative and quirky YouTube voices like Meghan Tonjes, Ophelia Dagger, Overly Attached Girlfriend (Laina) and SquaresVille.
We spoke with Rachel Skidmore, the General Manager of Wonderly, about the creation of Wonderly and the experience they're creating for viewers.
ReelSEO Interview with Wonderly's Rachel Skidmore
ReelSEO: Do you consider Wonderly more of a "YouTube vertical" (mini network) or a destination website?
Rachel Skidmore: It’s definitely a bit of both but more of a multi-platform brand since fans can experience Wonderly on mobile / tablet, the web, through live events, on YouTube, across social media and can even buy Wonderly merch. This is our way of creating the connection between the Wonderly creators and the fans who want to get to know them, and even contribute. The vertical or “mini-network” aspect is how we structure our efforts internally by allocating sales, audience development and management resources to all the channels that are similar in nature – in this case, fit within Wonderly's community.
RSEO: What inspired the creation of Wonderly? Did you primarily see an underserved audience or an opportunity for like-minded talent to collaborate?
RS: Wonderly was inspired by watching a core audience develop around Squaresville, and honing in on how to better serve them the best content possible as a well as an environment and community where they can thrive. Collaboration is important as is cross-promotion in developing the talent under the Wonderly initiative.
RSEO: As a brand, what do you believe sets Wonderly apart from other female-centric programming on YouTube and the web in general?
RS: Wonderly is not just a destination for consuming content, Wonderly also encourages young women to find their voice through creating video content themselves. We also encourage our creators and their audiences to find common ground by participating in projects that involve them both, and that stems from our monthly themes. While we encourage the women involved to create anything that expresses their point of view, we don’t force romantic themes or comedy.
RSEO: What experience do you hope to offer your viewers with the website? Will there also be live events?
RS: In April, we are launching profiles on the site that allow more interactivity for the users with hopes that more young women will be inspired to contribute to the site and tell the world what creative projects they are working on. Users can expect to see a more comprehensive calendar moving forward that acts as a guide to content on a weekly basis and events they can tune into online, or attend offline. We will host live streaming events and will be pursuing live, in person events in future quarters. We have some very talented music acts like Meghan Tonjes and fun performers like Laina (Overly Attached Girlfriend) who are excellent online, but even better in person.
RSEO: Beyond Squaresville, what original shows (or types of shows) should we expect from Wonderly in the near future? Will this involve channels associated with Wonderly or something different?
RS: We are actively developing a number of shows for Wonderly that appeal to the young, creative female – some are scripted, others non-scripted. We just launched a weekly magazine style show with the creators of Squaresville called The Wonderly Way starring Christine Weatherup and Hannah Kelly. The pilot episode featured a fun interview with Kristina Horner and a DIY craft tutorial with Karen Kavett. New episodes air every Thursday on youtube.com/Wonderly. We also recently announced that we will debut a web series called 'Edge of Normal in April.' The show, created by Amanda Overton, features six teenage girls that posses extraordinary, mysterious abilities.