New Video Subscription Platform Will Feature Niche Channels Based on Personalities

By Katherine Noyes It seems safe to say that the subscription model has proven its merit for a wide variety of online content, but

By Katherine NoyesIt seems safe to say that the subscription model has proven its merit for a wide variety of online content, but if there’s any area in which its success stands out in high relief, it’s video — just see the latest news from the Entertainment Retailers Association for shining evidence.Well, last week a brand-new video subscription platform was born. TAPP — short for “TV app” — is a new service that was announced Tuesday by Jeff Gaspin, former chairman of NBC Universal Television, and Jon Klein, former president of CNN/U.S. Its distinguishing feature? It aims to build a collection of numerous niche video networks built around personalities with super-fan followings.”TAPP channels will feature the nation’s top thought leaders in the fields of sports, politics, religion, relationships, entertainment, lifestyle, fashion, fitness and more, delivering daily content and up-close access to their most passionate followers,” the company’s founders explain.Subscribers will pay a monthly fee for individual channels delivered to their mobile devices, laptops and Internet-connected smart TVs. Long-form content will be available for those viewing TAPP on PCs and smart TVs, while mobile video users will be able to “snack” on easy-to-access and sharable content for mobile devices. TAPP, meanwhile, will orchestrate the entire process end-to-end, including program strategy, production, user experience, marketing, distribution, app development, back-end technology and deep data analysis.”In addition to great content, TAPP channels will offer a rich layer of consumer engagement for the super fan,” said Gaspin, TAPP’S co-founder and chairman. “We believe subscription services offer a superior business model while complementing current content offerings.”Monthly pricing for this “niche Netflix” will reportedly be a rather steep $10 per channel. No word yet on a precise launch date, but investors include Discovery Communications and Demarest Films as well as Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.

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