Uncommon Springboard

Do you think we’ll ever reach the point when video channels on the web will become more watched than television?

What about the web being a springboard for someone’s idea for a television show? I’ve got an example of a channel that might just be doing that.

Source: Youtube

I stumbled across a Youtube channel called “Reserve Channel” that features half hour web shows hosted by the most unexpected variety of notable people. I watched an episode of a show called “Artst Tlk” hosted by Pharrell Williams and he was interviewing Leonard Nimoy. Obviously Pharrell was seizing on the heat he was carrying from all his successes in 2013 (“Blurred Lines”, “Happy” and “Get Lucky”), but you can tell right away that he was motivated from more than just a marketing and promotional place. Pharrell is actually heavily involved in the art world, as is Leonard Nimoy who most of us know as ‘Spock’ from the very lucrative sci-fi franchise “Star Trek.” They were talking about being an artist and sharing stories that no one has heard before. It felt like I was watching a television show, only no commercials, and it was a more chill vibe overall with the production. I thought to myself, “Why hasn’t this been picked up by a network?” and I don’t have an answer yet.

Chef Eric Ripert and actress Elizabeth Olsen cook on “On The Table.”

I went on from there to delve into Chef Eric Ripert’s show called “On the Table” and watched him cook and interview with buddy and colleague Anthony Bourdain. As always I was not disappointed, the show definitely is something I would watch anyway, but it was more than just a cooking show. Eric invites a guest (all from various industries and backgrounds) and they are invited to bring ingredients to make a dish that speaks to who they are. He is their sous-chef and they get to boss him around, teaching him their recipe, and all the while he is getting to know them. It’s such a natural thing to watch. Again, there was a chill vibe to the production, no commercials and it was in real time, but went by so fast. Also it has so much humor you have to watch it.

It blew my mind that I had never heard of Reserve Channel before because there was more than just Ripert’s and Williams’ shows on there, there is an assortment of hosts that every one knows well or at least a little bit about. Reserve Channel is a pop culture chocolate box, just take your pick and you will find something for everyone to watch.

The question I was asking myself was, who produces these shows? I found out it is Uncommon Content Partners LLC and they produce the shows out of New York City. Uncommon Content’s mission is “progressive content creation and development.” Established in 2011, the company has received multiple Emmy nominations for their original web shows “Capture” and “Hooked Up” so far  (“Uncommon Content | Progressive content creation and development | Uncommon Content,” n.d.).

Source: Uncommon Content Partners LLC

The vision of Uncommon Content is to be a springboard for success on television. “We believe that you can incubate high-quality ideas online and then have an agnostic distribution model,” said CEO Kevin Law. “We’re growing our foundation and support online and then we’re taking it wherever it can go after that.” (Faughnder, 2013)

Kevin Law, founder of Uncommon Content and Uncommon Advisors.

Not only did Kevin Law found Uncommon Content Partners LLC, two years earlier he founded Uncommon Advisors Inc. The origins of Uncommon Content came from the work done at Uncommon Advisors, which is a “boutique strategic advisory and private investment management firm for leading financial institutions, family offices, progressive companies, artists and celebrities.” Uncommon Advisors has been responsible for countless independent and main stream films, as well as some web shows that are not a part of the Reserve Channel, like Howcast. One institution that helped Kevin Law and his team raise capitol for Uncommon Content to launch and produce shows was Loeb & Loeb LLP. Loeb & Loeb LLP represented Uncommon Content at one time, and on their website they define their experience with Uncommon Content as “Represented Uncommon Content Partners LLC in raising capital from strategic and financial investors, in negotiating distribution agreements, and in related matters in connection with the launch of two channels on the new YouTube channel platform” (“Uncommon Content Partners in Agreement for Launch of New Channel on YouTube,” n.d.). Uncommon Content’s biggest donor was Google. After its Youtube program channel Reserve’s first two years there is an evident drop in new shows since the end of 2013, and a few of the shows that are no longer being produced since 2013 are Eric Ripert’s show and Pharrell Williams’ show. (“Kevin Law | LinkedIn,” n.d.)

However, what Reserve Channel gave celebrities of the likes of Ripert and Pharrell was a platform to showcase what they were capable of, and indeed Reserve proved to be a great portfolio for them and a springboard for the new shows that they have now. Ripert has won 2 day-time Emmy’s for his cooking show on PBS called “Avec Eric” which is produced by Anomaly and is marketed by Benchworks. Pharrell Williams is the newest judge on NBC’s “The Voice,” and released his second solo album earlier this year. Neither had ever been a host of a television before their time on Reserve Channel.

Source: People Magazine, TRAE PATTON/NBC

All this information lead me to understand Uncommon Content’s mission and why their shows haven’t been picked up by a network. It boils down to belief I think. Networks will back a show that they believe has an audience and that they believe will be successful. How else could Uncommon Content have been able to keep producing without raising capital from investors that believe enough in it to invest money? In the grand scheme of things Uncommon Content was a spin off for Uncommon Advisors, so that they could help their clients actualize their dreams. Uncommon Content was a springboard so that Eric, Pharrell, and all the hosts on Reserve could be taken seriously, get experience, and get the opportunity to go to network.

In November of 2013 it was revealed that Youtube would begin to be included in Nielsen’s annual study of viewership (which usually just measured traditional television) (Spangler, 2013). Television shows still dominate even though viewership behavior has changed. People are using the web more and more to watch television shows when they can but they are also online watching high quality content that’s not on television.

Do you think we’re  far off from online shows being more popular than television shows?

What do you think of Reserve Channel?

Is there a channel or platform you’ve always wondered why didn’t become mad successful?

Reference Section

Reserve Channel. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-LE7UowYotavwgFWKfN-nQ

Uncommon Content | Progressive content creation and development | Uncommon Content. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2014, from http://uncommon-content.com

Faughnder, Ryan. (2013, 17 July) Uncommon Content out to Make Web Shows That Click on TV. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://articles.latimes.com

Uncommon Content Partners in Agreement for Launch of New Channel on YouTube. Loeb & Loeb LLP. Retrieved October 10, 2014, from http://www.loeb.com/experience-uncommoncontentpartnersinagreementforlaunchofnewchannelonyoutube

Kevin Law | LinkedIn. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2014, from https://www.linkedin.com/pub/kevin-law/98/814/38

Anomaly | New York | Toronto | London | Amsterdam | Shanghai. (n.d.). Retrieved October 11, 2014, from http://www.anomaly.com/en/

Avec Eric by Anomaly | Benchworks. (n.d.). Retrieved October 11, 2014, from http://www.benchworks.com/clients/avec-eric-anomaly/

Spangler, Todd. (2013, November 15) YouTube, with Nielsen Rating, Could Get Millions from TV Ad Buyers — But It Needs Premium Content. Variety. Retrieved from  http://variety.com

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