Digital Development Group Launches 6 OTT Channels
– Focuses on Niche Content Channels
The Digital Development Group (DigiDev) is launching a suite
of six new OTT networks offering specialized and niche content
to subscribers. DigiDev is an OTT content distribution company
that licenses content and distributes it across multiple
screens and platforms, from Roku, Google TV and Apple TV to
Blu-ray players and smart TVs, tablets, and smartphones.
DigiDev’s first channel, called Something Weird, debuted on
Roku last month.
The company was founded by two entertainment powerhouses: Joe
Q. Bretz, a film and TV producer and technology entrepreneur,
and Martin Greenwald, an entertainment industry veteran who
served as chairman of the board at Image Entertainment from
1981 to 2010. Bretz is known for his involvement in
alternative post-production and content delivery methods. He
was recognized by the Worldwide Who’s Who for leadership in
entertainment and new media. “I put together the tech team,
and he put together the licensing team,” Bretz told The Online
DigiDev has worked to develop a standardized player across
devices, boxes, smart TVs and smartphones. “There are two
components to this,” Bretz said. “One is the technology, and
one is the importance of device carrying the content. For
consumers, it’s the choice, what they want to watch, when they
want to watch, where they want to watch.
Channels Deliver Niche Content
DigiDev offers a number of subscription-based niche content
channels on connected devices. The content is classic and
undervalued, and perhaps more importantly, some of it has
never been seen before in a digital format.
“We’ve acquired a tremendous amount of content through Martin
[Greenwald]’s contacts and [VP of content acquisition] Bruce
Venezia,” Bretz said. Venezia served as an executive for Image
Entertainment, and licensed thousands of titles for laserdisc
DigiDev now has a huge library of content that was previously
unavailable in a digital format and that library is still
growing. “We’re doing between one to three deals a week,”
He said the company’s not interested in paying huge sums of
money to license big blockbusters or summer hits. “Let Amazon
and Netflix go out and pay that amount money,” he said.
The company has been aggressive in acquiring niche content to
distribute. The first channel launched, Something Weird,
offers old educational and scare films and “exploitation
cinema,” such as “None for the Road,” “Dangerous Stranger”
“Cosmic Striptease” and “Betty Page Harem Strip.”
DigiDev will be launching five other channels in the coming
weeks. The Sci-Fi Station channel includes programming
classics from Mill Creek such as “Invaders From Space” and
“Crater Lake Monster,” as well as the Godzilla-like Gamera
films, and classic horror films such as “Teenagers From Outer
Space,” and Boris Karloff’s “The Ape.”
For its Silent Films channel, DigiDev has agreements with
Flickr Alley, a premier library of silent films, and Film
Preservation, which includes the series “Judex” from acclaimed
director Louis Feulade. The Silent Film channel will also
feature titles starring Rudolph Valentino and Douglas
DigiDev will also be launching a conspiracy channel and a
martial arts channel called Kontakt TV, among others. “Your
Family Entertainment” is a library of children’s programming,
with 1700 hours of animated series, which have appeared on
Nickelodeon, the Disney Channel and Canal Plus. Most recently,
DigiDev announced the impending launch of the G2R Media
Channel, a Christian-content library that will become
available on connected devices and through www.G2RMedia.TV.
The channel includes content from a number of global
ministries, including Eternal Productions, Good Fight
Ministries and Ken Klein Productions.
Original Programming in The Works, To
DigiDev will be incorporating its own original content into
the mix as well. The company has its own green screen
production house in Los Angeles, California. “We are creating
a tech talk series, and doing some other original content,” he
Bretz said DigiDev will be curating and releasing content in a
format similar to Mystery Science Theater or Elvira, with a
group of hosts “talking about campy fun movies, doing lead-ins
and stuff,” he said.
DigiDev may also begin tapping independent content creators
for its original programming from the likes of YouTube.
“YouTube is the most confusing thing in the world,” Bretz
said. “It competes with itself.”
Bretz mentioned a deal with a content creator who films five
to 10 minute interviews with boxers at matches. “He has 15
million subscribers on YouTube, and he’s getting maybe
$100,000 from them,” Bretz said.
Bretz said a distribution platform like DigiDev’s channels,
where niche content is reaching target demographics, is a much
more effective and lucrative venue for OTT content.