NEW YORK EQAL, the creator of Web hits such as lonelygirl15, has unveiled plans to launch a consumer platform tool dubbed Umbrella. The product will allow independent producers, celebrity talent and online personalities to create their own sophisticated sites and develop an audience around those online venues.
The company, which recently said the weak ad market has forced it to halt its own original content development work, said Umbrella would feature the same enterprise-grade platform that powers EQAL’s premium partner Web sites, but with simplified publishing and management interface features.
It will bring “blog-style and episodic publishing, discussion and forums and user profile pages into one easily themed product that site owners can effectively use to connect with their audience” and make money as well, the firm said.
EQAL intends to launch the product in private beta with select partners.