Blip has announced the launch of its new production banner, Blip Studios. Once a distribution and advertising platform for original Web series, the company will now work directly with brands, talent, and independent producers to create new content of its own — and has already signed a few stars. Steve Woolf, Blip’s former vice president of content, will now serve as senior vice president of content and president of Blip Studios.
The announcement follows a $6 million funding round from existing investors Canaan Partners and Bain Capital Ventures in February and an additional $6 million in debt from Silicon Valley Bank in December.
With the additional funds, the company had planned to “develop new tools and services for producers of independent Web series, further invest in its industry-leading advertising and distribution platforms, and significantly expand its syndication relationships,” according to a statement released at the time.
It’s a move that already has a precedent. In June 2011, Blip forged a strategic partnership with Collective Digital Studio to monetize and distribute YouTube sensations “The Annoying Orange,” “FreddieW,” “Fred,” and “iJustine” on additional sites and to work with the series’ creators on more original content.
Under the new production banner, Blip has signed existing series “Nostalgia Critic,” starring Doug Walker and produced by Channel Awesome; “Nostalgia Chick,” starring Lindsey Ellis, who produced the show with Antonella Inserra and Elisabeth Hansen; and “Todd in the Shadows,” a “guide to terrible pop songs of the present and past” starring Todd Nathanson.
All three shows reportedly attract millions of viewers while celebrating pop culture that predates social media. But Blip can offer them a higher production value, as well as bring the shows to new audiences on additional platforms.
Blip Studios’ new president also hinted at a more social experience for viewers: “We are incredibly proud to launch Blip Studios to develop a wide range of original web series, and just as important, series that will also push the boundaries of audience interactivity,” Woolf said in a statement. “Our ultimate goal is to create the best innovative content that leads storytelling into the next decade.”
Image by valdis torms via Shutterstock.