IQ News: Honda to Sponsor Syndicated Content

Studio One Networks this week will offer sponsored, syndicated content with Honda as a charter sponsor.
The first two “programs,” Driving Today and Gamers Today, will run on portals and on automotive and gaming sites. The sponsorship was brokered by Santa Monica, Calif.-based rpinteractive, the digital arm of Rubin Postaer and Associates, whose roster includes Honda.
“We’re taking advantage of the fact that the Net is so fragmented and that sites need content,” said Andrew Susman, CEO of New York-based Studio One. Content is offered in text and audio format, although video may be rolled out later. The first sites to sign up include Dimension Publishing’s gaming sites PS Extreme and Voodoo,, The DoubleClick Network, ESPN Infoseek Racing and Cablevision’s EZ Seek Auto Channel.
Sponsors pay to support the content. Although Honda is currently the only sponsor of the first two programs, other non-competing advertisers could also sign as sponsors. Future plans include e-commerce areas that could generate revenue for both Studio One and sponsors.
Sites that want-and are approved to run-Studio One content can post it for free. Web sites may garner revenue by selling ad space on the content area, providing ads don’t compete with existing sponsors.
Studio One hopes to have six to eight shows by the end of the year, covering health, fashion and technology, among others. Content is developed in-house under the direction of industry veterans. The automotive content, for example, is overseen by Jack Nerad, former editor of both Motor Trend Magazine and Automotive Age Magazine. CyberPlay columnist Steven L. Kent oversees the gaming content. Studio One has also been approached to develop customized, non-sponsored content.
Studio One was founded in late 1997 by Susman, a former director of business development for Time Inc. New Media, and chairman Robert Blackmore, a former executive vice president at NBC Television Network. Studio One has consulted with various sites including CTW Online, developing content sponsored by Ford and Procter & Gamble. Studio One also developed sponsored content for Softbank’s ad rep division, which has since been sold. ƒ