Ripe Digital Switches Ad Sales Pitch

NEW YORK With short-form branded entertainment attracting interest from more brands, Ripe Digital Entertainment, an online video platform, has modified its sales approach to create new opportunities.

At what the entertainment firm refers to as its “in front” (the equivalent of a broadcast TV network’s upfront) this Thursday at New York’s Soho House, Ripe Digital will unveil its new strategy when it presents its 2008 programming slate.

“We’ve switched gears as far as how we sell our networks [Ripe TV, Octane TV and Flow TV] where we are selling programming rather than our networks as one property,” said Ryan Magnussen, CEO. The change resulted from advertiser demand, said Magnussen. “We’re catering more to what advertisers want. So we’re [allowing] advertisers to pick and choose the shows they want as well as support the overall network,” he said.

Ripe Digital will present 24 new shows, with celebrity talent attached, including Danny Bonaduce, Jamie Kennedy, Jay Z with Def Jam and Tyson Beckford. Magnussen added that Ripe Digital also has another 90 shows in development. Each one has celebrity or producing talent attached. It also works with the likes of Ross McCall and Aaron Peters, who produce shows such as The Simple Life.

Brands can advertise in and around the shows. Sponsors can also be integrated into a program as it is being produced. The programs tend to run five to seven minutes in length and can total five to 20 episodes for a season, said Magnussen. Ripe Digital has worked with sponsors such as Old Spice, Electronic Arts and Boost Mobile on product integration. 

Ripe Digital reaches about 100 million screens via its Ripe, Octane and Flow networks, according to Magnussen. Distribution includes 30 million cable households via Comcast and Time Warner Cable’s on-demand platforms; 50 million screens on broadband via deals with YouTube and MySpace and through its own portals; and 20 million mobile screens through agreements with Helio, Sprint and Verizon.

Ripe Digital claims to be among the first to gain wide reach on various channels. “We’re certainly the first multi-platform play where you can get 30 million TV households in addition to broadband and mobile,” said Magnussen.

This is Ripe Digital’s second in front, though it is the first to be focused on advertising wrapped around the programming.