Looking for a more consistent flow of original digital content, Starcom MediaVest Group has inked a multimillion dollar deal with TV producer/digital content developer BermanBraun. The four-year deal, which could be worth $100 million, according to reports, will look to provide Starcom clients with "first look" at new advertising opportunities for digital content. Starcom clients include Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, and Wal-Mart.
SMG's branded entertainment/programming group, Liquid Thread, will be the key unit working with BermanBraun in developing projects.
Key for developers and advertisers is getting an ongoing stream of original video content -- like what exists on traditional TV. Currently, many media companies have dabbled in producing original TV series for the Web -- but typically, these are one-off online-only series that need a individual advertiser/marketer's financial support before production.
"Our clients are rightfully demanding a more robust pipeline of digital programming options beyond existing assets," stated Laura Desmond, global CEO, Starcom MediaVest Group. "It is essential to curate and create new content to fill this gap and deliver meaningful human experiences across all screens."
BermanBraun is a company found by Gail Berman, ex-head of entertainment for the Fox network, and Lloyd Braun, who held senior executive positions at Walt Disney's ABC Entertainment units and at Yahoo!
Besides producing a number of traditional TV shows, the company is pushing into digital areas, hoping to kick off multiple Web sites. Already up and running is Wonderwall.com, a celebrity-gossip based site, which delivers 13 million unique visitors a month, and Glo.com, a health and beauty site, which has registered around 5 million users.
Starcom and BermanBraun intend to co-develop new digital content areas. ______________________________________________________________________