Studionext Combines Traditional Entertainment Values with Digital Technology
Studionext (www.studionext.com), operates an all-digital media services and production studio in Manhattan. Studionext seeks to combine the successful aspects of traditional models in the entertainment industry, such as those of television stations and movie studios, with the cost cutting benefits of digital technology. The studio recently named Ira Deutchman, founder of Fine Line Features and independent film veteran, as CEO.
Studionext considers themselves an old-time movie studio with a digital mentality. They seek out actors, filmmakers, writers and editors in an attempt to find the best talent for the project at hand. The studio also has its own post-production studio and uses the Internet to reduce production time. For example, Studionext uploads footage onto the Internet for client viewing and approval. This eliminates the time and cost of sending videotapes back and forth by Federal Express.
According to Spencer Huang, vice president of business development, 70 percent of the projects they produce, involve a cash payment for their services. The Tennis Network, a broadband broadcast television network for tennis clubs, recently contracted with Studionext to produce and stream its coverage of certain tennis tournaments.
For some of the more creative projects, Studionext often helps artists to "incubate" their ideas in exchange for part ownership. Studionext then features the productions on its showcase site - www.studionext.tv, where they can track audience response to different programming.
Studionext.tv is gaining an audience for its original programming. Huang states that the site's traffic exceeded 500,000 unique hits in July of this year. The shows "Dealing with Michael Bell" and "Happy People", have become particularly popular. "Dealing with Michael Bell" is represented by the William Morris Agency, which is promoting the show to potential offline buyers.
Huang believes that Studionext.tv may gravitate into a true content site, once that business model has been proven profitable. In the meantime, however, Studionext will continue to focus mainly on production to generate revenue.