Discovery and Eric Schmidt Back New Subscription Online Video Platform

/ Mar 11, 2014

TAPPLogo

After reporting earlier on a new online video venture from Jeff Gaspin, the former chairman of NBC Universal Television, and Jon Klein, former president of CNN US, we now have a name.

Tapp is a new subscription-based online video service based around prominent personalities. Think of it as a celebrity video network, with daily and behind-the-scenes content coming from “the nation’s top thought leaders” across categories like sports, politics, religion, relationships, entertainment, lifestyle, fashion, fitness, and more.” Earlier reports suggested that Gaspin and Klein had reached out to controversial politician Sarah Palin to host one of these channels. Each channel would cost $9.95 per month, with separate prices for longer subscriptions.

While content will be based on personalities, Tapp will be handling everything from program strategy to production, user experience, marketing, distribution, and app development.

In addition to being available online, Tapp will also have apps for mobile and connected-TV platforms.

The platforms that Tapp will be available on will also shape the type of content it distributes. “There will be long form content for those viewing Tapp on PCs and smart TVs, and easy to access, sharable, snackable content for mobile video users on the go,” said Klein, who’s on board as Tapp CEO, in a statement. (Gaspin serves as the startup’s first chairman, with Tapp’s third co-founder, Michael Greer, in the CTO role.)

The venture is backed by Discovery Communications, Demarest Films, and Google chairman Eric Schmidt, as well as several individual investment bankers.

No word on whether Tapp will have any relationships with Discovery or its growing portfolio of online video networks — but something interesting to note: Sean Atkins, SVP and GM of digital at Discovery, is also on Tapp’s board.

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