By Sahil Patel
As many online video companies continue to search for ways to build sustainable digital content businesses, here’s another attempt to bring some structure and support to what is often referred to as a “Wild West.”
Several top YouTube-based businesses are banding together to launch a new industry nonprofit designed to promote the overall “business interests” of its member companies, as well as the online video industry at-large.
Called GOVA, which stands for the Global Online Video Association, the nonprofit’s launch members include MCNs like Big Frame, BroadbandTV, Collective Digital Studio, DECA, Fullscreen, Maker Studios, and MiTu Networks. Discovery Digital Networks and Magnet Media, a NY-based creative studio, which don’t exactly rely on YouTube for distribution and revenue, are also on board as GOVA founding fathers.
The main goal for GOVA is to assist each of these member companies, which altogether account for more than 10 billion monthly views, in the production, licensing, and distribution of original content.
The companies will periodically collaborate on new opportunities in the space, including industry events like the IAB-managed Newfronts. (Maker Studios is presenting at the 2014 Newfronts, with Fullscreen and CDS being among the companies said to be considering similar events. DECA and MiTu held Newfront events in previous years.)
GOVA will look to provide “significant investments” for the production and monetization of original content to its member organizations. This includes assistance for something which its member companies have a lot of expertise in — owning and operating YouTube-based MCNs.
Unsurprisingly, advertising is another major area of focus for GOVA. By showing up to and collaborating around events such as the Newfronts and the MIP Digital Fronts, the GOVA companies hope to raise awareness for online originals among brands, agencies, and consumers. Other “missions” include establishing common industry terms and measurement standards, as well as fostering relationships with major distributors like YouTube, Amazon, and Microsoft.
“Online video is a fundamentally different media for advertisers with strong online communities in which the creators themselves exert huge influence upon paid and earned media,” said Ezra Cooperstein, COO of FullScreen, in a statement. “GOVA will provide a bridge for creating value for advertisers by helping to inform, educate, and reinforce the best practices for working with the new breed of video companies and brands.”
“We look forward to working with our fellow GOVA members to tell the story of the opportunity for all partners in the growing online video industry,” added Sean Atkins, SVP at Discovery Digital Networks.
The nonprofit organization will be led by Paul Kontonis, the current SVP of strategy and sales at Collective Digital Studio and former chairman at the IAWTV. As executive director of GOVA, Kontonis will be at the helm of GOVA for its inaugural year.