Original video content online has a stigma attached to it. Although it is original, it’s generally thought to be a lower form of content than the stuff made in Hollywood. While that used to be because much of it was user generated or amateur content, we’re seeing more Hollywood players such a Seth MacFarlane (the creator of the Fox show Family Guy) getting involved in its creation. Still, the stigma remains. But if Ashton Kutcher, the actor and part of the team behind the new online video venture Blah Girls, has his way, online and television content will soon merge and stigmas will fall by the wayside.
Kutcher, alongside his Katalyst Media partner Jason Goldberg, launched Blah Girls at the TechCrunch50 conference in San Francisco this week. The hope is that the endeavor is just the start of a series of original content ideas that Katalyst will launch. Goldberg told me there are currently five of these online shows in development.
The Blah Girls’ show is called “Blah Blah Blah.” Its crude humor and graphical stylings definitely bring to mind Comedy Central’s hit show South Park, but the Blah Girls are going for a different demographic. It’s being targeted at “the average US weekly reader,” Kutcher explains. It also skews younger because the three main Blah Girls, Tiffany, Brittney and Krystle, are teenage girls remarking on popular culture elements.
Each episode is a few minutes long and there will be new episodes every Monday and Thursday. The site also features other elements, like a blog and an area to ask the Blah Girls questions. The responses are automatically drawn from one of several possible answers. There is also a shop for local merchandise and social networking elements if you sign up for an account on the site.
When it comes to spreading Blah Girls content, Kutcher and Goldberg have what I think is a good mentality. They don’t care if you watch the video on their site or see it shared on YouTube or some other video site. The reason is that ads on their pages aren’t their primary means of revenue. Instead, Blah Girls’ episodes feature product placement built into the content. The first partner is Vitamin Water.
This is similar to the approach that the online video channel Revision3 is taking. Because sponsorship and products are within the content, it doesn’t matter where the shows reside, and they are distributed through many channels, including iTunes and BitTorrent.
When I asked Kutcher why he thought it was the right time to make the move online now, he pointed at my laptop and said “This is the DVR (digital video recorder) of the future.” By that, he means computers will soon be a part of the living room, and content you generally can only find online — content like Blah Girls — will be in your living room.
“It’s about getting the content there fast enough at a high enough quality,” Kutcher said referring to getting the Internet content into the living room. Significant Hollywood players pushing for that can only help the cause.
See an episode of Blah Blah Blah embedded below.http://www.blahgirls.com/wp-content/themes/blah-girls/includes/flash/blah_girl_videoplayer_8.swf