Yesterday, Louis Black and I had a great lunch with Kip McClanahan and Jennifer Grogono from Austin-based ON Networks. The company is a year-old, VOD production and distribution company. They primarily offer short-form Web content, ranging from narrative comedy shorts to instructional golf specials. There’s a cocktail-recipe show as well as a comics commentary program. Every single one, is shot using high-quality HD. They look great.
The various shows are available to watch online, or download to your iPod, iPhone, etc. According to McClanahan and Grogono, some very interesting developments are underway, and the company should soon become more available via cable-service VOD applications. I’ve already subscribed to some of the shows, for watching on my iPod, and I look forward to seeing what’s next. McClanahan, the company’s Founder and CEO, has an impressive background in new media endeavors. Prior to the creation of ON Networks, he was the CEO of networking company TippingPoint (which was acquired by 3Com in 2004) and before that, he was the CEO and Founder of BroadJump (which merged with Motive in 2003). His work in the new media realm also includes a stint at Dell, back in the early days. Oh, and he’s on the Austin Film Society Board of Directors with me.
ON Networks is always looking for new show ideas to develop. There’s even a link on the homepage, asking for a pitch. As many filmmakers have proven over the last few months, the world of Web-based digital series production, is certainly on the rise. Hopefully some talented filmmakers out there will find a niche that’s all their own. Whether it’s the shows they produce, or the developments of the company’s business, I think a lot of people will be watching ON Networks.