nScreenMedia OTT multiscreen media analysis

nScreenNoise – Reaching a new audience with OTT original Sci-Fi service

nScreenMedia Video Podcast

How do you build an online video business to compete with a television giant? I talk with the Managing Director of Gunpowder & Sky, Randel Bryan, in nScreenNoise about how the company’s new Dust service is going about building a new Sci-Fi audience online to rival SyFy on TV.

Chapter 1: About Gunpowder & Sky and Dust (0:20)

Gunpowder & Sky is a global studio, dedicated to creating and distribution content in new and innovative ways. It was created by AT&T and is part of the Chernin Media Group.

Gunpowder & Sky created Dust as a science prediction destination that seeks to aggregate the world’s best short-form Sci-Fi stories. The objective is to build an audience on existing online video platforms and then figure out how to move the audience to other platforms and destinations.

Chapter 2: Where the content comes from (1:50)

Dust’s content comes from four main areas:

  • Student filmmakers
  • indie filmmakers making pilots
  • emerging film talent
  • film schools

Tapping these sources, Dust has built a library of 250 films.

The brand’s primary monetization platform is YouTube. Here Mr. Bryan expects viewers to engage with the longer-form videos. Facebook is the main growth driver. Dust has generated a million likes on the social giant and sees it as a great place to drive growth in the Sci-Fi community.

Dust is also looking to establish its own destination. Mr. Bryan has had discussions with Twitch about having its own dedicated channel business. It has also discussed a premium Sci-Fi short-form content network with Amazon Channels. Amazon would support micropayment transactions (less than $1), allowing a viewer to pay $0.25 to watch a 3-minute short, for example.

Chapter 3: Establishing the brand (3:55)

Mr. Bryan says that he doesn’t need to own the entire platform to establish Dust’s brand. He points at Amazon, saying it needs personalization and a way to speak to niche audiences. Dust, he says, helps provide that.

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