VIDBLOGGER NATION, FIRST NATIONAL SOCIAL TV NETWORK, ROLLED OUT BY COMCAST ON DEMAND LOCAL AND SIMPLYNEW STUDIOS

SimplyNew Studios Founder Marc Scarpa Helps Develop New Social TV Platform; Casts Local Tastemaker Talent in 10 Major Markets to Produce Unique Video Essays

FOR RELEASE ON: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2011

LOS ANGELES and NEW YORK – SimplyNew Studios today announced the launch of VidBlogger Nation, the first national social t.v. network. The network features self-portraits by hometown tastemakers who share the stories of people, places and things in their city from a first-person perspective. VidBlogger Nation rolls out in 10 key markets, including Philadelphia, New Jersey, New England, Atlanta, South Florida, Michigan, Denver, Portland (Oregon), Sacramento, and San Francisco. Each market will be anchored by local talent that maintains a strong Facebook and Twitter followings, in addition to personal blogs and vlogs and fan sites.

Created by renowned participatory media director-producer Marc Scarpa in partnership with Comcast On Demand Local, VidBlogger Nation is shot on location by the local vidbloggers, both male and female in the 14-30 age range. The VidBlogger Nation programming consists of colorful three-to-five-minute episodes on topics ranging from ‘Naked Cocktails’ (a look at best non-alcoholic bars and happy hours) and ‘Awesome Wi-Fi’ (where to go for the best free wi-fi) to ‘Haunted Places’ (visiting sites supposedly haunted by local spirits) and ‘Music Mania’ (a review of the vidblogger’s favorite music). The vidbloggers create, shoot and edit their pieces in their own unique style and these are available on Comcast On Demand as local and national segments.

The first-person narrative of the VidBlogger Nation pieces captures idiosyncratic moments in the local markets that relate to the bloggers’ personalities. The resulting product is an essay that is diaristic without becoming a travelogue or a news documentary. Story concepts originate from both SimplyNew and the local talent.
“We wanted to create a social t.v. look-and-feel that emanated from the web, with a style that fit the locale of the vidblogger’s world, and enabled them to be natural hosts for stories that were authentic to them,” said Scarpa. “As television moves toward an all-IP universe, the grammar of what we watch on t.v. will have more to do with an emerging, and immersive, web presence. Vidblogger Nation is the first step toward blurring the
boundaries between web t.v. and cable t.v.”

The VidBlogger Nation roll-out will initially include three full seasons for each market, or 360 episodes in the next 90 days. Both Comcast On Demand Local and SimplyNew Studios will consider further markets after the initial run concludes.

SimplyNew began casting for VidBlogger Nation through an outreach program in late 2010, and narrowed the talent down to 15 before making final decisions in August, 2011.

The VidBlogger Nation network talent includes:

  • Zennie Abraham, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Sarah Austin, San Francisco, California
  • Jessica Berry, Philadelphia
  • Jen Friel, New England
  • Rocco Leo Gaglioti, New Jersey
  • Sacha Heppell, Denver, Colorado
  • Jenny Scordamaglia, South Florida
  • Ann Spade, Sacramento, California
  • Tony Thomas, Portland, Oregon
  • Jeffrey Wisenbaugh, Michigan

About SimplyNew Studios

SimplyNew Studios is a leading developer of participatory media productions, including live web, mobile, and on-demand broadcast events. The company was founded in 2001 by renowned director-producer Marc Scarpa, a pioneer in the webcasting industry who is founding member of the Producers Guild of America New Media Council. Based in Los Angeles, SimplyNew Studios specializes in multi-platform productions, and have delivered groundbreaking content for customers including Comcast, Sony Music, MySpace, the GRAMMYs, and Woodstock ’99, among others. For more information, please visit the company web site at www.simplynew.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you would like a color photograph of Marc Scarpa, CEO of SimplyNew Studios; VidBlogger Nation headshots or production stills, please contact Chris Pfaff on 201-218-0262 or chris@chrispfafftechmedia.com

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