OwnZones Aims For An Unbundled Premium Video Supermarket

Just got off a Hangout with +jonathan tavss, CMO for +OwnZones Media Network, a new premium online content network that is building out a pay-per-channel stable of ad-free premium content for cord-cutters. Joining us was David E. Goldman, Founder of ComedyTime, of the many content providers already signed up to distribute content via this emerging new platform. It was an interesting conversation, and while it's probably too early to say just how far that OwnZones will go in cracking a new model for premium video content, it looks promising from several perspectives.

Promising perspective number one is the pricing: most individual online channels will set you back $2.99 a month, which sounds like a lot to folks used to paying $7.99 for Netflix but when you realize that you're getting just content that really interests you, then it's getting a month's worth of topical video, audio and text media for less than the newsstand price of a typical magazine. From that perspective, if the content is good enough, then there's a good chance that people will bite off a few chunks of it on a regular basis for ad-free enjoyment.

Promising perspective number two is that OwnZones has been hard at work already filling out some very useful content categories with good content, some of it from leading suppliers like Reuters and Inc. magazine as well as ComedyTime, enough that you can browse through a lot of potentially interesting picks. Some of the categories are admittedly thin so far - two choices for the food category, one of them a vegan channel - but there's enough to give you a good flavor of how it works.

Promising perspective number three is that nobody is really doing this anywhere else this way. If cable were to go online and a la carte, hopefully it would look something like this. And that may be the point. Both Jonathan and David are industry veterans of both traditional and online video production, so they're familiar with how brands and business models that seemed like outliers at best can develop quite rapidly in online media, so they're betting that this takes off soon enough, with valuable lessons applied in tow.

Marketing this new platform may be a bit tricky given the restrictions that many content owners place on sharing out content promotionally for viral viewing, but the "bones" are there for this to use viral distribution to amp up awareness of key episodes in its channels. Technology-wise its HTML 5-oriented, so they're preparing for the future of content packaging from day one, which is encouraging.

You can sign up for free trials right now, and for the price I am sure that there may be some things worth checking out. Apps coming, and a whole lot more. Will keep you posted.
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