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New video-on-demand platform TV Tapas launched by 5 Minute Network

By Angela Haggerty, Reporter

March 4, 2013 | 5 min read

An online TV brand creation from 5 Minute Network has launched in Glasgow, offering six on demand affinity group-based channels.

The TV Tapas video-on-demand platform was built by 5 Minute Network

The video platform for TV Tapas was built from scratch by the company's own developers and provides content in five-minute bite sized chunks based on affinity group demographics. Creative director, Paul Hineman, a BAFTA award-winning television director, believes there is a gap in the market for high quality, accredited content that advertisers can get on board with.

"The rise of the smart phone and tablet generation means that today people want to digest online entertainment in small bite sized amounts while on the go," Hineman commented. "We realised that while YouTube may have the user-generated market sewn up there was a gaping hole when it came to good quality, informative, online programmes which are easily accessible and succinct. YouTube provides unaccredited content. Coming from broadcasting, we can't do that. Everything has to be factually correct.

The service provides six channels covering lifestyle, travel, careers, money, environment and entertainment and drama. The company has a deal with London-based global distributor DRG, which distributes shows such as The Inbetweeners and Shameless, in which TV Tapas can source content and cut it down to five-minute chunks to fit its bite sized TV concept. It will also carry original content produced by 5 Minute Network, including a weekly drama series, Between Floors, based around the happenings inside a lift at a multinational corporation.

"Each of our channels goes after a fairly broad demographic, but within that, we are actively seeking to engage with much more discreet affinity groups; we have the luxury of being much more targeted. And we're all members of affinity groups; if you're a pet owner you're part of a huge affinity group. If you're a keen cook, that's another. The list goes on," Hineman added.

Although 5 Minute Network is based in Glasgow, the creators are keen that the venture doesn't become defined as an exclusively Scottish TV offering and will take the project to a London launch on 5 March. The brand is being promoted through social media, which will be the main tool used to communicate with users, and the company is working with developers on an app to host the service but has no launch date set. In a move against the user-generated online trend, no content will come from users and there is no comment or discussion facility on the site.

"User generated content has its place but people want to see something a bit quirky and something they're interested in. There's a gap in the market for high quality content advertisers can be associated with. They want something original, easily accessible, easy to find. The can be comfortable with that source or channel because they know exactly what they're buying into," said business development director, Melissa Todd.

"The offer to sponsors and advertisers is clear: become the brand partner of premium content and reach identified, targeted affinity groups. There is always a challenge in attracting advertisers to a brand new service. People want figures. Video-on-demand numbers are accumulated over time, so your advertisers have to come on a longer journey with you, and that is a major USP - the brand-partner relationship is long term."

The service went live at the beginning of March and is broadcasting to the UK and Republic of Ireland, although the creators say they will extend the reach throughout 2013. They also say there is scope to franchise the idea; having built the platform and with an ability to provide content, plans are in place to package the TV Tapas concept and licence it out. 5 Minute Network hopes TV Tapas can showcase a new way of delivering on demand TV which the industry has so far been unable to crack.

"The next generation of video on demand services is going to start to look largely more like TV Tapas," Hineman added. "We have looked at the market and we see this as a great opportunity to grow with our audiences. Internet TV has grown up."

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