Ellation, the digital video company backed by Peter Chernin and AT&T, thinks it has a solution for fans of anime, animation, gaming, comedy, fantasy and technology who are overwhelmed by the vast programming choices on the web.
The company just unveiled a service called VRV that it says will serve as a one-stop shop for “hand-picked premium channels for members of the fandom.” It will provide packaged programming both a la carte and in bundles beginning on a yet-to-be-determined date later this year, and for yet-to-be-determined prices.
The offerings — announced at the gaming world’s E3 Electronics and Entertainment Expo — will include Ellation’s anime-focused Crunchyroll. In addition, VRV will offer partner channels Rooster Teeth, Seeso, Nerdist Alpha, and Geek & Sundry Alpha and have exclusive rights to Frederator’s premium Cartoon Hangover offering.
Other premium channels, the company says, “will be announced in the coming months.” All of the channels will offer some free, ad-supported content.
“Some channels will be exclusive to the platform, and others will be semi-exclusive,” Ellation CEO Tom Pickett says.
VRV is designed to help the services amass enough viewers and subscribers so they can afford to make additional long-form programming. “We’re all trying to get to millions” of fans, Pickett says.
At first, VRV will work on Android and iOS devices, some unidentified internet TV devices, and Microsoft’s Xbox. Microsoft will be a “key partner,” Ellation says.
Although Ellation is funded by Otter Media, AT&T’s joint venture with Chernin, Pickett says there’s nothing to announce yet about any special offering with the telco.
Frederator Networks CEO Fred Seibert says that he considers VRV to be the “ideal place to showcase Cartoon Hangover.”
Legendary Digital Networks President Adam Rymer — whose services include Nerdist and Geek & Sundry — says the platform could become “an epicenter of great, authentic content tailored for our audience.”
Variety first reported Ellation’s plan.