I dread Comic-Con every year, but that comes with the job. I have a different experience than most people who attend, and perhaps those attendees never want the Comic-Con experience to stop. Comic-Con International and Lionsgate have partnered to launch the previously announced Comic-Con International subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service.
Multi-platform production executive Seth Laderman has been named Executive Vice President & General Manager of the service, and per the press release, “will be responsible for programming the service’s broad portfolio of content, including original short-form content created exclusively for the channel’s subscribers, films and television series from Lionsgate and other studios designed to appeal to the diverse interests of Comic-Con’s fans as well as exclusive archived footage from Comic-Con’s 45-year history.”
Laderman previously helped Nerdist expand into a serious network, and it will be interesting to see if he can do the same for Comic-Con. It’s an important brand, and partnering with Lionsgate could be huge if the studio chooses to provide some of their top content such as The Hunger Games movies or Mad Men. However, those may be licensed exclusively to Netflix, which means other, less popular movies and shows could fill the content gap. The press release mentions that they’re also hoping to get other studios to provide content “designed to appeal to the diverse interests of Comic-Con’s fans as well as exclusive archived footage from Comic-Con’s 45-year history,” in addition to “original short-form content created exclusively for the channel’s subscribers.”
This is all well and good, but I want to see how the service interacts with San Diego Comic-Con. We saw earlier this year how Star Wars Celebration livestreamed their Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel and trailer. The announcement of the livestream came after tickets were sold, so I don’t know how much livestreaming affected attendance. There’s a convention beyond the panels, but if you’re someone who wants to go to Comic-Con for Hall H, is it worth it to be in that room? Or will studios realize they can reach a wider audience by livestreaming a panel? I’m eager to find out.
Here’s the press release:
SETH LADERMAN NAMED EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT & GENERAL MANAGER OF COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL SUBSCRIPTION VIDEO ON DEMAND (SVOD) SERVICE
Digital Executive Will Spearhead Programming for New Platform Launching First Quarter of 2016
SANTA MONICA and SAN DIEGO, CA, June 24, 2015 – Multi-platform production executive Seth Laderman has been named Executive Vice President & General Manager of the previously announced Comic-Con International subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service, the new platform preparing to launch in the first quarter of 2016, it was announced today by the channel’s operators, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) and Comic-Con International.
Mr. Laderman, in association with Comic-Con International, will be responsible for programming the service’s broad portfolio of content, including original short-form content created exclusively for the channel’s subscribers, films and television series from Lionsgate and other studios designed to appeal to the diverse interests of Comic-Con’s fans as well as exclusive archived footage from Comic-Con’s 45-year history. The Comic-Con International SVOD service is designed to expand the comics and pop culture event of the year into a year-round online experience for longtime fans and new audiences.
“We intend to differentiate our service through the depth and diversity of its content, the quality of its curation and the joys of discovering its rich mix of programming,” said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer. “Seth is ideally qualified to create a line-up that delights fans and newcomers alike with a combination of beloved treasures, thrilling discoveries and unique original content designed exclusively to satisfy our audiences.”
“We are thrilled to have Seth join the team. He has the track record, skill set and creative instincts to produce programming that speaks to our fans and extends the magic of the Comic-Con International experience to online audiences around the world,” continued Comic-Con Director of Marketing & Public Relations David Glanzer. “His unique understanding of fan culture makes him the perfect choice for this position and he, along with Lionsgate, will help expand our horizons by delivering premium quality, fun, and educational content to an ever growing audience.”
Mr. Laderman has spent the past 12 years developing content and overseeing production for digital and television platforms. He was head of production for Legendary Digital and Nerdist Industries, helping to spearhead the digital growth of Nerdist Industries as the YouTube premium content initiative was getting underway. At Nerdist he helped lead the transformation of Chris Hardwick’s start-up podcast and Website into a worldwide distribution platform with over 20 million monthly active users. He also oversaw the Nerdist Podcast Network encompassing more than 30 different podcasts with programming seven nights a week.
While at Nerdist he also helped launch and executive produce a number of digital projects that transitioned into television shows and linear programming including All Star Celebrity Bowling on AMC, Nerdist News on the SyFy Network, Justin Willman’s Magic Meltdown on Comedy Central, The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Live Show on BBC America and the upcoming reboot of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl in partnership with Fullscreen.
Mr. Laderman subsequently headed content operations as Senior VP for the newly-launched Legendary Digital Networks after Legendary Pictures acquired Nerdist. In that capacity, he ran day-to-day operations and oversaw content acquisition and development for Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls at the Party and Felicia Day’s Geek & Sundry in addition to Hardwick’s Nerdist Industries. He helped forge content partnerships with Xbox, Spotify, Twitch and Verizon to grow the Legendary brand into a major force in the digital world.
“This is a world I know and love, a community I appreciate and respect. I’m thrilled to embark on this adventure with Lionsgate and Comic-Con International, two of the boldest, most innovative and visionary brands in fan culture,” said Mr. Laderman. “It’s an incredible opportunity to engage this awesome fan base and launch a service that will expand the world of Comic-Con by bringing exciting new content to its fans.”
“I worked with Seth at Nerdist, and he speaks our language,” said Lionsgate President of Interactive Ventures & Games Peter Levin. “His understanding of the fan experience and his track record of launching great new digital shows make him the perfect choice to lead the expansion of the pop culture event of the year into a year-round online experience for future generation fans, geeks, nerds like us and newbies alike.”
Last year 17 of the top 20 North American box office blockbusters had a presence at the Comic-Con Convention along with ground-breaking television series such as The Walking Dead and American Horror Story. Comic-Con International has grown from 300 attendees in the basement of San Diego’s U.S. Grant Hotel in 1970 to well over 130,000 fans from around the world last year, marking its evolution into a staple of popular culture and the longest-running comics and popular arts convention in America. Badges for this year’s Comic-Con sold out in 60 minutes.
Fans may visit http://comic-con.org/ondemand to become the first to learn details about the new service.