Late last month at the AlwaysOn conference in Manhattan, I caught up with Vincent Schavione, the Philadelphia-based entrepreneur and angel who announced the launch of FountainHead, an online network of lifestyle shows.
Some of the shows have received mixed initial reviews from the web video digerati. From my perspective, I wonder who is going to watch all these broadband, destination-based online shows. But, there is room for innovation and smart moves.
FountainHead is producing both English and Spanish-language versions of the shows. I haven’t heard of other narrowcasters doing this and I think it is really smart. Surely the Spanish-speaking audience in the U.S. is growing and will consume online video programming.
Moreover, there are huge untapped global markets for online video in the native language. I was speaking with Rocketboom’s creator Andrew Baron who told me that the global stage for online video is largely under served. (Andrew uses a system in which foreign language speakers input translation captions via tool called dotSUB.)
While English has become a global language, most of the world doesn’t speak a lick. Even for those who can read English, they prefer to watch news and entertainment in their native tongue.
Vincent says that the value proposition for a "venture sized" valuation for his company is the expansion into other international markets.
Whether Vincent and his crew find an audience and revenue stream is hard to say. What is very important here is the multilingual approach which is very innovative.
— Andy Plesser