Jeff Gaspin, former chairman of NBC Universal Television, and Jon Klein, former president of CNN, announced Tuesday the launch of TAPP, an online video platform featuring multiple channels based on individual media personalities.
“They’re going to be personality-based with people who have super-fans,” TAPP chairman Gaspin said on Bloomberg TV.
“Viewers and users can’t get enough of these particular personalities — to the point where they want actually a more intimate relationship with these personalities than current TV and online offerings afford. So we hope to bring that capability with these channels.”
The venture has received backing from Discovery Communications and executive chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, according to Bloomberg.
Klein, who serves as CEO of TAPP, said the timing for introducing a new online video network is based on the changing landscape of television and video consumption.
“The television industry is exploding rapidly,” Klein said.
“It’s just changing so fundamentally so quickly, and we just wanted to be a part of that because we’ve been a part of a few previous disruptions in the industry with reality television and online video, and this just felt like the moment and the right plan.”
Klein declined to confirm rumors that former 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin would be one of the first personalities to join TAPP, but he did say that hers is the type of brand that the platform aims to target.
“We’re not talking about specific channel launches or specific talent, but I’ll tell you that Sarah Palin is the kind of personality who’s got a massive social media presence … and a core group of followers and supporters who hang on her every word, and that’s exactly the characteristics hat this channel is–these channels are going to exhibit,” Klein told Bloomberg.
“We’re looking for personalities that have that kind of connection with their fans.”