Fan Media Network plans to disrupt the traditional media landscape, giving both casual and rabid fans alike the opportunity to cover their favorite teams in non-traditional ways.
Last week, the startup extended its platform beyond just its iPhone app to desktop and mobile users on FanMediaNetwork.com.
According to Founder and Chief Executive Officer Kirk Berridge, Fan Media is the first media company where viewers can determine the network’s correspondents, an equivalent to traditional on-air talent, which Berridge called an “old, tired media model.”
“Our niche is social news coverage. Fans, former college players and trained journalists make 30-second videos on their phones covering their favorite teams in their area from their point of view as social news coverage and compete each season to earn official status, money and media credentials.”
Currently, mobile video correspondents cover teams spanning the NCAA, NFL and NBA to the MLB, NHL and MLS, with there being room for Olympics and World Cup footage in the future. Videos include a Yes/No voting system similar to Reddit message boards where they then can be shared into users’ timelines on Facebook and Twitter. As the correspondent and fan network expands, Berridge would like to see Fan Media video content consistently appearing in the Trending Stories on Facebook and Twitter.
Aside from current students earning the opportunity to serve as network correspondents, Fan Media is also giving former college players the ability to serve as Media Analysts where they can create videos and offer unique insight and commentary about their former teams. Berridge sees it as a way for individuals to develop their own mobile demo reel and open up additional media career opportunities.
“This has a lot of value because media companies like ESPN and FOX Sports recently announced budget cuts, layoffs and buyouts. And media companies are looking for mobile video that is social news,” Berridge added.
From a monetization perspective, fans will eventually be able to receive payment from other fans who enjoy their social coverage along with brands looking for product placement or fan testimonials as part of fans’ videos. According to Fan Media, brands paying fans directly would be a first-of-its-kind model in the advertising and sponsorship world.
Through operating the Fan Media marketplace, the social network would in turn earn a percentage. Additionally, Fan Media’s partnerships with Ticketmaster and leading sports online retailer Fanatics will help drive revenue for teams, with the company taking a small cut, too.
“No one needs to quit their day job to make videos on their phone,” Berridge said. “This is stuff fans are already doing. Fan Media gives it organization, purpose, competition and incentives not being offered anywhere else in the world.”