BroadbandTV looking to create “next Disney”

Shahrzad Rafati

Shahrzad Rafati

BroadbandTV, the MCN owned by RTL Group, wants to build on its acquisition of YoBoHo, the outfit behind YouTube kids channel HooplaKidz, to create “the next Disney”, according to Shahrzad Rafati, founder and CEO of BroadbandTV.

Speaking at the MIPCOM programming market this morning, Rafati said that international expansion is a big part of BroadbandTV’s strategy, and that the acquisition of HooplaKidz is to create a strong ecosystem within the kids and family market. “We wanted to add our expertise and complement what they brought to the table to create the next Disney,” she said.

BroadbandTV acquired YoBoHo in April this year.

She cited the example of Disney’s acquisition of Maker Studios and said that creating a “content engine” was vital. Content creators also need to become technology companies to work out the distribution piece. Particularly to mobile.

Rafati said that there were a number of key lessons content providers had to take on board to make money. One is to find new ways of creating revenue from content such as creating retail stores as BroadbandTV has done. “You also need to think horizontally, because if something works in one market you need to be able quickly to take it to others,” she said.

Rafati said that, as an MCN, owning and operating your own brands is “only part of the game”. She said that BroadbandTV owned 100% of its own original content but that “a strong strategy is about connecting content” across content from multiple sources, including originals and wholly owned and operated content.

As an example, Rafati said that BroadbandTV had teamed up with The Huffington Post in July to create Outspeak, a citizen journalism network and build a “strong ecosystem for citizen journalism” that is different from “the push model” adopted by companies such as Vice Media.

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