A North East business is setting up among the stars of Beverley Hills as it pursues a radical new direction.
The Newcastle-headquartered Navada Group, which also has sites in Belfast and London, has achieved 50% year-on-year growth since it was established as a digital marketing business in 2012.
Now it is concentrating on what it calls a “disruptive digital distribution platform” it believes could change the way audiences and brands engage with film and television.
At the heart of the concept is the idea that online content can extend way beyond the main product, offering more services for fans and creating new opportunities for brand visibility.
“We’re really shifting towards new technologies and new content,” said co-founder Jeremy Forsberg, who will relocate to the US, taking on the title of CEO, North America.
“It’s content that makes people engage with brands.
“With traditional models, people would go to studios, get funding and take what they’re doing to general release. But we want to expand on that.
“Young people, for example, watch 20 times more content online compared to other mediums so we’re creating a model that rewards those people.”
The company’s first international office, secured as it seeks to boost its current six-figure turnover into seven-figure territory in the near future, will be shared with Jey International Management, a talent agency that focuses on so-called ‘digital influencers’, such as those shooting to fame on YouTube.
Navada recognises serious potential in this field, given the credibility such individuals have among their fanbases, compared to traditional celebrities.
“Jey International Management has got the talent,” Mr Forsberg said. “We’re bringing a greater synergy between the assets and skills of each party.
“We’re really shaking things up - this is a new way of engaging with audiences. There is a lot of content that can be created that allows brands to be more involved.
“It’s about giving everything a bit more life and integrating that with creativity. There are multiple layers of potential.”
The Navada Group will be kicking off its US launch by showcasing an example of its new proposition to top names in music, entertainment and technology at this year’s Technology Innovators Forum (TIF-IN) in Los Angeles today and tomorrow.
TIF-IN is a collaboration between Universal Music Group, Founders Forum, the BBC and BBC Worldwide, and UK Trade & Investment.
“We want to make some great progress with the studios when it comes to this model,” Mr Forsberg said
“We’ve also got lots of meeting with those operating digital platforms, whom we hope will help carry this forward with us.”
Navada’s CEO for Europe Matthew Scott said: “Via our exclusive partnership with Jey International Management, we are set to seriously disrupt the media industry, so it makes sense for us have a presence in the heartland of film and television.
“With our heritage in creative digital storytelling and innovative technology distribution models, coupled with the subscriber bases of the digital stars on Jey Management’s books and its brand relationships, we are developing a new category in media. Ultimately we can, together, develop and lead a new era in quality content for the digital world.”