Launched March 15, 2017 at SXSW, Seeka TV looks beyond the simple problem of streaming a show to solve all aspects of web series delivery, including audience growth, audience engagement, and monetization.
With cable subscribers cutting the cord and the studio model crumbling before Hollywood’s eyes, a first generation of players created a business model that rewards the distribution platforms at the expense of the independent content creators.
Seeka TV is the first of a new generation of online platforms that serve both content creators and viewers.
“The current business model in online streaming works well for the traditional players, but it works poorly for the filmmaker,” states Seeka TV co-founder and CEO David Bagley. “Our approach is simple. If we build a platform that solves filmmaker needs, we will attract the best content. If we attract the best content, we’ll attract viewers.”
Traditional options for filmmakers focus on the problem of streaming the show. Web series delivery is much more than a place to stream, however. It’s about creating and building an audience, engaging with the audience, and then finding ways both to make money off the show as well as fund new shows. Seeka TV co-founder and VP of Programming George Reese notes, “One of my motivations behind Seeka TV is my experience as a filmmaker. Web series creators want to get back to making the next episode or the next season or the next series. They don’t want to be out there begging for viewers, begging for likes, and begging for money.”
On top of our online streaming services is a complete social viewing platform that integrates with popular social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook. Seeka TV viewers can easily share the shows they like and their commentary on those shows with their friends and followers. In fact, viewers can interact in real-time through scheduled Watch Parties that enable a group of friends to watch a show together with a single play/pause control and chat panel.
Filmmakers can use this social interaction to insert their own filmmaker timestamped commentary for viewers and private or public fan watch parties.
Seeka TV combines awareness of social interactions in our platform to let viewers know which shows are popular among their friends and followers. Over the course of the beta, we’ll leverage these capabilities to encourage viewers to discover new content—not simply watch the show that drew them into the platform in the first place.
Seeka TV will also be rolling out a variety of monetization tools starting with standardized tipping across all shows managed by the Seeka TV platform (no more reels begging for donations). Future revenue streams will include advertising, premium subscriptions, and other avenues the company is not yet disclosing.
The promise of Seeka TV has drawn some of the top web series online today. One of the creators of Austin’s award winning web series The Pantsless Detective, Dipu Bhattacharya said of his rationale for joining the Seeka TV lineup, “George is both an independent filmmaker and a veteran of the high-tech industry, like we are, and that showed in his understanding of the challenges facing both creators and distributors today. We were really impressed with the roadmap for Seeka TV and just couldn’t pass up a chance to be part of this platform from the ground up.”
Matt Anderson, the creator of Minneapolis-based Theater People, states, “When we launched Theater People, the web series landscape was pretty much unmapped. Five years later… it’s still pretty much unmapped. How do you find a good show? How does a good show find you? What excites me most about Seeka TV is that they’re creating a beacon not just for viewers, but also for filmmakers—a spotlight that connects content with an audience to the benefit of both.”
About Seeka TV
Seeka TV is a next-generation curated platform carrying the best independent web series content and is available free to the public starting today at http://watch.seeka.tv. Our lineup of more than 300 episodes across more than 40 shows includes many of the most highly lauded web series, including:
- 20 Seconds to Live
- Conversations from the Afterlife
- Lovers and Others
- The Pantsless Detective
- Real Tinder Convos
- The Rub
- Theater People
Seeka TV was founded in 2016 with headquarters in Minneapolis when Enstratius founders David Bagley (CEO) and George Reese (VP of Programming) joined with Dell Software CTO Donald Ferguson to build a filmmaker-oriented social viewing platform.
Bagley is a veteran tech founder with a broad range of experience in high growth environments. David co-founded Enstratius in 2009 to provide an infrastructure management platform for enterprise applications in public and private clouds. Enstratius was acquired by Dell in 2013. Prior to that David held leadership roles at Retek, Accenture and Optimi Corp.
Reese has worked in television, film, and technology as an entrepreneur and independent filmmaker for over 25 years. He began his career working as a production assistant on Judge Wapner’s The People’s Court. Since then, he has started several companies and worked on dozens of productions in just about every behind-the-camera role imaginable. George’s prior company, Enstratius, was acquired by Dell in 2013. His feature screenplay Reconquista recently won Best Action/Thriller Script at the New Hope Film Festival. He currently has three short films making the festival circuit: Reconquista, Polo, and Therapy for the Unlawful.
Ferguson has over 30 years of experience leading technical projects in the technology. Prior to Seeka TV, he was VP and CTO for Dell Software (now Quest). Ferguson lead the architecture, implementation design, technical strategy and innovation for Dell Software products and solutions. His experiences before Dell include: executive vice president and chief technology officer for CA Technologies, and Microsoft Technical Fellow.
Ferguson began his career at IBM in 1984 and worked for IBM for more than twenty years. In 2001, Ferguson became an IBM Fellow, IBM’s highest technical honor. He is the only person to have been an IBM Fellow, Microsoft Technical Fellow, and Dell Senior Fellow. Ferguson has over a dozen patents and 50 technical presentations. He made significant contributions to the definitions of J2EE and Web Services, and is often cited as the “Father of WebSphere”. He was the 2013 recipient of the Columbia Engineering Alumni Associations Thomas Egleston Medal for Distinguished Engineering Achievement, awarded annually for recognition of distinguished achievement in engineering or applied science.