A new online television channel called MoveRight.TV launching next month aims to build viewership among racial minorities and women, constituencies the GOP struggles with at the ballot box.
Under the motto of “Conservative Diversity. American Values,” the site is officially slated to launch April 15th. However, MoveRight.TV had a soft launch at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month, where correspondents spoke with well-known conservative figures ranging from Ben Carson to Carly Fiorina and Newt Gingrich. The platform also features content from outside producers such as RebelPundit, which produced a dramatic narrative from African-American activists questioning Democratic dominance among black voters.
The channel has been built by TV Worldwide, a non-partisan web production company launched in 1995 specializing in interactive, community-based channels targeting advocacy groups and specialized commercial audiences, including for Fortune 500 companies. TV Worldwide chairman and CEO Dave Gardy estimated that the company earns only between 5 and 10 percent of its revenues from political clients, thought he said TV Worldwide broke ground as the first company to webcast a political convention, the 2000 Democratic convention in Los Angeles. The company has also worked for clients ranging from Mark Warner to Frank Caprio and Ken Cuccinelli.
“We have a long history of pioneering solutions and building database audiences,” Gardy said in an interview with Opportunity Lives.“Our intent there [with the soft launch videos] is to foster interest from potential sponsors. We’re looking to see what happens after the hard launch … We’ve learned about demographics, and that’s why we’ve developed expertise about this.”
Gardy said his firm was approached by members of the conservative community who had studied American demographic and political trends and asked for help to build out the platform.
“They said ‘We think there are people in minority communities who have conservative values who have no contact for but would appreciate outreach to,’” Gardy said. “It’s not just racial minorities, it’s diversity across the spectrum … the goal is to create a community that basically would serve that target demographic audience, which is disseminated online. It’s not to treat them as minorities, it’s to say ‘This is a big tent, this is a melting pot.’”
TV Worldwide specializes in live, interactive webcasts, which he said is key to the future of television. He distinguished between what he called “lean out” and “lean in” television, where a passive, relaxing audience consuming media without interactivity would be “leaning out” and a viral, interactive, social-media rich community would be “leaning in,” particularly online.
“We want our content to go viral, so we’ll put share elements on it,” he said. “We’re looking for lean-in. We don’t expect people to come home, plug in their computer in the den and watch our channel online while sitting in a Lazy Boy.”
Gardy said the team has had discussions about syndication or repurposing and sharing content on other sites. The platform is for-profit, and Gardy’s team is considering several revenue streams, from advertising pre-roll during content to advertorial pieces to advertising video alongside editorial content and potentially pay-per view. Another potenial revenue stream is from outside groups who produce their own content and would pay MoveRight.TV for distribution.
“We’re not against YouTube, but we just believe in trying to build content and database,” he said. “We want to get the traffic mainly because we want to build brand and have sponsors. We have talked to other media outlets because people are just interested in what we’re doing. As we’ve been putting up content from CPAC, some of those people have been distributing the content … If we’re intriguing people and we’re not even launched fully, we’re going to let that happen.”
The channel’s correspondents thus far include two African-American women, Maya Boston in Baltimore and Audrey Adams in New York City.
“They’re very talented on camera, and I think they appeal to our target demographic,” Gardy said. “I would classify them as politically neutral, but they believe that there are conservative people in the community. I was apprehensive looking for people in the community and I’m not limiting it to non-whites, because there’s women. We’re not anti-white male, the goal is to show diversity, which is a word that the liberal community loves to use. It doesn’t have to be part of their whole lexicon, it can be part of the conservative lexicon, too.”
Carrie Sheffield is Senior Writer at Opportunity Lives. You can follow her on Twitter @carriesheffield and on Facebook.