September 2, 2016
GoPro has been in the content business for some time, making money with branded video (including partnerships with Ford and Wimbledon), a content licensing portal (especially action-sports clips shot with GoPro), and a YouTube channel with more than 4 million subscribers and 1.25 billion video views. Now, GoPro is committing to entertainment in a new way: launching 32 short-form shows through the end of 2016 and into early 2017. The company is differentiating itself from rivals by offering video editing tools in the cloud.
Variety lists some of the shows soon to debut: travel show “Beyond Places,” the music format “Off the Record,” and the family-themed “This Is Gonna Be Fun” and “Kids Save the World,” as well as a series on soccer club Real Madrid and another on New York motorcycle cops in training.
Industry veteran Ocean MacAdams leads the entertainment unit, with its 200 staffers, among them award-winning sports documentarian Bill McCullough and Joe Lynch, who led Time’s live-streaming efforts. “We’ve really begun to evolve into multi-episode narrative storytelling as opposed to one-off events,” said MacAdams. “We think that we can be a significant part of the business.”
GoPro has taken steps to make it easier to edit and share footage, buying mobile editing apps Quik and Splice (for a combined $105 million). Both apps work with GoPro footage and video/photos captured with smartphones.
“It starts to complete a broader-ecosystem story,” said GoPro president Tony Bates. “It’s not just hardware; it’s also software.” The company has also “been quietly building a set of cloud-based services over the past couple of years,” with a launch planned for later this year.
Although GoPro has not publicly detailed the service, it could “enable its cameras to directly upload content to the cloud via Wi-Fi,” making it easier to “access videos from any Internet-connected device, but also add the potential for a number of editing features” such as multi-cam editing.
GoPro also purchased computer vision startup Lumific, “with the goal of adding more smarts to its services.” Lumific apps help users find the best among similar shots; “applied to video, similar features could further advance GoPro’s cloud services.” The resulting “huge pool of videos” could be “redistributed on GoPro channels or licensed to others,” dramatically increasing the company’s licensing opportunities.