Despite 2016 starting on a rough note for traditional media outlets, niche media providers are on track to make this year a record one for unique media investment.
The proliferation of Internet-based content has allowed consumers to tailor their entertainment experience to their specific needs and demands. Netflix has proven there is great interest in letting viewers pick and play what they want. This tech-based revolution has been made possible through the Internet and the propagation of digital devices that allow viewers to access their entertainment of choice wherever and whenever they want.
Although we are a little more than a month into 2016, there are already some exciting developments in the digital media sector. These advances will usher in even more niche media providers.
Earlier this month, Courtside Ventures, a new media venture capital fund, was unveiled. The fund is aimed at investing $35 million into sports-focused, early-stage technology and media companies. The fund has been implemented through a mutual partnership between Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Bruin Sports Capital and communication services company WPP.
George Pyne, founder of Bruin Sports Capital, told Forbes Magazine, “The idea is that technology is changing the way media is consumed, products are consumed, data is consumed,” explained Pyne. “Sports engages consumers around their passion points in ways that other things don’t.”
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Courtside Ventures is unique in that they are looking to invest in the future of sports entertainment in a variety of capacities.
“We want to be at the forefront of that disruption and change and empower entrepreneurs trying to build disruptive technologies,” said Pyne.
Sports isn’t the only niche media sector getting a serious influx of capital to spur on innovation and creativity. Last week, New York based media startup, Greatist Inc., announced they had raised $4.5 million in capital investment. The money is earmarked to target the Greatist’s growing millennial audience through niche health and wellness news. Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Derek Flanzraich, told the Wall Street Journal he plans to use the capital to become the top, healthy-living brand for millennials by moving aggressively into online video.
G. Scott Paterson, a Canadian media venture capitalist, thinks the current media landscape is ripe with potential. Paterson believes we are standing at the forefront of this digital revolution and there are a lot of exciting opportunities abounding. The media executive is especially excited about the innovations in the the sports market, a market that has proven to be very lucrative to early stage investors and that continues to look strong over the next year.
G. Scott Paterson, who is also invested in his own sports entertainment endeavors, points to non-traditional news outlets as a growing industry that is in need of investors.
Earlier this year, Gawker announced they were looking to raise more capital in order to strengthen their media presence. In Gawker’s case, there are a variety of investment opportunities as unique as the niche services they aim to provide.
North American media dominance has also lead to a number of foreign investors looking to invest in the changing media landscape. In response to Gawker’s request, Russian billionaire, Viktor Veselberg’s Columbus Nova, purchased a stake in Gawker, marking the media provider’s first foreign investor.