Report – New Platform Masterclass

Posted on: Thursday 07 July 2016 9:39pm by Gabrielle Smith

Brown Bag Films and 9 Story Media Group with the lowdown on pitching to and working with SVODs

Video On Demand platforms are commissioning more original content than ever before. In this session, discussions were led by experts in the field who have already delivered high-end, large-scale projects to a global platform and the emerging online world.


  • There is a whole world out there of new VOD and AVOD. This masterclass discussed creating, pitching and commissioning with success within new platforms
  • Recommendations and talking points for development and delivery, using models such as Netflix and Amazon Studios
  • ‘Pitching 101’. As with traditional PSB, top quality content is crucial


Introduced by John Morris of Morris Media, this session gave the audience a chance to hear directly from two experts working with content for new platforms.

Based in Toronto, the 9 Story Media DSC8968Group produce content for the world with experts involved in pitching, and commissioning successful programming with new platforms-especially to larger platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Studios. With a strong track record with traditional broadcasting and are leading companies with VOD  platforms.

Director of Development Jennie Stacy told the audience about the growth of the company and how Brown Bag have HQs in Manchester, Dublin, Toronto and Los Angeles working on pre-school CG shows such as ‘Bing‘.

Reflecting on some of the differences between approaches to traditional broadcast services in comparison to the newer online spaces, the message from the panel was that acquiring IP and partners is key to innovation.

Natalie Dumoulin, VP of Creative Affairs at the 9 Story Media Group advised the audience to do your research. She highlighted how important it really is to always do your homework and watch the channel that you are pitching to.  You never know what they have in development.

She went on to comment that, whilst it is “not rocket science, it’s cartoons”. You should be passionate about it.

Ways to approach the online vlogging world including YouTube were covered in the conversation. Across both companies there have been 41 channels created, all YouTube certified which have generated a huge amount of revenue. As Natalie says, ‘every click and we’re getting pennies from heaven.’

As an overview to an information-packed masterclass, Jennie reiterated that although there are differences in how to approach the on and offline platforms, Amazon appeared closest to the traditional model in the early stages. They are open to creator driven IP, pitches from writers and creators and are interested in book based properties.

From an educationalist point of view, Amazon strive to produce more curriculum driven shows, and even have Dr Alice Wilder working onboard for development. Naturally, storytelling is at the heart of what everyone does. Children and parents enjoy curriculum but fall in love with character-focused programmes, with strong creative IPs.

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Gabrielle Smith

About the author

Gabrielle Smith

Northumbria University, Ph.D Student

Gabrielle Smith is a second year Ph.D candidate at Northumbria University, Newcastle and is a Film and Television graduate from the universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow. Her current research explores the role of the British children’s television presenter. Additionally, Gaby’s passion for working with children and young adults has been… Read more