Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried, better known as the duo behind online viral phenomenon, Lonelygirl15, have secured a $5m investment to create their own independent online studio. Beckett and Goodfried say they have been offered money from major media companies, but have opted to go independent so that they can continue to do things their own way.
The company, Eqal will tap into the social networking aspects of the current lonelygirl15.com website and expand it to include messaging and friend invites. Fundamentally, it will also be launching a range of new video content, but it should be interesting to see how popular it is when not based on devious viral marketing techniques. Mind you, careful manipulation / outright deception never really put of reality TV viewers, so why should it this time?
Furthermore, spin-off show KateModern hasn’t exactly died on its arse, and is now in its second series.
But the main difference between the Beckett and Goodfried’s first two projects is that they cleverly capitalised on huge, existing web communities YouTube, Bebo and MySpace. Whether it can stand on its own two feet remains to be seen.