In this era of “Peak TV,” where more than 500 original scripted series are vying for those proverbial eyeballs, Diana Mogollón, SVP and GM of recently launched Stage 13, is confident there is room for her new digital content platform.
“Young equals multicultural, which we think is a great advantage, and we wanted to create a way to be relevant to that audience. They are the most coveted and fastest growing audience out there,” said Mogollón, who was featured at a session at the Multicultural TV Summit. “We thought of the audience we were targeting, who are active in the social and digital space, are we built something based on our insights and data and using the power to leverage this specific fan base.”
“We also wanted to look at youth culture, with a fresh take on that,” she added. “After studying all the insights and studies, it was an opportunity to focus on these fans, and the fandom, with specific content and entertainment.”
Launched last fall, Stage 13 is a new short-term content brand from Warner Bros. Digital Networks targeted to multicultural audiences in their teens and 20s. Featuring a range of categories, both scripted and non-scripted (including the comedy, drama and horror genres), content on the platform is featured on YouTube, Facebook and Stage13.com, and Verizon’s mobile go90.
The first two non-scripted series were Independent, which follows the careers of four hip-hop artists and Lipstick Empire, which focuses on the two Latina owners of Melt Cosmetics. And up first in the scripted arena was I Love Bekka & Lucy, the story of two best female friends and the evolution of their friendship when one of them gets engaged.
”With short-form content, not 22 or 44 minutes, we wanted to sort of blow-up the traditional model,” added Mogollón. “And looking at specific content lengths per show, anything from 5 to 16 or 17 minutes, we let that sort of dictate the experience from a story-telling perspective. Stage 13 is like a start-up culture within the Warner Bros. world.”
Great emotional story telling, the stories that should be told but have not been, and how to do that well across many different series is the crux of Stage 13, according to Mogollón.
“We have a deep development bench and are in production on a number of shows now,” she said. “First, we want to make sure our product is compelling; then there is a unique value proposition. And we are seeing signs of early success with over 50 million views.”
“Our secret sauce, and what our team brings to the table, is we all come from many different walks of life,” she added. “We understand these target audience segments and know how important they are. And the beauty of getting into the social and digital space is to get it out there, do it, and mold it as you go along. There are no rules.”
The secret to potential success: “It takes a team and not just one individual,” according to Mogollón. “No one knows everything; we are learning everyday. And having folks to turn to for advice, counsel and direction has proven successful through my career. I am a builder; I like to take big risks and challenges. I like to find fresh new talent. And I think that is how you break through the clutter.”