New Video Platform to Launch in September
Genre news site SciFi4Me has launched its first crowdfunding campaign to build a new streaming video channel.
Using the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, the goal is to create a new iteration of SciFi4Me TV, which currently lives on YouTube and Twitch. Editor-in-Chief Jason Hunt says it’s past time to consider an alternative to the video platforms.
SciFi4Me began using the YouTube platform for its coverage of science fiction, fantasy, and horror in 2011. In that time, the channel has grown, but slowly. Hunt feels one reason for that is the lack of corporate interests in the channel.
“YouTube has proven to be a bad actor in the streaming space,” Hunt says. “They’ve been censoring certain channels, suppressing videos in search results, allowing abuse of the copyright ID system, and using algorithms to negatively impact monetization. Add to that the various Adpocalypse events, plus the changes brought on by YouTube’s response to the latest COPPA rules, along with YouTube’s favoritism toward corporate media, and we determined it’s time to move on.”
The bias found at YouTube can be seen on other web sites that cover genre, something Mindy Hunt, SciFi4Me’s Associate Editor, says should be avoided when it comes to news. “Our goal is to keep the news genre based and neutral. We don’t care which side of the aisle you sit on, as long as you have a passion for this stuff. There’s no gatekeeping on our site. No cancel culture. We’re all fans deep in our core, and that should be something that unites us.”
The Indiegogo platform has proven successful as a forum for several independent creative projects. Hunt says the funds raised will cover the expenses of assembling the elements needed for a new video streaming web site. It’s something he’s wanted to do since 2009, when SciFi4Me was first founded.
“The thing is, SciFi4Me was always meant to be its own channel, its own stand-alone thing,” says Editor Timothy Harvey. “That’s what Jason had in mind from the beginning,
and while YouTube has been great for getting our content out into the world, it isn’t what we envisioned and it isn’t always the best fit for creators. We’ll have the control and the freedom to bring our shows and writing to audiences in ways we simply haven’t been able to before.”
“Think of it as going back to the old local access cable channel model,” Hunt says, “only it’s online. We’re creating a channel that will live not just in the online space, but we also hope to expand the distribution onto platforms like Roku and Pluto TV.”
SciFi4Me TV programming includes several original news and commentary shows along with interviews and event coverage. Hunt hopes to add new programs to the channel as resources become available. “I’d like to see us building a channel very much like the early versions of The WB or UPN, with prime time network programming and open slots for other creators to collaborate with us. I really want to get away from the mindset that we’re just a small YouTube channel.”
The planned expansion includes three new horror-themed programs, a revival of the comic book industry news program Comic Con Carne, and the addition of at least one movie night.
Hunt says that if the funding goal is met, the plan is to launch the new channel with a retro “Fall Premiere” event in September.
SciFi4Me is an online multimedia magazine covering the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres with news, reviews, interviews, podcasts, and video programs. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, SciFi4Me was the first and only web site to cover the World Science Fiction Convention with a live streamcast for the duration of the event. The staff consists of volunteers from many parts of the world. For more information, visit www.SciFi4Me.com.