EVP of Alchemy Networks–a premiere digital “unwired” network–Alvin Williams realizes that television is slowly becoming a secondary source to watch your favorite shows. With the rise of internet-based networking, people seeking long-term fame are taking their talents to YouTube. Celebrities such as Reagan Gomez, Tatiana Ali and Issa Rae have caught the viral bug early with web-based series of their own.
Williams finds that his control over his company, alongside partner and CEO Peter Griffith, is easier, cheaper and more rewarding on YouTube than an actual network.
Recently partnering with TV production company Bunim/Murray and Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss, Alchemy Networks launched several digital channels that open opportunities for women of color, as well as cater specifically to their interests.
Vixen chatted with Williams to learn more about the networks digital plan and what we can expect from their programming.
VIBE VIXEN: What did you want to achieve through Alchemy Networks’ original programming?
Alvin Williams: Quality content that is a true reflection of our 18-54 demographic and our culture. You just can’t create one channel and be on the African American market because we’re not monolithic people. That’s why we created Kscope, which is short for Kaleidoscope, that targets the 18 to 24 African American urban, hipster audience. Then we are looking to create a channel called FWD targeting the 25 to 54.
Why did you decide to have your target AA women between the ages of 18-54?
The 18 to 24 is under served to a certain degree because they have so many likes and dislikes in regards to what they’re looking for in celebrity news, new online series and online video consumption. We identified the 25-54 women of colored demo as really under served.
Why YouTube opposed to VEVO?
Google YouTube made a concentrated and concise effort to launch close to 80 original channels based on different categories. So it’s actually a bigger initiative with YouTube that we became apart of.
VV: Do you hope the online popularity of Alchemy Networks will help land a deal with a TV network?
AW: We have one show called RED Hawt Gossip with Cynthia Luciette and she gives her online rant and spin with the daily news in 60 seconds or less. We’ve been approached by several cable networks to turn that show into a weekly show. Our focus is to create the best high quality content for our demographic based on the channel that’s going to generate views, subscribers, and fans. That ultimately would graduate that show on its own to a network, but [going to a network] is not apart of our planning.
How did the Bunim/Murray productions partnership come about?
Due to the relationship with our CEO Peter Griffith. When we were going through the pitching process, we were in conversation with them to produce one of our shows. So we produced Red Hawt Gossip in LA at B&M offices, then we produced a fashion segment with B&M called LookBook. We have a third show called BRKDWN, which is hosted by Cynthia Luciette and John Scarlett.
Do you plan on creating shows around the natural hair lifestyle?
We are. It will launch under FWD in the spring. So it will be one of our shows that’s focused on the natural hair, as well as the fashion aspect.
Do you have any scripted shows that we can look forward to seeing on the network?
Our first scripted show is more of a comedy called My Roommate The…. which airs every Tuesday on Kscope. We’re looking to develop other scripted series around the summer when we start taking pitches and developing ideas to start working on a full slate: dramas, sci-f, and comedies.
What are some details about bringing Kandi Burruss to your network?
We are looking to launch are the best of Kandi Coated Nights. That will be the first of shows we’re looking to launch on her channel, Kandi and Friends.