Google Sweden country director and TV4 Executives Start Up Media Company of the Future
Four of the Swedish media industry’s top names have joined together to create the media company of the future together with Bonnier Growth Media.
United Screens, the media company of the future, is launching with the benefit of the experience of the CEO for Google and YouTube in Sweden, the planning director of TV4 as well as a number of production companies. The founders include Stina Honkamaa, Malte Andreasson, Jan Zachrisson and Oscar Höglund, with Bonnier Growth Media as a partner.
United Screens will offer high quality program content via digital platform TV, smart phones, computers or tablets, at no cost to viewers. The selection available on United Screen’s network channel on YouTube will consist of a number of Sweden’s most popular programs from traditional TV as well as newly produced shows made specifically for United Screens.
“We will be offering new programs we produce ourselves, live broadcasts, news, series, podcasts, trailers, feature films and many of Sweden’s most popular programs from traditional TV,” says Stina Honkamaa, incoming CEO and founder of United Screens. “We’ll be able to provide advertisers and media agencies with unique possibilities to reach modern TV viewers in a high-quality environment. Plus it will be free for all viewers, who will be able to see programming when they want it on whatever screen they want.”
New Consumption Patterns
Changes in Swedish media consumption have created possibilities as well as challenges for production companies, content creators and copyright holders. Sweden has the world’s third highest smart phone penetration. Viewing on digital platforms has increased enormously and traditional business models are constantly competing with legal – and not-so-legal alternatives.
“We will partner with traditional media companies, production companies and other copyright holders,” says Malte Andreasson, program director and founder of United Screens. “We’ll help them reach new viewers with their programs while providing a solution to earn money on both new and existing material on the Internet.”
First Media Company Without Its Own Platform
United Screens will be a multi-channel network, on YouTube to start with, but the plan is to be able to follow viewers regardless of what platform they use.
“In a world where viewers are demanding more and more digital video content, in and on every thinkable format, screen and channel, we’re creating unique possibilities for content creators, advertisers and consumers,” says Ulrika Saxon, CEO for Bonnier Growth Media. “I’m convinced that United Screens, and the dream team behind it, have an amazing chance to take advantage of the possibilities in a fantastic way.”
New Business Models for the Industry
An important part of United Screen’s operations will be helping Swedish and Nordic media companies further distribute, get paid for and make the most of their programs on the Internet. There is a lot of content from media and production companies in Sweden that isn’t available on the Internet, neither in the Nordics nor globally, primarily due to copyright issues and a lack of licensing models that work with today’s media consumption. Under United Screen’s business model, long-awaited content at last can be available for viewers while creating revenue for those owning the copyrights. It also can be content that is already on the web but the creators aren’t being paid for it today.
“Those media and production companies who have seen our business model consider us a valuable partner with a solution to a problem that they’ve been trying to solve for many years,” says Jan Zachrisson, board chair and founder of United Screens. “They are best at producing content for traditional TV, a format that is and will continue to be appreciated by viewers. With our combined experience, we are best at providing digital content, management and business models that aren’t merely adapted for the web but were created from the beginning for the web.”
How It Works
United Screen’s channel network will offer a selection of different channels, developed to fit the interests of different target audiences. The viewer can easily navigate the different channels via United Screens’ main channel on YouTube. The selection of programs will consist of current shows from traditional TV as well as new material produced for United Screens. There will be a choice of programs on the different channels that viewers can watch via their TV sets, smart phones, tablets or computers. The programs will include advertising based on the target group’s profile and the individual users’ own interests. The income from the ads will be shared by United Screens, the copyright holder and YouTube.
About United Screens
United Screens AB was founded in April 2013 by Stina Honkamaa, Malte Andreasson, Oscar Höglund and Jan Zachrisson. The company is owned by the founders and Bonnier Growth Media. United Screens offers viewers modern TV at no cost. United Screens’ program offering will consist of new programs produced specifically for the company, live broadcasts, news, series, podcasts, trailers, feature films as well as many of Sweden’s most popular programs from traditional TV. United Screens works with media and production companies and copyright holders to lengthen the life and increase the revenue streams of their content.
About the Founders
Stina Honkamaa has been leading the Swedish operations of Google and YouTube the for the past five years. Prior to that she was the CEO for media agency Carat.
Malte Andreasson has worked at TV4 for the past 14 years where most recently he has been planning director for the TV4 Group’s 43 TV channels.
Jan Zachrisson has had many executive positions at TV4 and was one of the founders of production company Jarowski/Zodiak Television (now Zodiak Media). Together with Oscar Höglund he founded Epidemic Sound.
Oscar Höglund has been in the top management for Zodiak Television where he was responsible for new media. Today he is CEO for Epidemic Sound.
About Bonnier Growth Media
Bonnier Growth Media is owned by Bonnier AB, the Nordic region’s biggest media company, which in 2012 had revenues of SEK 29 billion. The company invests in profitable business areas in growth markets, primarily within digital media and film/TV. Bonnier Growth Media includes today 12 companies with revenues of approximately SEK 4 billion and has offices in Stockholm, New York, San Francisco, Copenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki, Malta, Bangkok. Among the companies in the group are SF Anytime, Spoon, Mag+ and Toca Boca. Ulrika Saxon is the CEO and Jonas von Hedenberg is Senior Vice President.