By Sahil Patel
My Damn Channel, a pioneer in the online video business, is renaming itself Omnivision Entertainment as the company expands beyond online comedy content. The new business will be focused on co-creating original and branded content for traditional, digital, and social media platforms, as well as discovering, signing, and managing top talent across genres.
On the latter front, the new company’s first move is signing Sara Maria Forsberg, whose “What Languages Sound Like to Foreigners” recently “blew up” (as the kids say) on YouTube. In four weeks the video has generated more than 10 million views. Forsberg’s main YouTube channel, Smoukahontas, has more than 130,000 subscribers.
Omnivision will be Forsberg’s “exclusive worldwide manager” in partnership with YRC Finland Oy. The company says it will pursue advertising, online, film, TV, print, and other media opportunities for the creator, who makes her US TV debut next week as a guest on “Ellen.” Forsberg also has music dreams, working with a “major record label” on her first album, which Omnivision and YRC Finland Oy will support.
The Omnivision announcement comes on the heels of the company’s deal to develop a TV show for HLN, the CNN-owned television network that aims to be the news channel for the social media generation. Omnivision is developing “Videocracy,” a show that highlights some of the most interesting things on the web, for the channel.
That said, Omnivision isn’t foregoing its roots in comedy. The company will continue to produce and distribute comedy content under the My Damn Channel banner, which includes MyDamnChannel.com and the My Damn Channel Comedy Network.
As part of My Damn Channel’s rebrand to Omnivision, company founder and CEO Rob Barnett will retain his role, while Warren Chao has been elevated to co-founder and president.