Machinima is going back to its gaming roots, or at least making it easier for fans to find them.
Today, the 16-year-old video game site-turned-MCN is unveiling a revamp of its channel lineup across social video platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and launching new channels to better target the diverse audience segments it attracts.
“Machinima has evolved from it’s very earliest days of a pure gaming brand, and then it started expanding into more gaming and geek culture programming, getting into comic books and super hero movies and fandom of all types,” explained Jason Dimberg, the former GM of the now-shuttered Yahoo Screen who joined Machinima as SVP of programming and editor-in-chief in May. “The main Machinima channel went from a haven for gaming to movie trailers and reviews and some game news. It was a smattering of stuff, all good and all quality content, but it didn’t meet the expectations of the initial and core fan base for Machinima.”
The flagship Machinima channel will now feature a heavier rotation of game-driven news and entertainment, including classic Machinima shows such as “BFFs,” “Sanity Not Included,” and “Inside Gaming,” along with more gaming mash-ups.
“ETC,” a show previously seen on the main Machinima outlet, will now have its own self-titled channel, focusing on entertainment, tech and culture.
Additionally, Machinima Prime is being relaunched as Primr (pictured), focusing on scripted entertainment, with three new shows — “This Week in Geek” (airing Mondays), spotlighting the week’s three most important nerd-centric anniversaries; the sketch comedy show “Dank/Fire” (airing Wednesdays); and “Spacebar” (airing Fridays), a roundtable discussion of gamer and geek culture hosted by Nick Gregorio with a rotating cast anchored by Phil Lorigo that was originally part of Machinima’s Sony Vue subscription channel.
“Now, when people come to Machinima main channel and they want gaming news and entertainment, they get exactly that,” said Dimberg, “and when they go now to Primr, they will get a more sketch and live-action scripted entertainment.”
In the long-term, the new set-up will also give Machinima the ability to pilot new concepts to the proper audiences and avoid false negatives.
For instance, “if I were developing the greatest cooking show of all time and I piloted it on ESPN and the response I got back was negative, it doesn’t tell me much about the show,” said Dimberg. “It tells me I put a cooking show on ESPN and I didn’t hit the audience’s expectations. This allows us to avoid that scenario.”
As Machinima revamps its social video channels with fresh and, at times, timely content, its SVOD service — currently available on Sony Vue and coming to Britain’s Sky Q platform and as an add-on to Amazon Prime — will focus on “best-of” library content.
“There is quite a bit legacy of content at this company,” said Dimberg. “In some cases, it’s been a matter of dusting it off old servers to find it, because we aren’t new to the party.”