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Comic-Con Video Service To Open Access Yet Reserve Exclusivity

The view from the Lionsgate booth at Comic-Con last year.
Beth Accomando
The view from the Lionsgate booth at Comic-Con last year.

Free beta access starts May 7

What Comic-Con HQ Means For Pop Culture Fans
GUESTS: Seth Laderman, executive vice president and general manager, Comic-Con HQ David Glanzer, spokesman, Comic-Con Beth Accomando, KPBS arts reporter

I am Tom Fudge. Think you for joining us this afternoon. On Monday, Comic-Con and Lions gate announced their video on demand subscription service would be called Comic-Con HQ, with free beta access on the seventh. Longtime attendee, Beth Accomando, speaks with [ Indiscernible name ], and David Glanzer about what the partnership will mean for comic book fans. Percival, I went to be upfront about the fact that last summer when you guys -- Comic-Con and landscape -- announced they would be partnering on a subscription service, I got to work with you on the field Esch in the field, and interviewed people about what their expectations were. Yes. That was great. He got a lot of weight interviews with everybody, and this was the first thing we were doing towards market research. To really engage people in what they wanted the sea. That will -- that was last July, and this week, you have dubbed the subscription service as Comic-Con HQ Yes. That is correct. Essentially, we want to be the headquarters for all things Beth Accomando and pop-culture. What kind of things are you going to provide on the subversion service? For some promos, the committee. Want the fans out there to come to one place to feel safe, and to feel like they are a part of the community, which is what Comic-Con is. That is the most important thing. How do we take the five days that are the amazing event that is Comic-Con and turn it into a year-round experience? But we started off doing was trying to start by understanding our audience. We know the audience loves pop-culture conventions. We know they love panels. They love personalities, they love access, and behind-the-scenes, and community. We took those five pillars and Staples and started to develop the platform, our content plan, and marketing around the. We are really trying to hit the gamut of what people love for, con and turn it into a viewing experience. You are talking about doing this 365 days year, but there will also be a very concentrated effort during comic con itself. Our goal is to be to bring the invention -- convention to those that can't be there, while enhancing it for those that are there. Literally, it is impossible to see everything at the convention. Will probably be pretty possible is impossible for us to cover it. We will try to do, as much as we can, is cover the panels and have the stage where we can talk about everything happening, and cover as many booths on the floor, the masquerade, the awards, and partake that content to figure out the best way to present it to the audience. Sensitive hard to see everything, our goal is, when they get done at night, or when they leave San Diego, or when they are in a light or having food, I can log on to the platform and be able to catch up with something they missed that day, because they were out experiencing something else. But, I will have a very large crew there, and we will cover as much of the convention as possible. You are allowing people to sign up right now for a May 7 free beta access. What is that Intel, and you can get feedback from fans that participate? That is the hope. We will always be reaching out to our fans to get feedback. We want the platform to be as much as a artifice as it is them. During the beta process, it will be a lot more relevant, and will be -- we will indicate more often. In terms of content, will have a nice selection of films and TV shows on the platform, and in terms of original content, entertainment news-based shows -- the two that Kevin Ferrera producing, the three that Adam [ Indiscernible name ] are [ Indiscernible ], [ Indiscernible ] suspect this will be ready shortly after. Public data will be very close to what our site looks like, but mostly, we are trying to put it out there to ask our fans and audience what they like, and what they don't like, and what he should do differently. We want to listen to them and remain agile enough that we can cater to what the audience needs are. At this point in time, you have any idea what the subscription costs will be take We don't have the price yet. We are doing market research, and we are currently exploring the best price possible. We are in no way willing to compete with Netflix Amazon, but we want to keep it at a price point that is accessible to everyone. We really think that we will come up with a price that is competitive and affordable so if we can get the content. That was Seth Laderman. Manager of Comic-Con HQ. Also stocked with David Glanzer who addressed the to and about what kind of access the service may provide. There will be some streaming at Comic-Con. It won't be live streaming, because we find a lot of people that come to, con -- Comic-Con fluff to be there first , and we don't want to take that away from them. Eventually, we hope to have a lot of panels on the site that people can checkout, in case they didn't have a chance to see them during the weekend. Will Comic-Con go into archives to possibly some of the past panels of? We are looking at the data. Landscape has been very nice in taking some of our old videotapes to try to digitize and look to see if there is still usable things with resolution and whether they are viable. We are excited about that. They are digitizing a lot of photographs that we've had. They are bringing us to the first century, and we are excited., We can share some of that on the platform. For Comic-Con, what is the advantage or benefit to partnering with Lions gate and having this channel available? For fans or attendees, the benefit is to be able to see and experience a lot of what Comic-Con is, even if you were able to make it to the show. Or, find out missing stuff that you may not even see at the show. So, for people that have been to the event, for people that have never been, we hope that will be something that they will be very, very interested in. It is not only for Comic-Con, that wonder con. Wonder con is the sister convention to Comic-Con. There is a change this year. It had been at Anaheim convention Center. Where will it be this year? It will be at the us does it will be with the Los Angeles Center. There were conflicts of terms in the amount of space in Anaheim, so luckily, there was a cancellation in LA and we were able to slide in there. We will be in Los Angeles. It is a new venue, a new city Park everything is new, so it is a challenge. We don't have to shrink it all in LA. I believe we are taking the majority -- if not the entire facility. Is a great deal of ability to share with attendees the things they enjoy. Weatherby programming or exhibits. We are excited and it will be a good fit. I give her a much for speaking with me. Always a pleasure.

Comic-Con HQ
KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando looks at the new subscription service Comic-Con HQ.

Comic-Con HQ Press Release
Press release regarding new subscription service from Comic-Con and Lionsgate.
To view PDF files, download Acrobat Reader.

On Monday, Comic-Con International and Lionsgate unveiled launch plans for Comic-Con HQ, their newly named subscription video on-demand platform.

Last year, Comic-Con and Lionsgate announced that they were partnering on a subscription video on-demand platform that would cater to fans of the pop culture convention. As someone who had been going to Comic-Con since I was a teenager and who has been shooting video there for more than two decades, I worked with both Lionsgate and Comic-Con gathering interviews with fans about what they would want from such a subscription service.

Soon they are about to find out if their hopes will be fulfilled.

The newly named Comic-Con HQ will offer free beta access beginning May 7 (which fittingly is also Free Comic Book Day) to preview programming and get feedback from fans.


"There will be produced programs, there will be some original content, scripted and unscripted, that will be I think incredibly interesting to our fan base," Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer said. "There will be some streaming we hope of some stuff at Comic-Con. It won’t be live streaming because we find that a lot of people that come to Comic-Con love to be there first to hear about the information first, so we don’t want to take that away from them but our hope is to eventually have a lot of panels that are available on the site that people can check out in case they didn’t have an opportunity to see them during the weekend."

Fans should appreciate the desire to preserve that sense of exclusivity for those who buy passes to get into Comic-Con, which has in recent years needed to cap attendance at around 130,000. But considering the hundreds of hours of programming that goes on — and only a small fraction being the big Hollywood panels — it would be great to be able to catch up with panels in the evening or in the weeks following the convention. The challenge in recent years has been not just that there are so many panels to choose from but also that in order to even have a shot at getting into a panel you usually have to queue up two panels in advance. That takes a lot out of your convention time so knowing you might be able to catch panels you had to miss in order to get to another one is attractive.

My favorite geek couture entry in last year's Her Universe fashion show.
Beth Accomando
My favorite geek couture entry in last year's Her Universe fashion show.

At this point Lionsgate is planning to offer the scripted comedy series “Kings of Con,” inspired by real-life fan convention experiences from “Supernatural” stars Richard Speight and Rob Benedict; the science entertainment program “Impossible Science,” starring magician Jason Latimer; and the previously announced behind-the-scenes series “Her Universe,” hosted by founder Ashley Eckstein, following contestants as they design geek couture for the Her Universe live San Diego Comic-Con fashion show.

There is also exclusive coverage promised for the Masquerade and the Eisner Awards. Glanzer said that Lionsgate is also going through hundreds of hours of old panel footage to see what archive material might be viable to use for broadcast. That would be a fabulous prospect since Comic-Con has been offering panels for more than four decades, including some with comic book legends that are no longer with us. Comic-Con is also opening up its photo archives to Lionsgate for use, which is also exciting news.

The subscription service is planning its official premiere in June, just in time for this year's Comic-Con, which kicks off on July 20 with preview night. Seth Laderman, Comic-Con HQ executive vice president and general manager, said the price has not yet been set but he wants to "keep it at a price point where it's accessible to everybody."

Laderman said Comic-Con HQ will have a booth at Comic-Con's sister convention, WonderCon, which takes place March 25-27 at the new location of the Los Angeles Convention Center (previously it was at the Anaheim Convention Center).