Online sports player Perform expands with Holy Moly deal
Celebrity gossip site Holy Moly is to expand its online TV service after forming a partnership with broadband rights owner and video ad network Perform.
Oliver Slipper, Perform joint chief executive
Perform, formerly known as Premium TV, is best known as the company that owns the rights to broadcast online football matches featuring many clubs from the FA Premier League and the English Football League.
The company will provide the influential video blog with the technology and video ad inventory to launch fully-fledged online TV services via Holy Moly TV, with the commercial revenues split between Perform and the celebrity site.
Perform - which changed its name from Premium TV in January after last year's merger with marketing consultancy Inform Group - will also be responsible for selling video ads around Holy Moly's TV content.
Oliver Slipper, Perform joint chief executive, confirmed that the company was also in "early discussions" with Holy Moly's famously anonymous owner about acquiring a stake in the celebrity gossip site.
Woot Media, the Manchester-based online ad network currently representing Holy Moly, confirmed that it will continue to handle sales and sponsorship around the site's newsletter.
Holy Moly's owner, who declined to be named, revealed that plans for Holy Moly TV include expanding its celebrity interviews fronted by TV presenter Matt Edmondson, and employing its own "friendly paparazzi" crew to film at premieres and events.
Holy Moly attracts 750,000 UK visitors a month, and has 240,000 subscribers to its accompanying weekly newsletter.
The Holy Moly deal marks a new direction for Perform, which, until now, has largely concentrated on distributing sports content online. Under the Premium TV banner, it holds the online rights to show a range of FA Premier League matches, as well as operating websites for more than 80 UK football clubs, including Chelsea and West Ham. In addition, Perform's video ad network includes the V Player, Virgin Media's syndicated media player that shows free Premier League and Football League highlights online; the official broadband channels on five Premiership clubs; Rhino TV; and Autosport.com.
News of the Holy Moly deal comes as research by comScore - commissioned by Perform - reveals that the average length of user engagement with online video is greater on sites where the content has been professionally produced. The survey claims that in the UK the average length of a video stream on YouTube, which features mainly user-generated content, is 2.7 minutes while on Perform sites that number is 3.8minutes.
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk