NZME’s video-on-demand platform WatchMe is expanding following the announcement of 16 new entertainment series as well as news and sports channels.
Since launching in late 2015 with comedy content, WatchMe has been entertaining NZME's digital audience of 2.5 million New Zealanders with locally made short-form video content. Now it’s looking to fulfil those demands with a wider variety of genres in the new series.
During the launch, NZME's group director of entertainment Dean Buchanan told StopPress: "The gap for WatchMe is that it’s one hundred percent supportive of existing and upcoming creative talent in New Zealand.
“And it’s about finding that talent and those great ideas and giving them a platform to risk, try and to generate content.”
And now it's continuing that mission with the 16 new series including a satirical current affairs show called In the Field with Kura Forrester and Berry: Voiceover Artist Extraordinaire that follows the trials and tribulations of a struggling voiceover artist.
There’s also Waiheke Republique, a comedy about a citizen of Waiheke Island dealing with the fallout of their independence from New Zealand, an animated recreation of the worst Tinder dates called Tinder Nightmare, and The Intern Show that follows Ellie the intern working for ZM's Fletch, Vaughan and Megan.
The WatchMe website has also seen the addition of a new news section that's home to NZME’s growing news productions including NZ Herald Focus, and a new sports section with shows including the recently-released Coffee Run, BMW Skin Deep and Stand Off.
NZME head of video Cameron Death says it’s investing in New Zealand content and its success to date is proof that audiences and advertisers are attracted to well-produced and engaging local content.
OMD managing partner Andrew Reinholds agrees, saying as consumers’ appetite for different forms of video content continues to rapidly evolve, there's more and more client demand for these types of premium video opportunities.
“This new initiative from NZME is yet another example of the lines between linear TV and online video moving closer and closer to each other,” he says.
The shows will be available later in April across NZME’s digital sites, including WatchMe and NZ Herald, as well as the reach of its entertainment brands such as ZM, The Hits and Hauraki.