Ex-CNN, NBCUniversal execs launch TV app subscription service
Michelle Clancy | 13-03-2014

Jeff Gaspin, former chairman of NBCUniversal Television, and Jon Klein, former president of CNN US, are launching a new subscription-based online platform.

TAPP, standing for TV app, will be home to video networks built around personalities with 'super-fan' followings. Subscribers will pay a monthly fee for individual channels which are delivered to their mobile devices, laptops and Internet-connected smart TVs.

"In addition to great content, TAPP channels will offer a rich layer of consumer engagement for the super fan," said Gaspin. "We believe subscription services offer a superior business model while complementing current content offerings."

TAPP will provide programme strategy, production, user experience, marketing, distribution, app development, back-end technology and deep data analysis to channels that will feature sports, politics, religion, relationships, entertainment, lifestyle, fashion and fitness, delivering daily content.

"There will be long form content for those viewing TAPP on PCs and smart TVs, and easy to access sharable, snackable content for mobile video users on-the-go," said Klein. "And by building in big data capabilities from the ground up, we aim to eliminate much of the guesswork of traditional television programming."

Investors in TAPP include Discovery Communications and Demarest Films, as well as individuals including Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, and investment bankers Ken Moelis, Peter Ezersky and Michael Huber. In addition to Gaspin and Klein, the TAPP board includes Sean Atkins, senior vice president and general manager, Digital, at Discovery Communications.