“We don’t want to own them or their content, we want to empower them to create amazing things.”
This is how Aggregated Media president and founder Erik Reynolds summarizes what his company sets out to achieve through the creation of A8, a brand-new content esports channel with a broad reach and strong determination to creating an equitable field for content creators in the esports space.
In our conversation with Erik, he walks us through how Aggregated Media is intending to succeed in what is a move designed to provide everyone who loves esports with a chance to be a part of the ecosystem.
Q: Erik, thank you for agreeing to take out of your time to answer our questions. Aggregated Media has just dropped big news – the launch of the A8 Esports channel. Can you tell us a bit more about this?
A: We created Aggregated Media to support the esports and games content creator and journalism ecosystem. As brands find their way into esports, a vast majority of their dollars are going to publishers, teams, superstar pros, and big-name influencers, leaving journalists and successful mid-tier content creators left out and living off donations. This is where Aggregated Media steps in.
By aggregating individual content creators under one network, we drive more brand opportunities for creators, help them further monetize their content, and give them the support of other creators with networks who share their values. Plus, with our newly announced esports TV network, A8 Esports we can provide instant distribution.
Q: Do you see similarities between A8 and existing esports networks?
A: There are a lot of players in the esports digital channel space but you’d be surprised to know that we see many of them as partners and not competitors. We partner with great companies all across entertainment, gaming and esports to create original content, distribute content created by Aggreg8te Network creators and to promote talent.
Where we may zig to their zag is that we don’t believe in locking down creators to exclusive contracts like many do. We don’t want to own them or their content, we want to empower them to create amazing things and allow Aggregated Media the honor of partnering with them to make sure it makes them money and builds their audience through our built-in distribution via the A8 Esports OTT network.
Q: Is A8 launching in English or are you going to look for a more tailored approach in each separate jurisdiction?
A: A8 Esports will be launching in 13 countries around the world but yes English will be the language spoken in most of our content. We will be looking to acquire non-English language content so that we can more deeply connect with our audiences in other countries.
Q: Do you think there is room for esports betting analytics and statistics in what you do or do you want to focus entirely on the entertainment value?
A: We are entirely focused on curating and creating great esports and video games culture content. Esports betting is an interesting area that we’d love to produce content around but given the regulation around it currently in the United States, we are taking a wait and see approach to it. We are always open to experts and brands in the field who want to talk.
Q: You have already named big names that will be providers of content for your network. Do you reckon aspiring content creators can also find a place at A8?
A: We do – we are partnered with the entire Preediction Network, which features some of the best analysis in esports from former players and huge community voices. We are also partnering with Super League Gaming around their live content (Super League Gaming Arena), Framerate and their City Exhibitions tournament content (League of Legends, TFT, PUBG, Street Fighter V), as well as Wisdom Gaming with their incredible tournament content (TFT, Rocket League, Valorant, Legends of Runeterra) and are really excited about their documentary about high school esports. Finally, we are supported by Rumble Gaming and their incredible roster of talented stars from esports, entertainment and sports, so we will be sure to sharing more soon about what we’ll create with them.
Q: What is (are) the big thing(s) to look forward to from A8 in 2021?
A: In 2021, look at A8 Esports to expand on every device that brings TV into your home. Look for us to support your favorite esports creators, community voices that know their stuff and are who you trust and create shows with them or help push their content out to our 100 million households across the world. And finally look at A8 Esports to create authentic original content about our culture from our perspective, so scripted TV series, movies, podcasts…we are going to be very busy this year.