As the president and CEO of Alright TV, Tracey E. Edmonds aims to bring family-oriented programming to broadcasting. She has developed Alright TV, a digital channel, with Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies. Alright has inked a deal with YouTube for which Alright will create programming for YouTube’s global platform. The channel will showcase comedies, talk, reality, and music online as well as stream national Sunday church services.
Among the programs Alright is offering are Issa Rae’ s “The Choir,” a comedic series centered around a church choir; NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders’ two new inspirational reality series–“Sports Dads” and “Truth”; “Take Action,” a reality show that will help families hard hit by economic struggles; and “Ms. Right and Mr. Right,” two webisode series that explore dating from both the male and female perspectives.
MadameNoire Business recently conducted an email interview with Edmonds, also the COO for Our Stories Films, for more detail.
MadameNoire: How did the YouTube deal come about?
Tracey E. Edmonds: Bob Johnson, who helped create Our Stories Films and was my partner on the film Jumping the Broom, first brought up the idea of creating a digital channel and introduced me to YouTube executive Robert Kyncl. I met with Robert and he shared with me his vision for creating YouTube’s premium channels. Robert presented his line-up of channels in development and asked me if I thought he was missing any particular demographic. I told him I felt he was missing the faith audience and presented the concept for Alright TV.
Alright TV is now one of YouTube’s premium channels and is the only faith-based channel among YouTube’s 100 premium channels. First-rate entertainment with faith based messaging is the core theme of our programming. Since our Easter Sunday launch, we are now approaching three million views and are very excited about the success the channel has had so far. It’s hard to ignore the revolution taking place right now in the entertainment industry and the possibilities are limitless for Alright TV, online entertainment, and in the digital space as a whole.
MN: What is the market for faith-based programming?
TE: There has long been a market on network programming for faith-based shows but the digital space has opened up a new and more accessible market to messages of faith and family inspiration. We have quickly become an on-the-go society and content should be marketed for this.
There has been, and for some time now, a lack of availability of faith-based, family friendly programming on television and Alright TV, in collaboration with YouTube’s global platform, helps to fill this gap by making the genre available to everyone.
MN: Is this market increasing?
TE: Online programming is increasing drastically and statistics show that by the year 2020, huge blocks of viewers will be switching to watching content online. Digital is the space that people are turning to and younger viewers especially are on the Internet today more than they watch TV. It is not uncommon to watch your favorite television show and interact in real-time through social media with the show’s writers and actors. It’s all very innovative and perfect for the Alright TV platform.
Several of our shows have an interactive component and viewers are responding directly to shows through social media, commenting in real time, getting advice and interacting directly with the host of the series as a feature of the show. A perfect example, one of our shows, DFree to Be Free which is hosted by Dr. DeForest Soaries, has an interactive Google Hangout, #UsedToBeBroke, that airs on Mondays following the series as a supplement to the week’s financial topic and audience members join in the discussion, comment and get real-time advice each week.