As the nichification of entertainment becomes more and more evident in the wake of peak TV, and everyone from YouTube to TCM & Criterion have created their own subscription services intended to appeal to highly specialized target audiences, it should come as no surprise that internet outposts for all things geek – Nerdist and Geek & Sundry – have seen fit to follow suit. The pop culture-centered sites, in partnership with Legendary Digital Networks have officially launched an all-new standalone membership video platform, Alpha.
The new platform launched recently, and is intended to give subscribers an entirely new experience with all their favorite Nerdist and Geek & Sundry offerings, as the content allows for viewers to interact with the programs as they unfold live. And since the aim of Alpha is to create an entire community of user-subscribers, there will also be a heavy interactive component among the audience as well.
Alpha has been in the works for some time now, and in addition to bringing plenty of new content to lure subscribers willing to part with $4.99 a month of their hard-earned cash, it will also include a whole slate of returning Nerdist shows, like Critical Role: Alpha Edition, Wil Wheaton's Tabletop, Co-Optitude, and Because Science. And since membership always has one perk or another, those who sign up with Alpha will be able to check out many of the returning shows a full 48 hours before non-subscribers can get their fix of something like, say, The Dan Cave.
More details about Alpha were made available in an official press release:
"The industry’s first completely interactive video and membership platform, Alpha delivers exclusive, premium content in ways that empower their legions of fans to engage, connect and tap into their favorite programs. The platform will allow members to interact with each other as well as with the content and personalities through live video capabilities including chat, polling, allowing viewers to appear live, on-screen during shows, and more.
Alpha is groundbreaking for both Nerdist and Geek & Sundry as they come together to offer online and offline perks to members, including special event access, prizing, product discounts, and more. Alpha’s mission is to put its community of viewers first, offering a highly immersive, interactive experience with original content and access to notable tastemakers within the pop culture landscape. The service is available on desktop with an iOS app to follow soon."
But, of course, the main attraction for those looking to sign up with Alpha will be the new content coming their way. Below are some of the programs slated to be available at launch:
Watch Your Language
Comedy, wordplay, hip-hop, this show has it all! A thirty-minute mixture of live and pre- taped segments, comedian/rapper Zach Sherwin (“Epic Rap Battles”) examines the world around him from his unique perspective. Sherwin dives deep down the rabbit hole of funny and meets audiences at the intersection of funny, relevant, and super smart word- nerdery with Watch Your Language!
Talks Machina is the official Critical Role after/talk show hosted by writer and friend of the Critical Role cast, Brian Wayne Foster. The show features a unique and completely fan- centered format, with cast members, super-fans, and celebrity guests breaking down the previous week’s episode. The audience has the chance to win some exclusive and limited edition Critical Role merchandise, tickets to live events, and a chance to be on the show and ask the cast questions of their own.
Hosted by comedian Janet Varney, Geek & Sundry brings the newest trend sweeping the world, escape rooms to the screen with ESCAPE! Teams of celebrities like Josh McDermitt (The Walking Dead), Alison Haislip, Ingrid Oliver (Doctor Who), Burnie Burns (Rooster Teeth), and Yvette Nicole Brown (Community) work together to solve complex puzzles and enigmatic riddles to ESCAPE the room before time runs out!
Sidekick with Matt Mira
The other guys, the number twos, the Sidekicks. You’ve all heard of them, and if you can’t figure out who yours is... well, it’s probably you. And as co-host of the Nerdist podcast, Matt Mira gets it. Mira acts as the ultimate late-night talk show sidekick to a brand new, different “guest host” each week on Sidekick.
What happens when esteemed comic book creator Jackson Lanzing plays Game Master to an intrepid space exploration crew in a completely original science fiction role-playing game? VAST! Lanzing guides a crew of rotating celebrity guests, (rife with audience interactions!) through the sprawling universe of VAST, navigating this space opera with countless unique stories to tell.
So far, Alpha looks to be a significant undertaking for the folks from Nerdist and Geek & Sundry. With the opportunity for things like live viewing experiences with celebrity guests and the promise of game shows where members become the contestants, the new service may have taken the first steps of creating a truly interactive entertainment experience.
You can check out more about Alpha, including membership details at their website.
Source: Legendary Digital Networks