Former Nickelodeon producer Butch Hartman has launched a Kickstarter project to develop a safe, family-centric SVOD service called Oaxis, which will feature original, acquired and user-generated content spanning animation, drama, comedy, feature films, sports, fitness, reality, news and video games.
Launched yesterday, the Kickstarter campaign has so far reached US$8,930 of its US$250,000 30-day goal to finance the first phase of Oaxis’s startup costs. These include developing the platform, hiring creative staff to create high-quality original content, and acquiring complementary programming. The campaign’s rewards include Hartman-designed digital wallpaper, customized pen and ink drawings from his sketchbook, and an opportunity to participate in a Hartman-hosted video tutorial.
According to Hartman, Oaxis is expected to launch in 2019 at US$8.99 per month with ads, and a US$10.99 ad-free version is also planned. When asked about the offering’s uniqueness in a highly competitive SVOD market, Hartman says Oaxis’s personal touch will be a significant advantage.
“We understand that there are a lot of big players out there and we respect them tremendously. If we have any advantage at all, it’s that we’re going to give a more personal feel to our platform. I’m going to be the face, like Walt Disney was for his studio,” says Hartman. In a new video on the Butch Hartman YouTube channel, which currently has more than 750,000 subscribers, Hartman says Oaxis will be made specifically for his fans.
As for users submitting their own family-friendly videos, the content will be uploaded only after passing through a special Oaxis filter. This safety feature will be a key element of the platform.
“Because Oaxis is all about human interaction, we want human moderators to review any user-uploaded content. We want to recruit stay-at-home parents and parents who are forced to work, but really want to be home with their kids. We’ll call them ‘Oaxis Mama and Papa Bears.’ We want human eyes seeing everything, not just bots,” he says.
Hartman adds that his year-one goal is to acquire finished content that fits the Oaxis model, along with producing several original animated shows, reality shows, dramas and sitcoms.
Hartman left Nickelodeon in February, after having produced hit animated series Danny Phantom, T.U.F.F. Puppy, Bunsen Is a Beast and The Fairly OddParents. Prior to his departure, Hartman inked a non-exclusive three-year deal with kids content startup Pocket.watch to develop a trio of animated kids series in partnership with the platform’s CCO, Albie Hecht. Hartman says the shows could potentially head to Oaxis, but they are currently moving through the development phase for Pocket.watch. Hartman is also currently maintaining his senior creative consultant role with Pocket.watch.
In 2015, Hartman also launched The Noog Network, a free interactive iOS app featuring his own original videos and games. Hartman says the app has been performing well. “It’s doing great and, if anything, it’s been a great rehearsal for what I’m about to launch into,” he says.