Guest blog by Kevin Shaw, Founder, Zagga Entertainment.
Happy holidays from all of us at Zagga Entertainment! We’re pleased to be back on the CNIB blog to give you an update on what’s been happening with Zagga since our last blog post. Zagga Entertainment is creating a “Netflix for the blind” with described video. We’ll provide first-rate movies and TV shows for a monthly subscription fee and you can watch on your computer or mobile device.
2014 has been an exciting, busy and productive year for Zagga and we’re just getting warmed up. This past spring, we completed a crowd funding campaign to raise funds for our development. We’re very excited to report we raised enough to kick start the development of our app and website, and that we are a few weeks away from finishing an iOS version of the app. Web and Android versions will be on the way shortly after. We expected to launch before the end of the year, however we have been refining our design and chasing bugs. We’ve prepared a short video showing off the app which you can watch here. Expect a release of our service in early 2015.
We’ve also been busy this year speaking to the studios about licensing great content for our VOD service. We’re very happy to report that we have landed our first two content deals with two great Canadian distributors and we are happily closing deals with two Hollywood distributors offering us movies and TV shows from a wide range of genres, including children’s programming. We’ll be making an announcement about this once the contracts are officially signed. Other studios are in the wings waiting to sign on with us and we’re thrilled that they see described video as a worthwhile endeavour for them and for us.
Another highlight of 2014 has been receiving coverage in the mainstream and accessibility press to highlight the desperate need for Zagga Entertainment. This is especially true now after Netflix stood in front of the CRTC and admitted they have no formal plans to carry any described video. Among our press highlights this year are the features in the Toronto Star and an interview on CBC Radio’s technology program, Spark. Zagga was also featured in several great accessibility blogs and podcasts, including Fedora Outlier and Main Menu.
CNIB played a big role in helping Zagga spread the news about its service. In the fall, CNIB invited us to present at the National Braille conference in Toronto. There, we showed off the prototype for our service and received rave reviews from those in attendance. We’re excited to hit the road in the future to meet more customers in person.
With our app and site nearly complete, first-rate content on the way and some positive media exposure, we are looking forward to launching in early 2015, but we need your help. All it takes is a few seconds! We are speaking to investors who are interested in funding Zagga so that we can provide more described movies and TV shows to more people around the world. Would you tell them that the world needs described video on demand?
Here’s how: Visit our website at zagga.tv and click on the Register link. The form takes a few seconds to fill out. This will help us get the word out to you once we go live, but it will also let our investors know there are people out there who need this service.
Thank you for your support and encouragement over the past year. We hope you have a safe and wonderful holiday season and we wish you nothing but best wishes for the new year!