When the site bows in September, with the backing of former AOL Time Warner exec Robert Pittman and TiVo chief exec Tom Rogers, PeopleJam will serve as a channel on which visitors can interact with hundreds of experts on health and fitness, relationship, finance, career, spirituality and other topics.
Site will offer original video programming for each expert, as well as more traditional social networking tools such as the ability for users to create personal profiles and blogs, participate in discussion forums and upload their own vids.
“Most people go through their lives without a plan or a playbook,” Edelman said. “All that changes at your 30s. This whole part of life starts to happen to you. There’s an opportunity with the content and tools we’re providing to take some of the control back and make better decisions.”
PeopleJam’s planning to syndicate its video content to other websites, including YouTube, and to make it available for mobile devices.
Company has already brokered deals with 150 self-help gurus and life coaches such as entrepreneur expert Bill Wagner; “You Go Girl” author Kim Cohen; “Dating Doctor” David Coleman; motivational speaker and former WNBA star Fran Harris; and scribes Libby Gill and Judith Wright.
It’s also brought aboard Judson Laipply, founder of management and production entity Let’s Dance Media, whose “Evolution of Dance” vid has been viewed nearly 60 million times on YouTube.
Company’s been looking to attract experts who want to use new media as a distribution platform and reach a larger audience of adults 25-50.
“There’s a certain level of frustration with what you can do on radio, on television or in workshops,” Tercek said. “You can only reach a certain number of people and have a limited dialogue with them. There’s an eagerness by these experts to do a great deal more.”
Doing more, of course, also means the chance to make more money from the sale of their own books and vids and generate a larger following that could help the gurus land on Hollywood’s radar.
While content will be free to visitors, merchandise will be sold on the site, with a percentage shared with PeopleJam. Site will also rely heavily on ads and sponsorships to generate revenue.
Edelman most recently worked with Tercek at mobile entertainment shop Hands-On Mobile, where he served as VP of publishing. Before that he was senior VP of Marvel Studios and prexy of online entertainment channel Eruptor Entertainment.
Tercek served as chief marketing officer at Hands-On Mobile and prexy of programming at mobile video firm PacketVideo. Before that, he was senior VP of digital media at Sony Pictures Entertainment and a creative director for MTV domestically and internationally.
The two wanted to take what they learned from creating programming for virtually every screen over the years and combine it with social networking and self-improvement elements.
“We’re using our experience as entertainment executives to make this category more mainstream, fun and tangible to every single person who is our potential audience,” Tercek said. “We want to make it understandable to the consumer.”