Former Vice employees, a lot of GIFs and a push to reinvent public access TV

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Three former Vice employees have come together to create a home online for independent artists in big cities, starting with New York.

NYC.TV (at watchnyc.tv) plans to connect local audiences with local filmmakers, independent artists, storytellers and other people who do funny or entertaining stuff in front of a camera.

They want to reshape the way people see public access television, and New York is just “phase one of a global independent media network dedicated to broadcasting the creative network of cities around the globe,” said co-founder Kareem Ahmed.

NYC.TV videos will be free. Money will come from native advertising.

The Kickstarter campaign to move the project forward launched about a week ago and has raised more than $15,000 toward a $50,000 goal.

The campaign has a lot of GIFs, a lot of weird and it’s a lot of fun.

GIFS feature prominently in NYC.TV’s social media campaign, like this cat…
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…Miley Cirus…

…the gentleman from Silicon Valley slapping a child…

…this guy…

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…creepers here…

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…and this guy.

There’s so much visually appealing stuff on loop that you might overlook the fact that NYC.TV has a pretty incredible team.

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Co-founder Kareem Ahmed left his job as Director of Audience Development and Growth Strategy Editor at New York Times to run NYC.TV full time.

Alexandra Serio was Director of Content Development at SFX and Max Nelson was a Marketing & Network Manager at Vox Media and launched the Vice YouTube channel.

Also very cool: NYC.TV is raising the money so they can give most of it away to creators in New York, to “fund, package, distribute, and promote their programming,” but why listen to my explanation? There’s a GIF for that.

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This is also explained in the unsurprisingly entertaining pitch video, which has some fart sounds, multiple appearances by Beavis and Butthead and Bruce Lee, among other people and memes and pop culture references.

Want to know more about this project? Check out stories by DigiDay, Business Insider and AdWeek.

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Khari Johnson
Khari is founder and editor of Through the Cracks: Crowdfunding in Journalism. He also writes about bots and artificial intelligence for VentureBeat. He has built news startups in the U.S. and Europe for the last decade.

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