Company Overview and History
Good News Holdings (GNH) is a multimedia entertainment and technology company that creates, acquires, and globally distributes Spiritainment™ via mobile, internet, broadband technologies, as well as traditional media including print publishing, cable and satellite television, music and theatrical motion pictures. GNH’s business strategy is to become the premier vertically integrated global media source for faith-based and family friendly content delivered across a broad and diverse set of end-user applications.
Spiritainment™ is content that challenges the mind, captures the heart and refreshes the spirit. Declining media revenues of recent years are less a reflection of shifts in technology and taste than the result of people yearning for something different – something that excites their imagination and elevates their lives. The audience implores us to give them a fresh vision of ways to renew their world.
Research shows that the media – more than any other mechanism available – has the power to affect such transformation. The way people love and live is largely impacted and shaped by what they see and hear on the four screens of the modern world: mobile, internet, television, and theatrical screens. We at GNH believe that Spiritainment™ delivers a strong bottom line because it satisfies the audience’s hunger for a higher vision. People eagerly share these experiences as they strive to learn, understand, grow, and add value.
The market for Christian, faith-based entertainment and family friendly content is substantial and growing. The recent triumph of movies like The Passion of the Christ ($2 billion in worldwide revenue), and The Chronicles of Narnia, ($750 million in worldwide box office); and the success of Christian music ($720 million sales in 2004, bigger than classical and jazz combined) demonstrate the demand for faith-based and family friendly entertainment. This demand, coupled with the large percentage of American adults (84% or 189 million, plus an estimated 48 million young people) who identify themselves as “Christian” has created a unique opportunity for a media content aggregator and distributor to capitalize on advances in technology to deliver compelling and relevant entertainment content.
In 2005, roughly $8.8 billion was spent on movie tickets in the United States. Of that total, Christians spent an estimated $6.94 billion – 79% of the total domestic box office in 2005. Atheists and agnostics represented about $1.28 billion in box office receipts. Jewish Americans spent about $273 million at the box office, and the remaining $307 million was spent by people of other faiths.
Good News Holdings will position itself globally to drive Spiritainment™ across the screens of cell phones, internet displays, television, and movie screens.
On the motion picture screens, GNH has created Mars Hill Entertainment. Mars Hill, located in Athens, Greece, is where the thought leaders of the western world gathered for a millennium to share stories expressing their worldviews, govern their State and debate the philosophical issues of their day. The Apostle Paul was brought to the Areopagus, “Mars Hill,” on his second missionary journey by philosophers, the secular humanists of Athens, and asked to explain the doctrine of Good News of which he was speaking.
Good News Holdings sees a significant opportunity in the area of group social networks. Whereas most social networks today are focused on the individual only, a group social network represents the evolution of this dynamic — individuals forming groups and groups interacting with other groups for the purpose of sharing information, business needs, hobbies, or other aspects of their lives. Therefore, in December 2006, GNH purchased 51% of LightsTogether™ and immediately secured patents on the technology. In May 2007, Good News Holdings completed the acquisition of LightsTogether™ as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company.
LightsTogether™ is a Group Centric Social Network. A Group can be a church, a church ministry, a mission, a house church, or any collection of individuals gathered for a common purpose. LightsTogether™ provides individuals a safe environment for social networking, user-generated content, and genuine community among all churches.
LightsTogether™ represents the next generation of such online and wireless systems as they evolve to include networks of individuals and groups linked together for purposes of sharing information, facilitating communication, building relationships and fostering functional coordination.
The LightsTogether™ web software application can be extended for use by a range of entities, from churches to educational systems to a wide variety of commercial enterprises.
LightsTogether™ entered Beta in January 2007 and is scheduled for market release July, 2007.
LightsTogether™ also allows for creation of communities, focused on specific age groups or purposes, to co-exist with the churches in a synergistic environment. These communities will include missions, youth, and colleges to name a few, and will be a natural space for para-church organizations to exist.
The Company’s first such community initiative is fxlUniverse™, serving youth (ages 13 to 19), youth ministries and youth pastors. However, Good News Holdings believes pastors and parents will also find it helpful in staying more connected to their children. fxlUniverse™ provides a safer place for youth to share their lives online and be connected with others, as well as be inspired to be more like Christ through exposure to music, art, creative writing, ministries, and the Word of God. fxlUniverse™ leverages the LightsTogether™ platform and is a wholly-owned division of the Company.
Youth will be able to create their own personal page and customize it for their unique personality. They will be able to instant message, post notes, send photos, videos, and music files to others in the network. They will talk, send, share, and live their lives… and learn and grow.
Youth pastors state that staying connected with the youth is one of the most important things to do… and it’s the hardest thing to do. fxlLUniverse™ enables them to accomplish this in an effective and efficient way. A single text message… a simple reminder… a thought for inspiration or comfort or courage…coordination and connection. It’s an extraordinary helpful tool. Early feedback from both youth and youth pastors indicates an overwhelming demand for fxlLUniverse™.
The online space is driven by the youth. They are the technology early adopters and leaders into this space. As such, they will help seed the LightsTogether™ community and help to build it organically/virally. By serving the youth well, the church will follow. By serving all well, the lights will come together. It is the goal of Good News for fxlUniverse™ to be the social network of choice among youth groups and young Christians in America.
Also for the internet screen, GNH acquired 100% of BarnaFilms in December 2006.
There are over 340,000 Christian churches in North America. According to the latest study by The Barna Group, 62% of those churches use big screens or displays to illustrate sermons, scripture, or spiritual themes.
BarnaFilms is the faith community’s largest internet media library, providing visual resources to churches across the country and around the world. In January 2007, Good News Holdings entered into a strategic partnership with LiveWorship, providing pastors and worship leaders with the only presentation software useable for both PC and Macintosh as a free bonus with a new BarnaFilms membership.
Recent and upcoming enhancements to BarnaFilms’ site include:
- New content from iLumina Bible, FaithMobile, and African mission trips by LightsTogether™ staff.
- “BarnaFilms @ the Movies” featuring exclusive clips from current films from major motion picture studios.
GNH has plans to initiate two digital music labels, which we will refer to as “web-labels” (fxlAir and PureSound). This enterprise will offer new music to consumers from largely unknown artists, covering genres such as praise and worship, contemporary Christian, inspirational, and gospel.
fxlAir is a label directed to the musical tastes of youth, while PureSound is aimed at meeting the worship desire of adults. In addition, a third option will also be available through a label called fxlUproar, which will feature all user-generated, uploaded music that can be shared at no cost. Good News Holdings plans to make this music available through LightsTogether™ and through fxlUniverse™.
The music division will also provide music for the movie and television soundtracks of media created by Good News, ringtones for mobile use, and soundtracks for the mobisodes to be created and aired by Good News across various platforms. Good News is also developing relationships that will allow it to co-promote tours for the most outstanding artists, combining the power of promotion and exposure on the internet (through LightsTogether™ and fxlUniverse™ ), our relationships with churches and ministries involved in those online communities, and the ministry desires of the artists themselves.
In conjunction with World Vision and the United Nations Global Fund, in February 2007, Good News Holdings launched SaveMyLife.org, an initiative to raise funds for children impacted by AIDS in Africa.
Grammy award winning Natalie Cole recorded “I Say a Little Prayer for You” for the initiative, and sang the song on the February 5th episode on NBC’s show Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip. Ms. Cole’s rendition of “I Say A Little Prayer for You” is available online, and 100% of all proceeds from the song are distributed to World Vision and Global Fund to fight this disease and help save lives.
GNH has two initiatives for the television screen: one is The Cloud™ which is Interactive Protocol Television (IPTV), the other is FreshTV™, which is a new network for traditional platforms such as cable and satellite.
GNH’s Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) began beta testing The Cloud™ in October 2006. The Cloud™ aggregates and delivers faith-based and family-friendly programming directly from the internet to your TV without having to interface with your computer.
The Cloud™ will provide individuals and families with access to a wide variety of current and favorite movies, television shows, educational documentaries, distance learning, and church curricula all designed to be inspiring and safe for family viewing.
Good News Holdings is expanding beta content (currently near 1,000 hours) to include our first two major ministry partners, as well as a content partner focused on distance learning. Additionally, GNH is in discussions with a cable network for acquisition of their approximately 10,000 hours of family friendly content and sports programming for delivery on The Cloud™.
The Cloud™ is scalable to reach 50 million subscribers within a 3-5 year time frame. The product enables the audience to view and download programming directly to the TV, personal computer, cell phone or other portable device. The system is capable of both wireless and direct-connect via the internet and includes state-of-the-art digital rights management (DRM) that allows the content providers full protection within the system.
IPTV offers any organization the ability to have viewers attend events virtually on a Pay-per-View (PPV) and/or Video-on-Demand (VOD) basis. The virtual attendance at any of our Content partner lectures, conferences, weekly services or annual events can capture a higher percentage of an audience who cannot get to the location where such events are being held and allow them to participate on a PPV model. On a PPV basis, we can monetize all past, present and future programming and events. We can also use existing archival material from past events to create new and original programming.
The Cloud™ also comes with a built-in media player that enables one to show personal video, pictures, and music through one’s TV.
GNH has formalized its agreement to provide management, programming, and consultative services to Ashcroft, Sekulow & Gregory (“ASG”), a private investment firm headed by John Ashcroft, former U.S. Attorney General, for a new family value based channel tentatively known as FreshTV™.
ASG is presently negotiating for the new channel to be launched on the DirecTV platform around Easter 2008.
The company has a first look, three-year arrangement on all fiction and non-fiction print books with Tyndale Publishing House, a Christian publisher.
The Company plans to launch a teenage thriller series, Dudleytown. The series includes novels, graphic novels, and a youth ministry curriculum on good and evil that will be published by Thomas Nelson, the 5th largest publisher in the world.
Good News Holdings launched FaithMobile™ Christmas 2005, a subscription-based cellular product consisting of downloadable faith-based content. The Company’s content strategy in the mobile space is to partner with leading faith-based organizations to repurpose existing content as well as to develop new, original content. Individuals can purchase Christian ringtones, download wallpapers, and subscribe to daily devotionals sent directly to their cell phone.
GNH’s global strategy is committed to connecting the light of the world.
As such, strategic partnerships around the world are critical to ensure a global handprint is implemented in accordance with local culture and custom.
Therefore, Good News Holdings is forming business relationships in major markets to leverage local sales, marketing, language conversion, production and distribution.
We believe forming healthy partnerships with others who intimately understand the market, and then leveraging each others’ strengths and wisdom, optimizes the gifts we have been given to help build a better world.