In this episode of The Business Gay Podcast, host Calan Breckon speaks with the Creative Director of Bulldog Productions and the founder of The Bow Platform, Matthew McLaughlin.
Over the last 15 years, Matthew has led Bulldog Productions as a director and producer in developing commercial campaigns, organizing charitable efforts, and creating original concepts for primetime network television and streaming platforms. Matthew has an intimate understanding of both the creative and technical aspects of filmmaking, backed by the financial expertise to help make any project a reality.
The Bow, which Matthew founded, is an ad-driven streaming service that will feature elevated original content created for queer people by queer people. The Bow will also offer a user experience community with social media functions and interactive resources that will revolutionize queer living and create connections on a global scale. Best of all, The Bow is not hidden behind a paywall making it accessible to those who need it most. The Bow is a platform where allied corporate sponsors will have the opportunity to join forces to support true excellence in North American 2SLGBTQI+ film and television.
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Key Takeaways for quick navigation:
- 02:15 The Bow is a streaming platform with immersive queer storytelling at its core, offering high-quality content for free with interactive features.
- 04:53 The Bow aims to be a resource and a connection point for the LGBTQ+ community, especially for younger individuals who may not have access to queer content behind paywalls.
- 07:55 LGBTQ+ creators telling queer stories bring diversity and authenticity, breaking away from stereotypical narratives and showcasing the expansive and resilient nature of the queer experience.
- 10:48 The Bow’s choice of an ad-based model aims to make queer content accessible, challenging the traditional placement of queer content behind paywalls and opening up opportunities for advertising revenue.
- 21:16 Billy Porter, as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion adviser, supports The Bow’s mission to connect with and empower the queer community, emphasizing the importance of reaching queer youth through accessible platforms.
- 26:19 Pink washing or rainbow washing in corporate pride initiatives is criticized, emphasizing the need for genuine commitment and certification by LGBTQ+ chambers of commerce.
- 27:24 The Bow aims to foster connections, understanding, and education, providing a platform for diverse queer representation, with a focus on connecting similarities rather than dividing differences.
- 29:28 Calan Breckon supports certification programs for corporations participating in pride parades, ensuring a genuine commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusivity beyond symbolic gestures.
- 32:52 The Bow’s three-year plan includes launching six original productions, acquiring 400-700 relevant titles, and introducing 12 user functions, emphasizing a gradual but impactful development.
- 37:28 The goal is for users to start experiencing The Bow’s branded content and user functions within a year, with a comprehensive and robust user experience planned for the three-year mark.
[00:00:00] Calan Breckon: Today’s episode is sponsored by Castos. Castos is a podcast hosting platform trusted by thousands of brands. With Castos, you can create as many podcasts and episodes as you want, no matter which plan you choose. Full disclosure, the podcast you’re listening to right now is actually hosted on Castos and I can say with 100% confidence that Castos is the best option. Castos has their seriously simple podcasting plugin for WordPress, making it easy to run your show through your own website. This is a must have, especially if you’re looking to grow your business and audience through SEO driven content. I’ve been using Castos for over three years and the team has always been super friendly, quick to respond, and has supported my podcasting journey since day one. You can find out more by visiting calanbreckon.com/Castos or just clicking the link in the show notes. Now let’s get into today’s episode.
Welcome to The Business Gay podcast, where we talk about all things business, marketing and entrepreneurship. I’m your host, Calan Breckon, and on today’s episode I have creative director of Bulldog Productions and the founder of The Bow Platform, Matthew McLaughlin. Over the last 15 years, Matthew has led the Bulldog Productions as a director and producer in developing commercial campaigns, organizing charitable efforts, and creating original concepts for primetime network television and streaming platforms. Matthew has an intimate understanding of both the creative and technical aspects of filmmaking, backed by the financial expertise to help make any project a reality. The Bow, which Matthew founded, is an ad driven streaming service that will feature elevated original content created for queer people by queer people. The Bow will also offer a user experience community with social media functions and interactive resources that will revolutionize queer living and creating connection on a global scale. Best of all, the Bow is not hidden behind a paywall, making it accessible to those who need it the most. The Bow is a platform where allied corporate sponsors will have the opportunity to join forces to support true excellence in North American 2SLGBTQI+ film and television. I’m really excited to talk with Matt today about the future of streaming and queer content, so let’s jump in.
[00:02:22] Calan Breckon: Awesome. Welcome to the show, Matthew. Thank you so much for joining me. How you doing?
[00:02:26] Matthew McLaughlin: Good. Thanks for having me.
[00:02:28] Calan Breckon: Yeah, well, I’m really, really excited to dive into the topic today because you have created something super magical and I want to know all about it, so I’m just going to kind of jump right in. In your own words, can you explain what the bow is?
[00:02:44] Matthew McLaughlin: Sure. I would say the bow is an immersive experience that really has queer storytelling at the center of it. So we’re in the industry, what’s called an AVOD, which is short for advertisement video on demand. So when I was a kid, my family had a larger cable subscription package than, I guess, what is quote unquote basic cable. And when I was in grade ten or eleven, I used to watch Queer as folk in the basement, and I would tell my family that I was watching CSI Miami.
And as soon as my parents came down the stairs, I would use the remote to switch back to CSI Miami. But for me, growing up Catholic in Guelph with, I would say my family was very open minded, but I still went to catholic school. So, like, the topics, the slurs in the locker room, all those things as a queer kid, they’re just like constantly kind of these struggles that you face and seeing those stories reflected back, even though it was queer as folk in the basement, that gave what I was feeling a lot of validation and made me realize, okay, there is lots of people out in the world that actually feel the way that I feel.
And it validated my experience.
Unfortunately, today we’ve made a lot of progress in terms of human rights, in terms of how Canadians live their lives. But unfortunately, in classrooms, we’re actually regressing. We’re going way back.
We’re actually getting rid of a lot of queer identity discussions that happen in classrooms and specifically when it comes to sex education.
So when I had this idea of the bow, I wanted to think of this as a resource for all queer people and a place that people could connect. So is it an AVOD? Yes. You’re going to be able to watch high quality queer content on the go, wherever you are, on whatever device. And it’s completely free. It’s subsidized with pre roll and mid roll ads as well as ad banners within the application.
But think of it almost like Facebook meets YouTube with all the interactive features of something like Reddit.
[00:05:23] Calan Breckon: So it’s like a streaming service where you can go and watch your shows and you have all the social aspects that are built into it as well. And it’s directed at the LGBTQ community and also giving access to the younger people who all the content is usually behind paywalls, especially now, they don’t necessarily have access to that anymore because, well, they’re not going to ask mom or dad for the credit card to buy this pay service because then mom and dad are going to be like, why are you paying for this gay app or this gay streaming service?
[00:05:55] Matthew McLaughlin: Exactly. That’s the biggest challenge is that where people grow up to. It’s not like when you grow up black, you typically have black parents. When you grow up jewish, you typically have jewish parents.
That’s the quote, unquote, like, the typical. Most people grow up that way. When you’re queer, you usually grow up feeling isolated and alone, and you have to go through this self discovery phase that a lot of people don’t have to. We are constantly searching for what feels right because it goes against everything that the society is built around us. Gender reveal parties, even just going down a kid’s aisle, is typically separated into boys and girls. They’re not put in the same space. And by us looking around the universe and seeing what’s available to us, I think it’s our job as queer people who have already walked this road once to kind of reach back and say, hey, you know what? We can do better. Same thing with, like, I think as parents, we always hear, like, the next generation is like, you know what? When I’m a parent, I’m not going to do that, or I’m going to try my best to make it better. And I think we’re trying to continue to get better. And that’s what the bow, hopefully, is. It’s a tool. It’s a resource. It also has fact checked data behind anything that’s published. So almost. Think of it almost as, like, a publishing education resource center that uses entertainment and storytelling, really, as the center of it all to bring people in.
[00:07:46] Calan Breckon: Yeah, I love that. Awesome. Okay, so, like you said, things have been changing. We’ve been evolving and growing. There is arguably a lot of new queer content that is out there in the universe. Why is it so special and important to have specifically LGBTQ creators creating the content that you have?
[00:08:12] Matthew McLaughlin: I think having queer stories being told by queer creators will really change the whole outlook of what the queer space is, quote unquote, supposed to be or limited to.
Oftentimes, what happens is that queer content is still seen in a space that is supposed to suit the masses. And because of that, a lot of checkboxes get added. And when it comes to the queer best friend or the fashion designer or the lesbian best friend who is single and overweight and doesn’t care, has lost herself, we want to be able to tell these stories that don’t always have to be the, quote unquote, hardship and constant struggles. And it’s part of it, but it doesn’t have to be the only part. I think that there’s so much room for more diverse stories, and I think the queer experience is really so expansive, and I would love for people to understand that there’s so much room for growth. We often are seen as still like a very small audience that is niche that doesn’t deserve or doesn’t need to have high quality queer content. But that’s just so untrue. This is an audience that is extremely creative, has had to endure hardships before, and because of that, there’s a resilience to them. And that’s apparent in a lot of the jobs that they end up getting later in life. And I think it’s important to note that it doesn’t matter what culture, what community, what race you are, LGBT. And queerness is something that really can actually be seen as a connector. And I think if there’s a way for us to go into this place of healing, the best part about it is it is free, so it’s accessible. It would be great to have this and have it be this huge conglomerate that people can kind of.
I don’t know how to explain it.
Maybe I can go back on that one.
[00:10:42] Calan Breckon: Well, I was actually going to bring that up. How the standout feature is that it’s accessible and free to users so that you can kind of bring in a younger audience that doesn’t need to pay to get in behind that paywall. Like I was talking before, why did you decide to make that choice instead of doing what all the streamers have been doing where they have a paid model, you’re doing the opposite, where it’s an ads based model.
[00:11:09] Matthew McLaughlin: Yeah. So really it came down to why queer content has been put into these quote unquote adult spaces. So even if, oftentimes, if you did have a subscription to a certain provider, there’s still, like, age caps of being able to watch things that are quote unquote appropriate. Oftentimes queer content is put behind those walls. So someone who’s 1415 is still not able to watch that content. But again, why aren’t we validating these experiences? There’s nothing wrong with being queer, even.
[00:11:45] Calan Breckon: If it is a young base. Totally for a young base, it’s still held behind that. But it’s adult content just because it’s labeled queer content.
[00:11:56] Matthew McLaughlin: Yeah, I think too, there’s another major reason.
As of right now, there aren’t too many queer publishing houses that are publishing high quality queer content or broadcast networks that are producing high quality queer content. Sure. Every time that Netflix or Amazon prime or HBO does something that is queer and is given the same budget comparatively to mainstream heterosexual based character production, it’s.
[00:12:28] Calan Breckon: Always hugely, hugely successful.
[00:12:30] Matthew McLaughlin: And the reason is because the market is actually SEO unsaturated with high quality queer content. And that’s what we’re trying to do. But unfortunately, the system doesn’t actually exist for queer individuals at that high place of power to actually have a voice. So by building the bow, we’re building the infrastructure and the business model that will allow corporations to be able to participate. And in doing so, we can also make sure it’s accessible. So as of right now, we have out tv, which is Canada’s queer broadcast channel. But often their productions are really highly sexualized, like Dilfs hosted by Stormy Daniels, broke straight boys. Like I’m a stripper.
Those shows are so explicit that if you’re shopping at Loblaws, a company that sells their product at Loblaws is not also sponsoring out tv just because you’re isolating a huge character or customer base that is going to be approachable to that.
[00:13:42] Calan Breckon: Does that make sense? They chose to go down the route they went down, and you’re choosing to go down a different route on that.
All the content, like I’ve gone on and I’ve looked and the content is great. One of the ones that I was specifically looking at is the animal, like the cartoon one, because for me, I got the impression it was based for kids and it was more of a learning experience and like a discovery. And they’re at this school.
I mean, you can explain it better than I can, but the basis is all the animals are separated, kind of segregated until it gets decided that, no, all the animals have to go to the same school and integrate together. And so it’s navigating all of that and then on top of that, layering in expression, gender expression and sexuality and all these different things. But in a way that kids going through this experience, there’s so many parents out there that this would be such a great tool because the research you will have done to put into that, they can rest assured that it’s for kids and that the research is there. And I think it’s just absolutely phenomenal. So I’m very excited for it.
[00:14:54] Matthew McLaughlin: Thank you. Yeah, animal Place is, it holds such a personal place in my heart because so much of the world of animal Place is, I wrote, I created the show, and even we actually created an entire animation team in the process so that we could, when we do actually make this, being able to show, hey, look at what we’ve done. Like, we’ve done all the character designs, we’ve done storyboards, we’ve done sound design. We have characters who are super expressive. But at the end of the day, the story is such an amazing piece of all of this.
Yeah. So basically the story is that all birds go to bird school, all dogs go to dog school, et cetera. More often than not, animals are taught that their careers are limited into whatever best fits the needs of society. So beavers make water dams, pigeons deliver the mail, raccoons take care of the garbage at night.
And we start episode one where we show what the world was, which is we establish it’s grade eight grad. So think of this almost like magic school bus in the sense that most of our centralized characters are in a classroom, except that it’s for more of a teen audience. So they’re going into high school, so they’re going into grade nine. So we start at grade eight grad. It’s the last day of grade eight and they’re all about to graduate and go into high school. So they’re all segregated. And then at the end of the first episode, after we’ve established kind of our different groups of grade eight, they’re going away to, like, private school. All peacocks are learning with peacocks, all bearded dragons are going to bearded dragon school. Everyone in the neighborhood gets the same letter from the government stating that due to budget cuts and the depletion of natural resources, schools will now be streamlined into interspecies programs. So these neighbors who were passing each other on the street and everything was fine and dandy because they didn’t really have to interact. They didn’t really have to have the in depth conversations about how this is how I live my life, this is how you live your life. And we’re going to respect that. We have differences.
So then basically the season is set up for, okay, what is going to happen when all of these animals actually have to start having bigger discussions about their lifestyles, their cultures, their beliefs, their values. And when you start layering the different aspects of gender and sexuality and class into it all, it’s a really engaging show. And what I love about it the most, and what you can’t see in the treatment that we’ve put out there so far is there’s this other added layer of this sort of mockumentary. So they’re going to have first person to camera discussions where it almost looks like the office or Modern Family, which hasn’t really been done in the world of animation that much. So I think it’s going to be really fun.
[00:18:13] Calan Breckon: Nice. Yeah, that was definitely one of the things that piqued my interest, and I was like, ooh, I’m definitely going to have to keep my eye on that. You’ve been in this industry for over 15 years. When did you decide to start the boat? Because things have obviously been produced, put together, and all that kind of stuff. When did you decide to start that and why?
[00:18:35] Matthew McLaughlin: We actually had this amazing production called fuck yes. It’s a play off of the greek lentil dish fuck yes. Or the gay slurp fuck yes.
It’s also just like in that series, it’s a clash between old worldviews meets kind of like the Gen Z era.
So it’s like, modern, I would say it’s my big fat greek wedding meets, like, queers folk.
We produced it and we had it on out tv. And I was just really excited because the show was so great. We had such an amazing team. It was scripted. I wanted to do so much more with that, but this was kind of like our first. Let’s see what happens when you put this out into the world. And unfortunately, it had rave reviews, but we couldn’t connect with our target audience. And we were really making this for the millennial queer age and Gen Z audience and youth. And again, with there being a paywall without tv, it made it really challenging. And then when I actually watched it live on broadcast and there was like, three different commercials, one was two heterosexual women sitting on a sofa about a dating app. I’m like, but this is a queer channel. Why are we watching two heterosexual women try to appeal to a cis male? That doesn’t make sense. Then CLR, also available at Kmart. And I was, what? Where is the advertising dollars? And then that’s when it dawned on me, oh, they don’t have any advertising dollars because if the next show is dilfs or I’m a stripper, it makes it really hard. And I was like, okay, well, if it’s not accessible, how do we make it?
You know? Last year I met Billy Porter, actually through my friend Jeremy Benning, who is an amazing director of photography. Him and his partner Francis are really good friends of mine. They’re like my chosen family, essentially, and we both work in the industry. Francis is an amazing film director. Jeremy is an amazing director of photography. And when Jeremy was filming the accused last summer, Billy Porter was directing it. So during the table read of that episode, Jeremy basically said to Billy, like, hey, just so you like, my partner and I are big fans of you and would love to kind of welcome you into the fold, know, introduce you to our queer Toronto friends. And he was like, ok, absolutely, I would love to. And so we had this great introduction. We ended up spending the better part of two or three weeks together while he was here working and showing him the different scenes in the city. And at the end of it, I was like, hey, do you mind if. I would love to tell you a little bit about this project I’ve been working on for the past two years. This was last year now, so now we’re at three years.
And SEO, he was like, yes, I would love to. And he came over and I had the explainer video that you’ve now seen, but the explainer video, to get to that point, we started with storyboards and scripts, and at that point, it was an animatic. So you heard my voice, you saw animation on screen, but it wasn’t actually me walking through. But the point was there. And Billy was like, oh, my God, this is incredible.
You’ve done a lot of work. Oftentimes when people try and show me something and be like, hey, what do you think about this? They’re like, it’s usually like a half cooked up idea that still needs a ton of work and effort, and then they’re hoping that I’m going to take that on. But he was like, but you have this idea and it’s already fully baked and it’s incredible. And you’ve already figured out the business model and how it’s going to work. And I identify with all of this because he was on a show called pose.
And that show, I don’t know if you’ve seen pose. It was on FX. I think you can watch it on Hulu.
[00:22:46] Calan Breckon: Oh, I’ve watched pose. I’m a fan of pose.
[00:22:50] Matthew McLaughlin: It’s an incredible show. And he also said the biggest problem with that show was that they couldn’t connect with their target demographic. They had three seasons. Realistically, they probably could go for five or six if they were able to properly connect with their target demographic, because their target demographic was queer. Black and brown, hispanic individuals who are typically youth, they don’t have extra money to pay for cable. There’s already systemic systems of racism and oppression and all of that type of stuff. More specifically in the US, even more so, I think, than here. I think we embrace diversity in a different way than the way that the US does. But yeah, he saw the value in, you know, queer people, especially queer youth, aren’t being spoken to, not nearly at the level that they should be, and we can change.
[00:23:48] Calan Breckon: He. So he’s now on your board of advisors as the diversity equity and inclusion advisor. Is that correct?
[00:23:55] Matthew McLaughlin: Yes.
[00:23:56] Calan Breckon: Awesome. So he was like, yes, I need to be a part of this. This is absolutely amazing.
[00:24:01] Matthew McLaughlin: Yeah.
He is someone who I’m very grateful for. He is the real deal in terms of, you see people on tv and they seem so endearing and warm, and then you hear about stories elsewhere about, like, oh, yeah. It’s like, kind of a Persona. Like, no, Billy is like this hugely talented, warm kind.
He is always trying to figure out how he can kind of be there and kind of open up the door for the next queer artists youth to kind of come through the space. And I’m so grateful because he’s someone who follows through on his actions, too.
We had a launch party back in the end of the summer going into the fall, and he performed at the Elma combo. We had, like, close to 500 people at our launch event. And he also did a two day press circuit with myself and my amazing PR agent, Amira from project four. And he’s just one of those people who is like, yes, I’m here, of course, and does it with a smile on. And again, I have worked in this industry for a while now, 15 years, and I’ve come to realize that there’s a lot of people that say they’re going to do something, promise the world, but then when push comes to shove, they’re nowhere to be seen. They’re there to shake hands and kiss babies, and then when it comes time to do the work and push through, they’re nowhere to be found. And I think Billy is not like that. He’s the real.
[00:25:48] Calan Breckon: Yeah. Yeah. And you can tell that because he’s very vocal in the things he believes in and the things he wants to promote. And I love that about, you know, he’s been called out for a number of things that have been said, but that’s the world. The world’s not always going to be magical and rainbow and lollipops, but if you have a true belief about a belief about something, you have to stick to your guns and you have to say the truth, whether it’s going to ruffle feathers or not. And I love that about Billy Porter, that he is like, I am all about it. This is how I feel. This is what’s going on in my mind. If it ruffles your feathers, then that’s a you problem, because it still needs to be said.
[00:26:26] Matthew McLaughlin: Yeah.
Here’s one thing I’ll say about our culture today is, and this goes back to businesses, actually.
We’re so worried about saying the wrong thing, that we actually don’t say anything. And because of that, I think a lot of corporations, when pride is here, they have no problem changing their rainbow logo. We call it pink washing or rainbow washing, and now we’ve got a term for it and we’re going to call you out on it. And I think, again, it goes back to how do we do it in a way that we can do it in a constructive way and really be a leader in change and showing how we can have these difficult discussions.
The world is so divided right now, especially with everything that is going on politically with Israel and Gaza. And I feel like everyone is just so hurting. And it’s like watching something and being like, how do I make change happen? And I feel like the bow is not going to solve the world’s issues, but I do think it’s going to teach us how to connect and how to learn and understand our differences in a way that doesn’t really exist in our current culture right now. I mean, there are some places, but to really be able to have education be at the center of it and try and have the things that are similar connect us instead of divide us, I think we need to look for ways of connecting instead of ways of trying to push others away.
[00:28:17] Calan Breckon: Big time. Yeah, big time. And there’s actually, like, with all the pink washing and rainbow washing and all that, I actually have spoken to the people at the Canadian LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce and in the US, the national LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce, about programs that they have certification programs where I believe that over a period of time, the pride societies all around the country and all around the North America and other places should adopt a practice where if a corporate or anybody wants to be in the pride parade, maybe the nonprofits and the kind of one off small businesses, but corporates specifically, if they want to take part, they have to get rainbow registered. They have to get certified by these governing bodies, these certification bodies, because then I know as a consumer that the due diligence has been done from these certifying bodies to go through all of their data points and to go through all of their stuff so that I know it’s not just another check mark and a way for them to promote, but that they’re actually doing the work behind the scenes as well. And it’s not just a one time seasonal thing every season, it’s a year long thing that’s going on. That’s what I would like to see. But it’s up to the organizations to approach the Pride organizations and then the Pride organizations to adopt the policy saying, hey, starting next year, you have one year to get certified if you want to participate in the Pride parade. If not, then we’re wanting to make sure that we really represent the community in deeper ways now.
[00:29:57] Matthew McLaughlin: Yeah, I fully support that initiative. And being someone who’s also going through the process right now, actually, of joining the.
I’m like, CG. I feel like I’m saying it wrong.
[00:30:11] Calan Breckon: But everybody gets a rug. Every single person gets a CGLCC.
[00:30:15] Matthew McLaughlin: Yeah, it’s shocking to me how I didn’t know it existed until only this year. And I’m like, what? This resource exists? This is so incredible.
I’m actually going through the process of getting certified as well. I think it’s a really important business practice. And again, it takes away just exactly what we’re saying. It’s like, hey, don’t put it out there if it’s not true, put it out there. If these are really your core values and beliefs, even as an organization, if that is true, then show us the proof. We want to know that internally you’re taking care of your people and that this isn’t just like jumping on the bandwagon so that you can be popular with the rest of these other brands. I think you’re so onto something there and I think there’s a real need for it. And again, going back to the bow, I just feel like that’s a huge part of what we’re trying to do too. Our advertising standards are so unique in the sense that if you’re not trying to appeal to a queer audience or an inclusive audience, then your advertising, they’re not going to be approved.
Gone are the days of white cis family ordering a pizza and then also getting it made and delivered by white people as well. We need to expand. The world is not like that.
We’re a melting pot. We are diverse. And if bet can exist, the bow should be able to exist and have a space for queer people and queer representation and know that they’re speaking to a queer audience and not just because they want you to buy a pizza, but because they’re doing it on the other side in terms of making sure that again, they’re also taking care of their people and that those systems and their values are also built into their organization.
[00:32:15] Calan Breckon: Yeah, exactly.
I’m curious. I went to the website and it didn’t seem like I could watch all of these things yet. Has it launched and can people go watch things yet? Or is it still in the journey to get there.
[00:32:30] Matthew McLaughlin: Yeah. So we have launched our mission. We wanted the world to know what it is we’re doing.
The whole point of this was to raise awareness, show people, hey, we’re going to be rolling this out.
I was shocked how long all of these things take to get off of the ground and even just to be able to do what we did in terms of launching took three years of hard work while I was still running Bulldog productions full time. But now that we have launched this mission, we have a three year kind of big goal. So what you’re seeing on the website is our three year goal. So in three years you’re going to have six original content, that is the bow original productions, and then we’ll also have about 400 to 700 acquired titles that are relevant to the queer community. We’ll have the twelve user functions that are on the platform or that you Calan see now as like, oh, this is what this is going to do. So if you’re going to go check out our website, know that this is our roadmap of where we’re going, what we’re going to do, what we plan on doing. The other thing that we’ve come to learn throughout this whole process is that originally we thought we were building a streaming platform and that was the main piece. What we’ve really come to realize is that we’re actually a tech company that has an AVod system built into it, but all of the unique interaction and features those systems have been built and created before. But what we’re creating is a seamless way for you to go from one experience to another experience. So this is a very expansive idea.
We’re going to start very small though. So in the first year we’re going to roll out three of our user functions and we’re going to do a robust social media campaign and strategy. So we will bring you to the bow. You’ll see a bunch of branded content productions that will be tied to our three user functions. So we’ve got the after school special, which is our comprehensive, inclusive sex education that meets youth on their level, uses terminology that they understand, and we’re also going to use comedy and sexiness to be able to attract all the audiences because at the end of the day we know that those types of discussions can really get people engaged. And then on the other side, we’re also going to be launching the wellness corner, which is really a place for the inner dialogue that a queer person is having with themselves, especially when they’re coming to terms with their own queer identity. So there will be resources such as a coming out manual.
And it doesn’t matter what age.
Lots of people come out in youth, but a lot of times we’re seeing a lot of people coming out middle aged as well. And that’s totally a valid experience. Everyone comes from their own experience. So that’ll be on the wellness corner along with a lot of other cool interactive features that allows you to connect in person and online. And then the third one is called the phone book. And it’s basically our version of like the pink pages or the Rainbow pages. So it’ll be a resource center for anyone when we launch in North America. So that they know that there’s resources a click away, a phone call away, an email away. If they’re really going through some unique queer struggles, there’s a huge group of organizations out there that are willing to help. So I think with starting here, these are the needs of queer youth head on. And then we’re just going to really listen to our audience and the users as they go through this process. In the tech industry, you have these ideas of exactly how a user is going to use these applications. But I’m sure you know now that you also are a little bit of a techie when you go into these spaces. And then you have actual users who are live beings who have all of this life experience and have unique problems, and they will use the application in a totally different way. And if you’re not listening, you’re doing your job wrong. So we have to have our ears to the ground, we’re going to have our eyes peeled and really watch how our users are using the application and then build it out from there. So that when we do get to our three year goal, that the system is not only robust, but it’s highly functional. It’s really easy for a user to understand the user experience and the navigation, but, yeah, we just really want to make sure that we’re listening.
[00:37:26] Calan Breckon: Nice. Awesome. So people can start watching things on the bow. In three years.
[00:37:34] Matthew McLaughlin: They’Ll get the full experience. In three years. The goal is in one year they will start watching our branded content as well as being able to use the user functions.
[00:37:46] Calan Breckon: Okay, in one year?
[00:37:47] Matthew McLaughlin: In one year you’ll be able to start using the bow. That’s the goal. In three years, you will have the robust user experience. That is the goal. And again, it might change and evolve into something bigger or different.
And I believe that things do kind of happen the way that they’re meant to in many ways. And I think that this is going to evolve and serve the queer community in a very robust way. I don’t know exactly what that way looks like. In talking with a lot of tech individuals, they’re going through this process. Now, gay gaming is a huge industry and another way that queer people are connecting. And we really want to be able to have gay gaming plugins into the bow. So again, what we’re really creating is a language that can go from one experience to another experience seamlessly. That’s really what the bow is. It’s a way of tying you with something else. And I mean with a rainbow. Literally, if you think of a bow, it has the purpose of bringing things together. And that’s where the name comes from. It’s the end of the rainbow.
The whole purpose of a bow is to bring things together. If you think of tying your shoes or a bouquet and if you give a bow, it’s usually during a celebration. And I think we need a time of healing, but I think we want to be in a place where we can celebrate our queerness and unapologetically.
[00:39:20] Calan Breckon: Yeah, and it’s so true.
One of the most popular podcast episodes I did for my other podcast, the gaming going deeper podcast, when I was over there was the coming out later in Life episode and I think it’s still one of their know, four or five episodes on YouTube with just like thousands and thousands of viewers. And so it’s definitely all across the ages, all across the spectrums will have a place. I am very excited for this. I’m looking forward to it. If people want to learn more, find out more, or get involved in some way, shape or form, where can they best do that?
[00:39:58] Matthew McLaughlin: Yeah, so go to the website theboplatform CA.
You can subscribe to our newsletter there. That’s a great way. Right now we actually just put out an email request for queer identifying individuals to share their coming out stories. And there’s two different ways you can do it. You can either give us a short little paragraph blurb of the whole thing, or we also have ten questions that kind of go through it, almost like an editorial process.
And if you have any questions or want to get in touch with me, shoot me an email. I always love to just, I love meeting new people.
The bow and Bulldog Productions, my parent company, has been built on collaboration and I love working with people and I feel like we’re always learning, we’re always growing. And once you stop learning, then hopefully that’s when your end of days are right.
[00:41:00] Calan Breckon: That’s kind of the point.
[00:41:02] Matthew McLaughlin: That’s the point, right? Yeah.
[00:41:03] Calan Breckon: It has been so magical having you on. Matthew, thank you so much for taking the time for having me. Yes, I’m really excited for the bow to launch next year. Hopefully when it does, me too.
[00:41:15] Matthew McLaughlin: We’re going through our first round of funding and we’re pitching SEO.
Thank you so much.
[00:41:23] Calan Breckon: Awesome. Have a great day.
[00:41:24] Matthew McLaughlin: You too. Bye bye.
[00:41:26] Calan Breckon: I am so excited that there’s somebody out there in this world putting something together like this. Because when I was a kid, I really could have used a platform like this where I could go and watch shows and learn and grow. Because it’s so true what Matthew said. We don’t have that innately built into our families growing up. We have to go and find that for ourselves elsewhere out there.
Thank you so much for tuning in today. Don’t forget to hit that subscribe button, and if you really like the episode, please give it a star rating. It really helps the show grow and develop the Business Gay Podcast is written and produced by me and edited by me, Calan Breckon. And if you’re looking for some maybe free SEO website audit advice, you can head on over to CalanBreckon.com/audit and set one up with me. Or just click the link in the show notes. That’s it for today. Peace, love, rainbows.