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Ben covers the property industry and has a keen interest in entrepreneurship and travel writing. He speaks Mandarin and previously covered housing and urban affairs for The Australian Financial Review.

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Model venture: Pedestrian.tv expands into education as revenue jumps

Published 15 February 2013 11:33, Updated 20 February 2013 15:00

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Model venture: Pedestrian.tv expands into education as revenue jumps

Model Tiah Eckhardt will talk on the business of beauty and how to turn modelling into a long-term career on Pedestrian.tv Photo: Steven Siewert

The founders of pop culture news site Pedestrian.tv are hoping to lift their place on the BRW Fast 100 list this year by expanding into online education.

The popular site, founded in 2005 by Gen Y entrepreneurs Oscar Martin and Chris Warasinha, has booked $2.5 million in advertising revenue so far this financial year, but the two are hoping to diversify their revenue base by hosting expert speakers live online.

“We’re trying to bridge that gap between what people learn at school or university and what’s missing in the world – real world advice from people who have been there and done that,” says Warasinha.

Talks typically cost between $10 and $20, with a range of start-up entrepreneurs, creative industry veterans and advertising company heads sharing their experience of making it in their industries.

We’re trying to bridge that gap between what people learn at school or university and what’s missing in the world – real world advice from people who have been there and done that.

Among the speakers is Si Philby from campaign and event company The Projects, talking about how to pitch creative advertising ideas to big brands. Sarah Timmerman of online fashion store Beginning Boutique will talk about expanding brand awareness using social media. And international model Tiah Eckhardt is offering a talk on the business of beauty and how to turn modelling into a long-term career. Others talk about how to start your own music festival, raise seed funding and market arts events.

Microsoft’s Windows 8 is sponsoring the program, and Warasinha says he has had around 400 registrations since launching the education site, Pedestrian Coach, less than a week ago.

There are similar sites in the United States, such as Udemy and Skillshare, although Warasinha says he hopes to differentiate the product by ensuring all talks are live, rather than pre-recorded, and have a question and answer session at the end. They are capped at 250 participants and a live message chat allows some interaction.

“It’s part of a strategy to diversify the business from being solely reliant on advertising revenue by offering our readers and fans more opportunities to interact with the brand,” Warasinha says. “I like to think we are leading the way with how publishers can work with brands online and a model that can be profitable for media companies online.”

Pedestrian.tv’s revenue has climbed significantly this financial year from the $1.7 million in turnover over 2011-12. Audited web traffic in January hit a new record with around 314,000 unique Australian browsers.

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