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CNN will acquire Beme, a video-sharing startup company founded by famous YouTuber Casey Neistat, the company announced Monday.
Beme is a social media platform focused on creating and sharing short, unedited video clips, and its launch was further aided by the large following surrounding one of its founders. Neistat is a YouTube content creator whose videos have accumulated millions of views, many of which belong to a millennial crowd — a prime prize for media companies, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But while Beme — described by Neistat as being “more authentic” — had some early success, it largely failed to grab a significant enough chunk of the overall social media market, which has long been dominated by giants such as Facebook, Instagram, and up-and-comer Snapchat.
As part of the deal, CNN will take down the Beme app in January — which, to date, has accrued 1.2 million downloads. In turn, Neistat and the other employees of the startup will join CNN as a standalone division focused on new media, and CNN’s mobile video efforts. Neistat and his team will be tasked with attracting new audiences for the larger media company, but will largely have free creative rein over the process. Additionally, CNN stated that the acquisition was not a “TV talent deal,” the WSJ reported.
Beme’s acquisition follows a trend of other media companies investing in startups and new media ventures. Just recently, NBCUniversal invested $200 million in BuzzFeed and Vox — both companies which hold a strong fanbase among younger content viewers. AMC, which is the network behind “The Walking Dead,” announced that it had invested in Funny or Die, a digital comedy site, according to The New York Times.
Neistat will retain control and ownership over his personal ventures, including the YouTube channel that launched him to stardom. As of the writing of this article, that channel has over 5.8 million subscribers.
Do you think Beme is a worthwhile acquisition?
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