Five years ago, Fullscreen was just starting out as many multichannel networks have: as a conduit between YouTube stars who wanted to grow their own business and brands that wanted to reach younger consumers flocking away from TV.
But as MCNs have evolved into full-fledged content creators, Fullscreen kicked off its second NewFronts presentation today in New York by touting its rise from business-facing management firm to global media company.
"Five years ago, nobody here was Snapchatting. Google had just launched Google+, and many of us were still using BlackBerrys," said founder George Strompolos.
To that end, Fullscreen has rebranded itself as Fullscreen Media, which now consists of three separate businesses: Fullscreen Creator Network, the management service Fullscreen was founded on that works with established and up-and-coming creators; Fullscreen Entertainment, which comprises Fullscreen Live, its subsidiary studio Rooster Teeth, Fullscreen Productions and its recently launched subscription service; and Fullscreen Brandworks, a unit dedicated solely to branded content that will be run by former Razorfish CEO Pete Stein.
Strompolos shared a few stats about fullscreen, the company's subscription product that launched three weeks ago. After labeling it the "HBO Now for young millennials who grew up on social media," Strompolos said early data shows the average time spent per user is 48 minutes a day, though he would not reveal how many subscribers it actually has. Despite the service being free of advertising, Strompolos does see a way for brands to become involved, likely through native advertising partnerships.
"We want to work with brands in this exciting new environment," he said. "We just need to make sure that we create real value."
And Fullscreen talked about how its Brandworks branded content business can work with brands.
One way is the creation of HerScreen and HisScreen, which consolidates the top 25 female- and male-skewing channels into their own demographically targeted packages and will be guaranteed against Nielsen's Digital Ad Ratings and comScore's vCE measurement. As web video players try to steal ad dollars from traditional television, one way they have been touting their reach as being comparable to TV networks is to roll up a bunch of their creator channels into single entities.
For example, Fullscreen's head of sales, Kevin McGurn, touted the combined reach of HerScreen, which rolls up popular channels from Grace Helbig and Andrea Russett into one channel that gets 14 million views per week. For HisScreen, McGurn was even bolder in saying the combined reach is greater than sporting events including the NBA All-Star Game and the Sugar Bowl but did not give any stats to back that up.
Fullscreen is looking to pair brands with some of its most popular shows under a new program called All-Star Collabs. The first two shows will be Eva Gutowski's How to Survive High School and devinsupertramp's Around the World in Seven Stunts.
Fullscreen is also partnering with Mattel to create its own social influencer network, the first of which will be The Hot Wheels Network.