Mashable, the tech news and Web culture hotbed, wants to take its video output to another level. So naturally, the site turned to the guys behind Fred and The Annoying Orange.
Actually, it makes a lot of sense. Mashable has just inked a partnership with Collective Digital Studios, the firm perhaps best known for shepherding ad deals for YouTube stars like Freddie Wong, the ubiquitous Fred and The Annoying Orange (the latter two have since made it to TV). The two companies will co-produce three or four Web video projects starting sometime next year, with Collective assisting with distribution and ad sales. Each firm has something the other needs.
“People don’t realize how much production we do,” said Reza Izad, CEO at Collective Digital Studio. For instance, while YouTube star Freddie Wong and his partner Matt Arnold directed the scripted hit Video Game High School, the Collective played a big role in its production, said Izad. Working with a predominantly text publisher like Mashable helps push the company into a broader sphere of the digital media space.
And for Mashable, the deal is designed to help the brand conquer YouTube.
“We’ve been producing some of our own video,” said Adam Ostrow, chief strategy officer. “We’ve learned a lot in [the] last two years. What many traditional and even digital publishers have done is try to recreate cable news. That doesn’t work on the Web.”
What has worked for Mashable is content designed to be more fun, light and shareable. For example a clip featuring YouTube makeup tutorial goddess Michelle Phan helping guys get smoky eyes. Or how not to be a Google Glasshole.
“That’s what Collective brings to table,” he said. They are putting skin in [the] game and bringing us some of their talent. They understand the YouTube esthetic.
Mashable has more than 13 million followers on social media. But most are not on YouTube, said Ostrow. “There is a huge millennial teen audience on YouTube. If we can get them consuming videos, then maybe we can get them converting across the board. We're thinking about this deal from business and audience acquisition play."