Endemol Beyond—the product of the 2014 merger of Dutch-based multi-platform entertainment company Endemol, Shine Group and CORE Media—promises more of everything in 2015: more viral videos, more scripted series, more makeup tutorials and more Pitbull.
The key message at Endemol Beyond's NewFronts presentation was that it values creators like YouTube star Michelle Phan, PrankvsPrank founder Jesse Wellens and Vine champion Brittany Furlan. The new entity, co-owned by 21st Century Fox and Apollo, aims to make an "emotional connection" with the stars' audiences around the world with a variety of new offerings—while always keeping those marketing departments in mind.
President Will Keenan told attendees the company's "core value" is storytelling, whether through video game compilations, beauty salon pranks or tales told by a pop star's personal photographer.
Keenan argued that the loyalty young viewers feel toward new media personalities allows Endemol to facilitate "a direct brand-to-consumer relationship" for its partners. And while the company has developed its own platforms in the form of apps for Amazon Prime, Roku, Android, etc., Keenan spoke of future syndication deals with media bigwigs like AOL and Yahoo.
"[We are] everywhere—and we want to bring you there too," he Keenan said.
Michelle Phan later took the stage to promote fellow YouTube makeup star Charis Lincoln, saying, "She's not trying to sell anything; she's just being her." Phan summed up the appeal of Endemol properties: "What we do best is curate, so you don't have to worry about finding the coolest video."
Pitbull, the biggest name involved in the project, did not show up to promote his partners, but Keenan did promise two new Web series featuring the crossover star to compliment past hits Gentleman's Code and The Most Bad Ones.
Other new offerings include the following:
- Looksy will combine "young Hollywood pop culture" with your usual viral clips, hot takes on trending news stories and fan-made videos. It will also include a scripted dramedy called Neurotica, a prank series from Furlan, and True Internet Tales, a reality show involving former E! producer Michael Lynn.
- Smasher, a "new guilty pleasure for millennial men," mixes sports and gaming culture. Individual series include Offsides, in which YouTube stars "prank" professional athletes, and Milonakis 2.0, a new showcase for former MTV sketch comedian Andy Milonakis.
Milonakis may have summed up the day's presentation best when he joked that "TV's cool; my grandma still watches it."
Everyone else apparently watches Endemol Beyond.