CNN Will Launch a New Media Company With YouTube Star Casey Neistat

Storytelling for a younger generation

Headshot of Marty Swant

YouTube celebrity and tech entrepreneur Casey Neistat is joining the video team at CNN, bringing along with him Beme, the mobile video app he launched last year.

The news network announced Monday that with Neistat, it will debut a new media brand next summer focused on storytelling for a younger audience. In a staff memo, CNN executive vp of editorial Andrew Morse said this is a step to "future-proof" the news organization. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Casey is one of the most compelling voices on the web," Morse wrote. "A filmmaker, entrepreneur and content creator, Casey's YouTube channel has nearly 6 million passionate subscribers. His unique view of the world has enabled him to engage an entire generation."

Today, Neistat was named on Adweek's 2016 Hot List as Digital Creator of the Year.

Neistat will serve as executive producer of the new company, and Beme's chief technology officer and engineering team will come on board. CNN plans to hire dozens of additional producers, developers, designers and content creators.

According to Turner, Beme—which has been downloaded more than a million times—will no longer exist as a standalone app while the team shifts to bringing the ideas and tech from the original product into the future company.

Beme isn't Neistat's only app. His company launched Top Five Live, focused on Live Video, and this fall's Exit Poll, which let users record themselves talking about who they voted for and why.

A week ago, Neistat ended his daily video blog on YouTube that's amassed more than 1 billion views and 5 million subscribers since starting 18 months ago. In an interview with Adweek earlier this month, he hinted at plans to move into new video mediums.

"I've sort of said everything I've had to say in the medium that is vlogging," he said. "And now it's time to push into a new medium."

@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.