Like the makeovers featured on the glossy pages of its magazine, Seventeen is overhauling its YouTube channel with the help of multichannel network AwesomenessTV.
The L.A. company, which creates programming for teen audiences, has struck a deal with Seventeen’s parent company, Hearst Corp., to relaunch the YouTube channel with new videos and serialized shows. Awesomeness will also create a Seventeen multichannel network based on the magazine’s teen girl brand. The other channels on the network will feature personalities that appeal to the brand’s audience.
The new version of Seventeen’s YouTube channel, which will launch early next year, could feature everything from beauty how-to videos to segments about prom. It could also eventually feature scripted and serialized television shows, said Brett Bouttier, chief operating officer at Awesomeness.
“One of the reasons we’ve been successful is because we create lots of fresh programming every single day,” Bouttier said. “One of the things we’ll be doing with Seventeen is adding daily and weekly programming. We can develop the next big franchise hits.”
Awesomeness has experience in the serialized video business. Chief Executive Brian Robbins produced “Smallville” and “One Tree Hill” before switching to online video.
The Seventeen multichannel network will link to the channels of YouTube personalities that are creating their own videos. Seventeen readers will also be able to create videos and become part of the network.
Awesomeness has hired a team to work exclusively on the Seventeen network. Bouttier said the staff will work closely with Seventeen and Hearst, which will sell advertising around the videos, to cross-promote content across all of Seventeen’s properties.
Robbins founded Awesomeness last year as a hub for teen-skewed YouTube videos. The network’s namesake sketch comedy series made the jump from online to TV when teen network Nickelodeon aired episodes this summer.
Awesomeness garnered enough attention in its first year of operation that DreamWorks Animation in Glendale acquired the fledgling company in May for $33 million – a dollar amount that could balloon to $117 million based on performance milestones.
The Awesomeness YouTube network today has about 26 million subscribers and has more than 1.93 million total views. The Seventeen channel, meanwhile, recently passed 101,000 subscribers.
This is the first time that Awesomeness will take charge of another franchise in a drive to grow its audience.
“The great thing about Seventeen is that it’s already a very popular brand on YouTube,” Bouttier said. “What we think we can do is add the video production and audience development capabilities that we’ve been so successful at with Awesomeness to make this a really powerful matchup.”
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