Today CNN announced that it had acquired Beme, YouTuber star Casey Neistat’s, small video based app. The app never managed to drum up attention or keep users active on the app, and many fans of Casey started to wonder why he never talked about the app or if he used the app himself. Furthermore, Casey announced last week he was ending his daily vlog to focus on business and other projects.
CNN intends to shut down Beme, and have all 12 employees including Casey start working on a new media brand under CNN. According to the New York Times, “Mr. Neistat hopes to bring that idea of authenticity to news and media environment to draw in a younger audience largely untapped by the cable news network.” The deal’s valued at $25 million, but Casey’s YouTube channel is separate from the deal, and he’s still free to create videos.
CNN bought Beme for the talent, with hopes of building a millennial-focused media brand to rival Vice, Vox, and Buzzfeed. Other cable news networks have invested in Vice, Vox, and Buzzfeed, while CNN has opted for collecting talent from their competition. Casey has had great success creating videos that garner millions of views each day, and if he can replicate the same viewership with his media brand; he’ll have success on his hands.
I’m interested in how Casey will be involved with the news brand, whether he’s reporting on news or if he’s working behind the scenes. The problem he could face is his fans thinking he sold out to big business rather than staying creative and working on his daily vlogs. Either way, Casey and his 12 person team came out of this deal making a pretty penny compared to other social networks like Yo, Ello, or Peach which never had an out and have stayed in the background as noise.
Tell us in the comment below what you think about Casey selling his app to CNN in order to build a new millennial-focused media brand.