The investment will be used to scale production and expand the show’s distribution and partnerships, like the ones already in place with Samsung, YouTube, and Ford. For the latter, “What’s Trending” has already committed to hosting videos for the second installment of their social-media-driven Ford Fiesta Movement, and Shira will appear at tent-pole appearances.
Last week, “What’s Trending” hosted the red carpet for Samsung’s annual Hope for Children Gala, which continued a long-running content partnership between Samsung and “What’s Trending” that includes live-event coverage from industry events such as CES and SXSW.
The show will also have more freedom to expand content, whether on YouTube videos, top news, or celebrity interviews. After the announcement, show host and executive producer Lazar said, “I am excited to be back on set and to continue to expand the What’s Trending brand in new ways that excite and engage our audience across multiple platforms and around the world.”
Bedrocket is helmed by co-founders Ken Lerer, co-founder of The Huffington Post, and Brian Bedol, founder of channels now known as ESPN Classic and CBS College Sports. Considering their backgrounds in news and television, this investment falls right in line with their interests, never mind that “What’s Trending” is Bedrocket’s fifth investment in a YouTube channel, adding to a lineup that already includes comedy, action sports, style, and soccer channels.
Not only does Bedol have a history of investing in YouTube channels but he also has stated that Bedrocket investments are targeted at companies capable of disrupting cable broadcasting. Lerer’s Huffington Post also became the first website to win a Pulitzer prize for journalism just last year. So support for “What’s Trending” comes as an obvious vote of confidence from those leading the new media wave, despite the show’s disassociation with CBS News, a traditional media brand, in September of 2011.
Of course, “What’s Trending” has made some great strides since then: It transitioned into its current daily broadcasting schedule in August of 2012, a month before it received a Primetime Emmy nomination in the Interactive Media category. You can also check out our 5 Questions With…Shira Lazar here.