Casey Neistat, the popular YouTube star whose video-sharing app Beme was acquired by CNN last fall, is in the works of helping the news network reach a younger audience. Beme is preparing up to launch an app centered around a 1o minute daily news show that will run four days a week before expanding to seven days per week. The app is aimed at attracting a younger generation to CNN, which as of now has an audience with an average age of 59.
“Casey is somebody I knew [about] from my children,” Explained Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide. “He does great work, he has a big following, and he’s able to reach an audience CNN never could [. . .] We have hundreds and hundreds of reporters and people who can tell video stories, and can stand up there with a mic and trench coat. We don’t need more of those.”
Neistat said he took the chance to team up with CNN for the opportunity to expand his reach. “My YouTube show peaked at 5 million views per day.” Working with CNN, he explained, “was the opportunity to work on something bigger than me.”
The new app will include an interactive feature called Panels, which will offer multiple perspectives on a topic, similar to CNN’s panel discussion segments. But instead of experts, Beme’s talking heads will consist of viewers sharing their thoughts in 15-second video clips. “Our Panels look just like CNN panels, except we show the individual and where they are and their age,” Neistat said. “They’re people I can relate to.”
Beme had raised $2 million from investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners and Vayner/RSE, a partnership of Gary Vaynerchuk, VaynerMedia and RSE Ventures.