CNN taps YouTube sensation Casey Neistat for new media venture aimed at millennials

cnn shuts down beme news neistat youtuber
Casey Neistat
YouTube star Casey Neistat is heading to CNN to help the news network establish a new media brand directed toward capturing the attention of younger viewers.

The broadcaster announced on Monday that Neistat will join its as-yet-untitled new venture as executive producer. CNN is also acquiring Neistat’s Beme mobile app (an interactive video service that allowed users to share short, self-destructing clips) in a deal valued at $25 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Neistat will reportedly have full creative control over the new brand, which sounds like it will be built upon Beme’s existing format — allowing viewers to share topical videos regarding current events.

In a blog post, the app’s co-founder Matt Hackett revealed Beme is shutting down on 31 January 2017. Existing users will be able to download their archive of creations (including videos and reactions) over the next two months. Alongside Beme, Neistat also released an app called Exit Poll earlier this month. In a bid to capitalize on election fever, the app allowed you to declare who you were voting for and then elaborate on your decision in a short video. Exit Poll then curated the clips into a Facebook Live stream shared via its Page on the social network.

Despite the fact that the media’s reliance on polling data took a hit during the recent election, access to real-time videos from voters is an appealing prospect for a major broadcaster such as CNN. Meanwhile, Beme has built up a niche user-base of 1.2 million members.

“By joining forces with CNN, we’re able to give our mission more than just one, startup-budgeted shot. We are going to hunker down and create something new,” said Hackett in his post. “To do that with the full focus it deserves, we have to say goodbye to Beme.”

Neistat quit his day job producing YouTube vlogs and short-form videos just over a week ago, leaving behind a devoted following of 5.8 million subscribers. Now we know why he chose to take such a bold step. Neistat’s daily videos — which often garnered millions of views — were comprised of clips of his time on the road, his family life, random musings, and tech reviews.

“Casey has tapped into nearly six million really powerful viewers, most of which do not tune in to CNN,” Andrew Morse, global head of CNN Digital, told The New York Times. “To build this audience authentically, we believe we need to build something new.”

Deals

Walmart Memorial Day deals continue with LG 65-inch Ultra HD 4K TV for just $550

Walmart has had a memorable month of Memorial Day deals on 4K TVs, but this may be the company's best bargain yet, with the LG 65-inch 65UK6090PUA now on sale for the low price of just $550.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (May 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Android

Keep up-to-date with the best news apps on iPhone and Android

Are the days of traditional newspapers and broadcast news dwindling? With apps this good, maybe. Catch up on the latest headlines on any platform with the best news apps on iOS and Android.
Mobile

Cardinal red Galaxy S10 doesn't appear destined for the U.S.

Samsung 2019 flagship smartphone lineup is here, and there aren't just two phones as usual — there are four. There's the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, as well as a new entry called the S10e, as well as the Galaxy S10 5G.
Music

The best new music this week: The National, Tyler The Creator, and more

Looking for the best new music? Each week, we find the most compelling new releases just for you. This week: New albums from The National, Tyler The Creator, Briston Maroney, Dām-Funk, Duckwrth, Interpol, and Sam Cohen.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on HBO and what’s leaving in June 2019

Whether you're a cable lifer or a staunch cord cutter, there's never been a better time to get down with premium TV. June 2019 brings the second season of Big Little Lies and the arrival of musical drama A Star Is Born to HBO
Movies & TV

Terminator: Dark Fate trailer goes all-in on explosive, android-assassin action

The first trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate offers a peek at the next installment of the Terminator franchise, which brings back many of the sci-fi action series' original stars, along with creator James Cameron as a producer.
Movies & TV

Make it so! Star Trek: Picard trailer delivers first footage from new series

The Star Trek: Picard series will feature the return of Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard and will premiere near the end of 2019, according to CBS. The show will explore Picard's life after the events of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Home Theater

Sports-centric streaming service FuboTV adds entertainment, lifestyle channels

With the addition of Viacom channels, yet maintaining a big emphasis on sports, FuboTV could be exactly what you’re looking for in a streaming service. We’ve got everything you need to know about it right here.
Movies & TV

Terminator: Dark Fate: Everything we know about the new movie so far

The most recent Terminator films didn't do so well, but now James Cameron has returned to reinvigorate the franchise. Here's everything we know about the cast, crew, and story of the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate movie.
Movies & TV

Game of Thrones revisited: 7 storylines set in motion in season 1

If you paid close attention in the first season of Game of Thrones, you'll realize that many arcs that seemed odd in the final moments were seeded all the way from the beginning, foreshadowing much of what eventually happened.
Movies & TV

Tired of stock Netflix titles? Here are the best films streaming on HBO

From The Hangover to Dawn of the Dead and everything in between, we've compiled a list of the best movies currently available on HBO, whether you're looking for something thrilling, or fun to watch with the entire family.
Movies & TV

Laugh, cry, or just relax with the best series now streaming on HBO

Whether you prefer the twisted world of True Detective or the lovable techies that have quickly come to define Silicon Valley, you'll love our picks for the best HBO series now available on HBO Now and HBO Go.
Movies & TV

Here’s how to stream every game of the NHL finals online

Are you one of those die hard fans who needs to catch every minute of ice-shredding action in the 2019 NHL finals? If so, here's your complete guide to watching the Stanley Cup online.