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.”

Music

From Jay Rock to Saba, these are the 50 best albums of 2018

We've spent the year listening to new albums, digging deep, and culling our master list into 50 favorites. From blockbuster releases to hidden gems, these are the best albums of 2018.
Photography

User-generated GoPro Hero7 Black highlight reel has all the feels

It still features plenty of death-defying stunts, but GoPro's new user-generated highlight reel has plenty of feel-good emotional moments. The two-minute supercut is the official reel of the Hero7 Black camera.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

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.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Deals

Amazon Fire Deals: Tablets, TVs, and TV controllers in stock and ready to ship

Last-minute shoppers, and anyone seeking good deals on Amazon Fire products, are in luck. There's still time to order Fire Tablets, Fire TVs, and Fire media players, Fire CVRs, and Alexa-voice-compatible Fire remotes for Christmas delivery.
Movies & TV

Move over Superman, Aquaman is here to save DC's live-action cinema universe

DC Comics' aquatic superhero Aquaman finally gets his solo feature with Jason Momoa in the title role, and director James Wan's adventure manages to avoid feeling waterlogged while offering up some amazing visuals and intense action.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (January 2019)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in December 2018 and January 2019, from new original series to classic…
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (December 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Home Theater

What’s new on Hulu and what’s leaving in January 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Hulu for January 2019, our personal favorites, and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on all the site has to offer -- and ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Movies & TV

‘A League Of Their Own’ and ‘Big’ director Penny Marshall has died

Penny Marshall, the director of A League of Their Own and Big, has died. A groundbreaking filmmaker who paved the way for women behind the camera, Marshall rose to fame as one-half of the starring duo of TV's Laverne and Shirley.