Confirming reports from last spring, YouTube multichannel network Fullscreen announced today its plans to launch its own streaming service aimed at an audience who grew up using mobile devices. The news was delivered by way of a company blog post from Fullscreen Founder and CEO George Strompolos this morning, which offers light details about the new service in terms of the content it includes, but not pricing and availability information.
The post explains that the new service “will not be for everyone,” which means that it’s not likely looking to compete with the bigger streaming players like Netflix or Amazon, for example, but will rather carve out its own niche by targeting “youth audiences,” as the CEO put it.
Details on the streaming service are still forthcoming, but it will include a variety of content from both emerging and established writers, directors and actors, including original scripted series, unscripted series, hosted shows, feature films, podcasts, editorial and more.
“As an extension of our mission to empower creators, we are providing an opportunity for talent of all types to produce their best work in an immersive product experience,” said Strompolos. “Just as premium cable networks raised the bar for television over the past decade, we aim to do the same with a new generation of creators, stars and personalities. And we’re going to do it our way.”
He notes the service will arrive “in the coming months.” TechCrunch understands that the launch date the company is aiming for is sometime in early 2016, however.
Fullscreen today produces videos that reach 600 million subscribers who generate more than 5 billion video views monthly, and has a large talent network of over 70,000 creators to tap into for this new streaming service. Some of the better-known creators working with Fullscreen currently include Grace Helbig, The Fine Bros., filmmaker Devin SuperTramp, Andrea Russett and Jack and Jack, for example.
Creators have access to Fullscreen’s proprietary creator platform, which lets them use a line up of tools to help them produce, distribute and measure their videos, as well as get help with rights management and claiming through ContentID and content licensing, among other things.
In recent months, Fullscreen has moved beyond videos that are distributed on YouTube, Facebook, Vine and Snapchat, and has introduced a live touring division (Fullscreen Live), and it has worked with brands like Pizza Hut, Universal Pictures, and Sour Patch Kids to match talent with branded content. It has also acquired a handful of companies as it grew, including gaming network ScrewAttack, production studio Rooster Teeth, and social media content studio McBeard.
While the network’s creators today distribute their content to large social media platforms, the new streaming service will now give them another way to reach their audience, while offering the company itself a new revenue stream.
That’s because the service itself will be a “premium” offering (read: paid service), but the company tells us that pricing information and the launch date will be announced at a later time.
Included on the streaming offering at its debut are a number of shows and films Fullscreen has had under development, such as:
“Electra Woman & Dyna Girl,” a twist on Sid and Marty Krofft’s cult classic TV series that will now feature YouTube stars Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart as the two main characters, respectively; “O2LFOREVER,” a 95-minute movie featuring Connor Franta, Jc Caylen, Kian Lawley, Ricky Dillon, Sam Potorff, and Trevor Moran as a YouTube supergroup Our 2nd Life (O2L) who documents their 2014 North American Tour; “The Outfield,” a coming-of-age film with social media personalities Nash Grier as Cameron Dallas; and a still untitled teen parody from exec producers Paul Scheer (“The League”) and Jonathan Stern (Netflix’s “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp”) that stars Hannah Kasulka (“The Fosters”) and Max Carver (“Teen Wolf”).
The company, owned by AT&T and Chernin Group, isn’t getting into the revenue specifics of the new service, like whether it will also include ads or other branded content on top of the premium fees, or how it will share the revenue with creators. It’s also not offering details about the platforms supported, or information about how the content will be organized or other specific features about the forthcoming app.
But we’re hearing that the service will first be available on mobile and on web, and will include authentic branded content as Fullscreen does across its business already. We also understand that the company is “leaning” toward this being ad-free.
Fullscreen isn’t the only company expanding beyond YouTube to do its own thing. Maker Studios, for example, launched Maker.TV. Meanwhile, Vessel, the streaming service from founding Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, is similarly focused on delivering creators’ original videos to a highly mobile, young demographic. However, in Vessel’s case the model is different – it’s not a multichannel network, but rather is forging deals with creators to release content early on Vessel ahead of YouTube for the chance at making more money.
As Fullscreen’s own service is not yet live, the company is instead collecting sign-ups here.