WME has signed the Fine Bros., the most successful writing, directing and producing duo on YouTube, the agency will announce Monday. Rafi and Benny Fine’s YouTube channels have generated more than 1 billion views and boast more than 7 million subscribers.
Their eponymous flagship channel consistently ranks as one of the most viewed hubs each week – ahead of the NBA, Smosh and BuzzFeed. It has more than 6 million subscribers.
The brothers have also written, directed or produced a bevy of the most popular shows on YouTube, from “Kids React,” which features kids reacting to viral videos, to “My Music,” a mockumentary about a record label. Though most YouTube stars place themselves in front of the camera, the Fine Bros. have succeeded behind it like few others.
Signing with WME will help them pursue opportunities in film and television, a lucrative new area for the web’s biggest stars.
Joe Penna (known to his fans as MysteryGuitarMan) signed with CAA to pursue feature directing opportunities while Shane Dawson signed with UTA to branch into television.
For talented creatives who have built massive followings online, producing for “traditional media” expands their brand and earns them the kind of audience (and financial opportunities) not yet available online.
Dawson recently sold a comedy to NBC while the Annoying Orange already has a show on Cartoon Network. The Fine Brothers have already created shows, such as the animated “Emo Dad,” that have the potential to migrate to TV.
Though television may be the next step for the Fine Brothers, the Brooklyn natives are two of the few creators who have built a real business on YouTube. They were involved in the early days of Maker Studios, one of the largest networks of channels around, and have watched as similar businesses blossomed around them.
They built a following off of YouTube and operate a successful merchandise business.
Max Benator already manages the brothers, whose YouTube channels belong to Fullscreen’s network of channels. Benator and Fullscreen will continue to work with them.