Endemol Beyond USA, the premium content network of Endemol Shine North America, announced Thursday it will launch two new digital-first networks later this year.
The two new networks — Looksy, which is pop culture focused, and Smasher, a sports and gaming network — will be distributed through a multi-layered, multi-platform system that is custom-tuned to audience and advertiser appeal. The top layer is comprised of YouTube and social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr.
A second layer optimized for building long-term fan bases consists of O&O mobile apps, OTT channels, websites and connected TV platforms.
Looksy will fuse pop culture with humor, delivering trending news, memes, parodies and fan creations, featuring digital headliners including Brittany Furlan and Andy Milonakis. It will also air scripted series “Neurotica,” from the writers/producers of “The Office” and HBO’s “Hello Ladies,” and reality series “True Internet Tales,” from Emmy-nominated producer Michael Lynn.
Smasher will combine sports and gaming with comedy. The premium slate will feature international imports “Rule’m Sports” and “Legends of Gaming” from Endemol Beyond UK. The new U.S. versions will feature digital stars Jesse Wellens (“PrankvsPrank”) and Toby Turner (“Tobuscus”), who combined have nearly 30 million YouTube subscribers.
Endemol Beyond USA is also set to launch several new original series with rapper Pitbull, who is already behind the series “Gentleman’s Code” and “The Most Bad Ones.” The new projects are both slated to launch in 2015 and include “Masterclass” and “Pitbull Presents.”
The announcements were made Thursday by Vivi Zigler, president of digital, brand & audience development for Endemol Shine North America, and Will Keenan, president of Endemol Beyond USA at Endemol Beyond USA’s NewFront presentation in New York.
“Brands are looking for new ways to work with premier global production partners like Endemol Beyond,” Zigler said. “We have rapidly expanded our capabilities and are ready to leverage our unrivaled worldwide assets in the service of building exceptional value for brands in a way that is premium, targeted and authentic.”
“Thanks to the astonishing draw of Michelle Phan and all of our terrific talent partners, we’ve successfully launched ICON as the first global premium lifestyle network,” Keenan added. “We are now thrilled to add two new digital-first networks, expanding Endemol Beyond USA’s programming reach into sports, gaming and pop culture with some of the biggest names in the business.”