It didn’t take much time for last week’s merger of Berlin-based multi-channel network Studio71 with L.A.-based Collective Digital Studio (CDS) to bear fruit. The newly-formed MCN, named Collective Studio71, has already announced its first joint project, a digital reality series tentatively titled “The Beauty Cruise.”
The transition will continue at a rapid pace, with Studio 71 head of programming and production Christian Meinberger flying to Los Angeles next week to meet with CDS executives and brainstorm more collabs.
“There will be several projects to follow in a short period of time, because we don’t want to waste much time,” Meinberger told VideoInk. “We want to bring more formats and content collaborations to the market,” including potential international versions of Studio71 properties such as the online gaming show “Last Man Standing.”
First, Meinberger will stop off in New York for the launch of “The Beauty Cruise,” which begins production on July 19 and debuts the following day. The show will take a collection of lifestyle and fashion vloggers — including Germany’s DFashion (pictured), FunnyPilgrim, Sanny Kaur and Thebeauty2go and L.A.’s Amber Whittington (AmbersCloset) — and put them under one roof in an apartment in New York City’s Meatpacking District. While there, they will vlog, collaborate on videos, interview fashion designers and other celebrities and engage in typical tourist activities, such as shopping, seeing “Wicked” on Broadway, going on a “Gossip Girl” tour, dining at fine restaurants, renting boats in Central Park and treating themselves to spa and beauty treatments.
The “Beauty Cruise” crew will also partake in more rarefied activities, including helicoptering to the Hamptons to cover the red carpet at the The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Super Saturday (dubbed “the Rolls Royce of garage sales” by the New York Times) on July 25, touring Manhattan by water in a $40 million yacht and attending the International Modeling & Talent Association (IMTA) convention.
Studio71 is modeling “The Beauty Cruise” on last year’s “The Mansion,” in which it took a crew of German YouTube gaming stars led by Erik Range (Gronkh) and Valentin Rahmel (Sarazar) and put them together in a house in West Hollywood house with a rotating collection of fellow gamers, including Arkansas-based Steven Williams (Boogie2988) and American-German cross-over star Flula.
Like most Germans of their generation, the cast of “The Mansion” is fluent in English (as demonstrated by their video interview with the author below), but the show’s content was almost exclusively in German.
For “The Beauty Cruise,” “we’re planning more English-language content, and this is due to the fact that the English online video business has grown significantly, and this is why we decided to follow this path and this strategy,” Meinberger said. “We have a lot of talent in our portfolio that is speaks very good English, so it makes sense. And now, with the CDS merger, it’s very important to do so.”
But Collective Studio71 doesn’t want to take international cross-pollination too far. Meinberger said that while English-language YouTubers such as Smosh, Rhett & Link and PewDiePie are very popular in Germany, the MCN is mindful not to force its talent to create English-language content, because it could turn off German fans who feel an ownership of their homegrown Deutschland YouTube stars.
“We only do this with talent that already has English-language content or English-language channels, so their viewership doesn’t get annoyed and think, ‘Now, they’re doing English-language content to get more traffic,’” Meinberger said.