CNN hopes to tap into younger audience with acquisition of Casey Neistat’s Beme app

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CNN has bought video sharing startup Beme, a mobile app launched in 2015 by popular YouTuber and filmmaker Casey Neistat.

While the deal will primarily help to bring the app’s video technology and the team responsible for it to CNN, it will also allow the Time Warner owned news corporation to tap into Neistat’s large and predominantly younger digital audience, the New York Times reported.

As part of the deal, Neistat, along with his partner and Beme co-founder Matt Hackett will head up a new media company that will produce “timely and topical video and empowering content creators to use technology to find their voice,” according to a statement from CNN announcing the acquisition.

The Beme app, which allows users to quickly record and share unedited video clips has shown promising growth since its launch last year, due in a large part to Neistat’s huge following on social media, particularly on his YouTube channel where he has more than 5 million subscribers.

However, Beme has struggled to sustain that growth up against the likes of Snapchat and Instagram.

As of January 31 2017, Beme will close with Neistat and its 11 other employees moving to CNN to work on the new media venture.

If you’re not aware of Casey Neistat, up until recently he produced daily vlogs on YouTube and is arguably one of the most liked and well known “YouTubers”.

His rise to 5 million subscribers, which saw his channel become the fastest growing on YouTube, was helped by him creating a number of viral videos, the most recent of which saw him fly first class on an Emirates plane. The video was has been watched more than 25 million times.

Another of Neistat’s viral videos showed him snowboarding in New York.

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