EXCLUSIVE: Endemol Beyond Strategy Takes Shape – Will Keenan Signs Courtney Love
It’s been a few months since we first announced that international television and production company Endemol would be stepping into digital in a big way with the launch of Endemol Beyond, headed by former Maker Studios veep and cult film actor, Will Keenan. This role for Keenan came as a surprise to many but was quickly followed by rumors of meetings and acquisition talks with various MCNs and YouTube talent leading many to question — what the heck is Endemol Beyond’s first big move going to be? And can Will Keenan pull this off?
But, alas, tonight, live from Miami Beach at Endemol Beyond’s NATPE party at LIV, the company’s strategy is starting to take shape, led by an announcement that Beyond has signed singer/songwriter Courtney Love to Beyond Reality. Signed by Keenan, Love, who hasn’t had much of a presence on YouTube previously, is tapping Keenan and Beyond to help her build out her digital presence, outside of her recent Twitter Defamation lawsuit.
The sizzle and news of the deal debuted for the first time tonight, in which Courtney Love proudly proclaims: “Welcome to my fucking web series”:
From the “Courtney Love Official” YouTube channel:
“This is my official YouTube channel where you’ll get the exclusive first look at the music, art, fashion, people, places and just about anything I think is interesting and cool that you might not know about… from me ranting about some cool kids in Japan to my favorite fashion vloggers, and even collaborations with my favorite YouTubers. I wanted to create and curate a channel that represents everything that I’m passionate about that my fans would love- completely in MY VOICE. So, subscribe now and find out everything I’m into- and all that I’m up to. XX COURTNEY.”
Other performances at tonight’s event included Chester See, billed as part of Beyond Music (though we’re hearing a deal is yet to be signed) as well as rapper Ja Rule. Beyond also featured Vine stars Klarity and Simone Shepherd as part of their Beyond Comedy vertical. Again, no confirmation on whether deals are officially inked with either creator.
One thing has become clear though, the $40 million investment Endemol made to support the development of its digital arm, Beyond, will go toward content deals with mainstream, YouTube, and web-native talent, with an early focus on categories that are already in Endemol’s wheelhouse, like reality. Endemol Beyond seems to be developing comedy and music verticals as well — two categories that have boomed on YouTube and in the online video world in general.
And while Keenan has been rumored to have initiated big conversations for acquisition with companies like Big Frame, What’s Trending, and even MyDamnChannel (when they were aggressively shopping for a buyer), those deals have not been substantiated.
Endemol Beyond launched in November 2013.Tags: Big Frame, courtney love, courtney love official, deals, Endemol, Endemol Beyond, MyDamnChannel, Reality, Will Keenan, youtube channel