Mashable Inks Content Deal with Collective Digital Studio

/ Nov 11, 2013

CDS

Mashable has inked an original programming deal with Collective Digital Studio, one of the top multi-channel networks on YouTube.

Per the deal, CDS will develop, produce, and distribute new original video programming under the Mashable brand. “I think you’ll see content that’s representative of Mashable in its topicality and tone, but done in a variety of formats that are tailor-made for YouTube,” says Adam Ostrow, chief strategy officer at Mashable. “So you’ll see stuff about web culture, tech, and entertainment, but done by personalities that already have a big presence on YouTube and know how to connect with that audience.” CDS represents YouTube talent like Epic Meal Time, Rhett & Link, Hannah Hart, Dane Boedigheimer (“The Annoying Orange”), and Freddie Wong, among others. Mashable and CDS say that they will also look to feature “fresh new voices.”

The deal is described as a partnership between two media companies capable of reaching the 18- to 34-year-old demographic, which some like to refer to as Millennials or the “connected generation.” Mashable currently reaches 22 million unique visitors per month. CDS’s network, meanwhile, is said to generate over 200 million views a month across 150 channels.

That’s one of the biggest reasons for why Mashable chose to partner with CDS, according to Ostrow. Mashable wasn’t only attracted to the CDS’s scale, Ostrow says, but also the fact that the network only has 150 “premium” channels. “This was really important to us, as we’re still going to be very hands-on with content and strategy,” he says.

Another reason? Branded content. “They also understand branded content, which is already a key driver of Mashable’s business and in the long-run is how we’ll look to monetize on YouTube,” says Ostrow. “And given [CDS’s] background as an agency, they know how to work with talent and build relationships, which is incredibly important to winning on YouTube.”

Mashable has spent the past couple of years diving deeper into original video programming. In most cases, this has come in the form of one-off clips and branded content, some of which is produced in-house while the rest is produced by partners like Newsy. Altogether, the social news and entertainment site is currently generating 5 million views per month across platforms.

And not for nothing, this is a pretty good partnership for CDS as the network, like other YouTube MCNs, looks to expand its reach across other video sites and platforms. Though, as Ostrow notes to us, the initial focus of this deal is to build “the YouTube audience first and foremost.”

The CDS-produced shows, which will begin premiering in early 2014, will be available on YouTube — via a revamped Mashable channel — and Mashable.com. Ostraw says Mashable and CDS are still in “the midst of developing concepts” as they prep the Q1 rollout.

Mashable and CDS will also work together on ad sales for the content.

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