The new entity will pair Verizon’s technology and Hearst’s digital video content and production capabilities to develop two initial channels of video programming, RatedRed.com and Seriously.TV, to be distributed across Verizon’s new Go90 mobile entertainment destination, its 2015 acquisition AOL, as well as through third-party networks and licensors.
“Hearst has invested in some of the most robust millennial-focused digital video networks — from BuzzFeed and Vice to AwesomenessTV and Complex — and we are excited to add Verizon as a partner to continue to build and invest in this space,” said Neeraj Khemlani, co-president of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication, in a statement. “It’s the dawn of a new era of video brands for the next generation of viewers and in Verizon, we have found a partner with unparalleled ad, video and mobile technology that will accelerate the launch of new digital video channels for this mobile-first audience.”
Verizon Hearst Media Partners’ two initial channels will target different sides of the political spectrum — the children and younger siblings of people who get their news from Fox on one end, and those who get it from “The Daily Show” on the other.
RatedRed.com will target millennials in the red states of America’s heartland with news updates, documentaries and scripted and nonscripted series exploring topics such as music, food, outdoor life, military affairs, politics and faith.
Seriously.TV will provide comedic news updates throughout the day, when younger viewers are turning to their phones to keep abreast of world events.
The channels are expected to launch in time for the 2016 NewFronts in New York City (May 2–13), where top digital video producers will showcase their programming for advertisers and brands.
Verizon Hearst Media Partners will be headquartered in New York City. Representatives declined to disclose the financials of the deal.